I have an old pair of work boots that I used to wear to work sites. In days of yore, my job was supervising remediation of hazardous waste sites, one of the many (hard) hats I've worn. It's a wonder these work boots didn't end up in a barrel of miscellaneous clean-up waste to be fed into the bowels of an incinerator, but they've served me well for many, many years. I even wore them for an entire season as winter boots, fashion-plate that I am. They've held up well until recently. The soles finally started to de-laminate, but with enough duct tape, I got a few more miles out of them.
Last week I made the mistake of wearing a pair of tennis socks, and in a combined attempt at laziness and stupidity, I put on my work boots and proceeded to cut the lawn. For whatever reason, maybe the heat, or the bugs, or the fact I was wearing my hearing protectors, my senses were dulled. Evidently, my instinct to "forge on" was on over-drive. The outside of my leg was being chafed by the pilled, rough lining of the work boots. I kept chugging along with the proverbial stone in my shoe.
At some point, thirst got the better of me, and with it, the opportunity to take my work boots off presented itself. It was then that I noticed that I had chafed, and I mean deeply chafed, a nice ridge into my right ankle.
!@#$. (That basically means it's going to leave a scar.)
Off I went to Mark's Work Warehouse, known under the "L'Équipeur" moniker here in Quebec. I found a decent pair of women's work shoes. They are infinitely more comfortable, yet have the steel toes and soles that I need. I've put a nail through my foot once, and once was enough.
Years ago, I also learned a lesson when using a spade while wearing rubber boots without steel soles. The plantar fasciitis that resulted after a weekend of digging had me hobbling in pain for nearly 2 years. Just stepping barefoot on a piece of cat kibble in the kitchen caused gales of pain. Now, the first thing I do in the morning is put on a pair of thick tennis socks, and slip my feet into a pair of clogs. Going barefoot is a thing of the past for me, unfortunately. I've become a bit of a sissy where my feet are concerned.
These new work shoes aren't made in Canada, or the US for that matter, and something tells me I'm going to get a lot less mileage out of them than my Kaufmans. But my feet are happy in them, and that's all I am going to worry about.