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Friday, October 30, 2015

boots and leather


BOOTS AND LEATHER

One of the funnier moments in life is watching Seniors ( or, Q-Tips ) act all ancient and decrepit.  Besides watching one try to see over the steering wheel, or turn the wheel for that matter even though you couldn’t possibly make it any easier than with the power steering that all cars have had half the damn life of these fools, and besides making bets with your buddies if one of the relics is going to tip over the curb on the way to the crosswalk and break a hip, I love their wardrobe.  Even the ones who don’t look like they just walked off the golf course still experience every day as a fashion crime.  I gotta smell your Depends, AND see you dress yourself funny?  Really, slacks, dress shirt, tie, John Deer ball cap AND tennis shoes?  What the hell, dude!?  Luckily for my future integrity, I can’t wear athletic footwear.  Between being outside all winter in the snow and slush, I also have to worry about those damnable dogs biting my ankle.  I have to wear leather boots, and as you’ll recall this has led to the last few years of searching in vain for an affordable pair that lasted at least a year ( this is a good time to yell to the heavens once again what vile scum suckling anal spelunking monkey molesters PayLess Shoes are, their no longer cheap hiking boots splitting open in a mere three weeks.  Not once, but twice ).

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I’ve finally found one at Sportsman’s Guide $65 cowboy boots ( half the price as at a retail outlet ) which last longer than the $50 Amazon combat boots which went five months before nails started poking into the bottom of my feet.  I can get a years worth from the Sportsman boots before the sole is worn away ( perhaps longer, but I’m walking at an angle on my right side ), BUT with one proviso.  Within one month of wearing, the heel started separating from the upper.  Bless her heart, not only is the girlfriend funny and has a huge rack, she can also sew.  We got a leather sewing needle at Wal-Mart for a buck and change, and a spool of nylon upholstery thread for about the same, and she re-stitched them together.  If you do this prior to wearing them, you can use the same holes already threaded by the cheaper thread and it will be much easier.  By spending an additional $3 at the start, along with a little time and effort, you won’t have any issues with these boots. 

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As for preserving leather, I was starting to get sick and tired of spending $4 for a tiny can of shoe polish.  They didn’t seem to last as long as they used to, almost as if they were less dense.  So I looked around a bit online and ran across a recommendation to use coconut oil as a frugal preservative.  Which was a darn sight better than what I was spending, but still I wasn’t satisfied.  At work, as you might recall, we had just got in a new delivery truck ( a FedGov grant, as a backdoor bailout for Ford ) which the boss spent no end of time in demanding I kept pristine and clean every day.  Well, being a bit of a smartass, making a point that I was never going to get the tools I needed to do so, I started using vegetable oil in place of Armor All to shine up the front plastic grill.  I figured, what the hell?  Shortening seems to be acting nicely in keeping my leather boots oiled up, at no cost to me ( and as a bonus, long stored turned rancid shortening can be used for your leather goods ).  Now, I might be wrong and I am damaging my boots, long term.  If I am right, a $4 can of oil will condition your boots for months and months.  Proceed with caution, this is just a heads up for a possible solution.

END
 
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22 comments:

  1. Shoe Goo is nice to have around also, works good even on the soles of the boots, even if it does not look very good.

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    Replies
    1. Shoe Goo has saved many a shoe for me, AND the stuff never dried out on me after re-capping ( wipe the threads dry before capping ). I think I still have half a tube.

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  2. It's official. I have decided to run over your punk ass with my scooter if we ever meet in person!

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    1. What does a HoverRound get, like one mile per hour? Course, I'll probably be equally crippled from being hit on my bicycle, so you'll probably be able to catch me! :) Peace, brother.

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    2. Those damned scooters hurt, had a bum in SLC hit me with one. Of course I made sure he needed the scooter after that.

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  3. Lord Bison,
    What size boot do you wear? Maybe I can help you out.
    R de B

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    Replies
    1. Please don't get excited ( girls ) or jealous ( guys ), size 11

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    2. My size 13 wide Danners seem tough and have lasted me throughout the summer on the farm....I bought then through their clearance site... .the break room.com ...... My timberland pro boots look great and work wonderfully standing in my client's clean rooms, but using them on the farm destroyed them in weeks....

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    3. Danners are good. Not too cheap and their pointy toes quishes my fat toes. Great for skinny feet types

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  4. Damn! Better hair AND bigger **** than me, I'm seriously put out.

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    Replies
    1. And you thought I was joking when I claim to be Baby Jesus' favorite.

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  5. In 2004 I bought 6 pairs of superlative hiking boots from LL Bean at $65 a pair. Went back the following year to get more for backstock and they stopped making that model. Dam. I wore them boots to death and 2 years ago they all finally gave out about 1 year past their due date, so I went looking. I soon found you simply cannot find anything worth while for less than $100 any more.

    My current favorites are a pair of all leather Rugged Shark hikers but guess what? They stopped making them. I bought a pair of Hi-Tecs on amazon and thought I got a good deal but after a year they started splitting at a seam. sigh

    Anyway, with leather skids I scrub the exteriors right away with saddle soap, rinse well, let air dry for a few days, then apply a thick layer of mink oil, let air dry a few days, then wipe and buff. Force the mink oil (paste) well into all seams. It waterproofs them. The saddle soap cleans off all the factory finish bullshit and the mink oil turns the leather darker. I do this with suede too. Been using the same ss and mo for more than 10 years now.

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind spending $100 if I knew it was a multi-year boot, but buying almost anything is a crapshoot. Bastards, all of them.

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  6. What about surplus boots James?

    I remember years ago back in the 80's, I picked up a pair of special forces boots. They were $120.00 back then, and they looked like great boots. I never wore them long enough to see how well they held up, but the quality was definitely there at that time. At around the same time, a coworker got a pair of Herman's Survivors. Not only did they look comfortable, but he swore by them. But I'd read some reviews. Many once quality items have suffered in quality after their manufacturers outsourced their manufacturing. I actually wouldn't be surprised if most military surplus today was not produced in America.


    I remember Gary Olen, the CEO of the sportsman's guide, always boasting in his catalogs (This was before the internet) about how his stuff was made in America, and so much better than that cheap foreign junk. He doesn't do that anymore, not that I blame him. He wouldn't have been able to stay in business if he continued with that business model.


    I thought that maybe Tandy Leather would have a high quality boot kit or perhaps some patterns, but no such luck there.

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    Replies
    1. Those Amazon boots I was talking about? They claim they supply the military. It was a pair of all leather black paratrooper types. Very comfortable, and affordable. But only good for six months.

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  7. On a whim, I decided to look into the Herman's Survivors boots James. While I did find some mixed reviews, the reviews for the work boot below at the Walmart site were pretty good; 49 - 5 star reviews out of 72. (Amazon didn't seem to have them other than in obscure sizes). $55.00 a pair.

    Of course you should always read as many reviews as possible or practical. Below is just an excerpt of one review:

    “The pair I had are still on my feet through two years of daily hard wear and I'll bet I could get another six months out of them - more if the bottoms of the soles were in better shape but I can see that I've gone through a layer of rubber and I don't think the exposed layer is meant for much contact with the Earth.. “

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Herman-Survivors-Men-s-Breaker-Work-Boots-Wide-Width/14663325

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    Replies
    1. I want to believe but have NEVER had one good experience with Wally's shoes.

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    2. I noticed that someone in the reviews was referring to these as “Walmart brand shoes”, and I could be wrong, but I don't think that they are? Well, in either event James, it's one of those situations in which you must be diligent in reading the reviews, and even then it's hit and miss?

      I remember back when I was smartphone shopping, and all the reviews referred to the latest and greatest as an “iphone killer”. I bought more than one of these “killer phones”, and none of them were! Still, 49 – 5 star reviews out of 72 isn't too shabby. But I often wonder (not in this particular case necessarily) if many of these reviews are “plants” to bolster sales? You definitely see some rather suspicious looking reviews over at Amazon.

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    3. I've also had issues with brand names sold in Wally being sub-par. Liquid Wrench losing air with plenty of liquid left, Dickies slacks fitting strangely. The bike parts are all crap. So even if these aren't Wally, they are sold there, if you see what I mean.

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    4. I think I see what you're getting at Jim? The China-Marts are probably buying up the factory seconds, as do the dollar outlets, and selling it at a decent discount, but it's kind of sub par stuff. But of course the China-Marts are marking up the less expensive items a heck of a lot more than the dollar outlets.

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    5. I was thinking factory seconds myself, except in my darker moments when I almost believe the first shift uses grade A materials and when those are used up the next shift uses grade F materials. Thinner threads, thinner material of lesser cotton, recycled metals rather than those from raw ore, etc. I used to spend thousands a year at Wally and now only spend hundreds. Heck, I've even stopped buying toilet paper there as, at least for now, Family Dollar sells it cheaper per square foot ( 2-ply ) in their four pack than Wally does in their 12 pack. Humpers are ALWAYS looking for a way to screw the consumer.

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  8. You have to let leather shoes dry before wearing them again, so you shouldn't use the same pair every day but have 2 pairs and alternate between them.

    This way you can keep them 3 times longer than if you just used one pair.

    ReplyDelete

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