The docs…

After sliding hard on a patch of wet grass, I’ve finally had to admit it was probably time to retire a venerable pair of Doc Martens that have been my every day boot of choice for a long, long time. I don’t actually remember when i got this pair of boots. Seven to ten years ago feels like a reasonable estimate. They’re super broken in (some might say broken down) and comfortable, but coming into the frozen season walking around on slick soles is just one of those things that wouldn’t have ended well.

I’m not a shoe shopper. Open my closet and you’ll find a couple of pair of 3-hole Doc shoes and a couple of pair of 8-hole Doc boots in various colors and states of disrepair. Aside from one pair of sneakers for yard work and another for everything else, you won’t find much else on my shoe rack. It’s one of the handful of products that has ever inspired in me a sense of brand loyalty… and stretching back to the early 90s, it’s definitely the longest running.

So, thanks to a wet patch of grass, I’ve ordered myself a nice new pair – and resisted the temptation, once again, of ordering up the Made in England Oxblood Quilons. Even my loyalty has its limits and I couldn’t justify the extra hundred bucks for a boot I know I intend to subject to whatever snow, salt, and ice that winter in the Mid-Atlantic can throw at it… now if they bothered to offer up a boot from Cobbs Lane in a nice distressed leather that I didn’t feel awful about beating to hell and back, I’d be happy to throw more money at fine English craftsmanship.

In a week or so I’ll be working on a new set of break-in blisters. If bleeding for your brand doesn’t show dedication, I have no idea what would. Sure, I suppose there are alternatives, but showing up at the office without my Docs would be akin to wandering around without my coffee cup. I have a brand of my own to look to in these cases.

Cant type… cat on keyboard…

Before I get to the meat of today’s post I should note that we’ve reached the part of the journey through kittenhood where Hershel seems to want to either be on top of the keyboard or is trying to lacerate my fingers while I’m typing. In any case this situation does not lead towards unbridled happiness for either of us. It’s an awfully good thing that small animals are so damned adorable during this phase of life. If they weren’t, I have no earthy idea why we’d tolerate them… but that’s not really the point.

Fortunately, I was able to keep the keyboard clear long enough to do a bit of post Thanksgiving shopping. If I accomplish nothing else over the next few days I’m expecting a shipment of my favored formerly-made-in-England footwear to show up on my doorstep. I wore a standard part of eight-hole Doc Martens all through college and my attempt at a teaching career. A little paste wax and they were good as new for year after year. I changed it up a bit when I went all corporate and switched over to the more “professional” looking oxfords. Still, they were the Made in England accept no substitutes real deal. If I though I could get away with wearing my black “weekend” boots with the parade of khaki pants and polo shirts that are my wardrobe I’d do it in a second… but even my fashion sensibilities have their limits.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to make brown boots in England anymore, but they make a pretty good replica of the boot I wore for years somewhere in Asia now. It still has 8 eyes. I’m willing to bet it will still fit my foot like the proverbial glove. More importantly I’ve reached an age where I don’t give a damn if Aztec brown combat boots are considered office attire or not. This long time enthusiast is going back to his roots with a pair of English boots, designed by a German seventy or so years ago, and manufactured in China.