These boots were made for walking
They fell like stones, one after another. Brown parcel tape was administered around gaping holes, flapping soles were tamed. The boot casualties were numerous on the trek across the Lebanese Mountain Trail, even the army cadets who were helping guide us suffered. I gave thanks that my boots had easily withstood the strain – pretty lucky considering the choice in Dubai was very limited. Those Timberland boots took me through stony terrain in Lebanon and my daughter through Duke of Edinburgh expeditions in the desert, a World Challenge trip through Mongolia and are still going strong.
Spoiled for choice in the UK, I bought a new pair for walking on Dartmoor a couple of years ago. The less said about those ‘waterproof’ boots the better. They’ve gone off to recycling heaven. Replacements were needed.
A recommendation from my sister led me to the door of Cotswold Outdoor in South Cerney near Cirencester. A timber, double storey building near a lake is packed full of clothing and equipment for outdoor living plus, of course, footwear.
This was the most thorough fitting I’d had since my annual visit to Clark’s for school shoes (a very long time ago). The friendly man found out what sort of walking I was intending to do, measured my feet against a board and on the floor. I tried on a few pairs and could even walk up a little ramp to test them out on a incline. He knew all about the different manufacturing processes (machine made or on a last) and where they were produced.
At the end of about 30 minutes I left with a beautiful pair of Italian Scarpa leather boots (clutching VAT reclaim forms too).
I could have put them on and gone for a walk straight away had I wished, as a path around the lake or along a canal started right outside.
Instead we went across to the Relish cafe at the Gateway Centre with a gorgeous view out onto the lake. The menu is based on local, seasonal produce and all freshly cooked. You can even download a map of walks from their website. As it’s just off the A417 turning, this is a useful stop off point to know.
Where will these boots take me? Looking forward to sharing their adventures.
(all pics taken on iphone 4S)