When was the last time you fell head over heels in love with a product, not including a sex toy? Well, a few years ago, someone, I can’t remember who, showed me a pair of boots they were wearing and commenced to rhapsodize in an almost orgasmic manner about how amazing these boots were. I didn’t pay too much attention because I didn’t much like the person and found the whole display rather uncomfortable.
However, when one witnesses something particularly bizarre like that, one finds it difficult to completely put out of one’s mind the name of boots that would inspire such passion.
And so the image of the apparently Fabio-esque boots remained in that special spot in back of my mind where I store all the clutter I accumulate every day that I have no immediate need for – much like that junk room, closet and/or drawer most of us have in our homes.
Years passed and I’d see the occasional person wearing Blundstones and I’d study them to see if they seemed much happier, more content, more satisfied than the average person. And you know what? I think they really did. And so I started thinking maybe there was something to this Blundstone coupling. And that maybe I was depriving myself of an essential life enhancing experience — like marriage except without the arguments and community property issues.
So I start doing a little research on these boots. They retail for between $160- $180, which seemed pretty reasonable for a life-enhancing experience and for a good pair of boots for someone who walks a lot. And so more and more I became fascinated with what I read about Blundstones. They claim to be strong, reliable, comfortable, weather-resistant, virtually indestructible. How could I fall for such sweet-talk?
This mad Australian company who’s been building these very same boots since 1870 still only make 3 basic styles of boot (not including the steel-toes CSA safety boots) and only in black or brown – though curiously, one style comes in red, too.
Aren’t they handsome? (XUP Jr. thinks they’re hideous, so I don’t mind if you think that, too)
Surreptitiously, I start checking Blundstones out in shops, searching for #490s. I couldn’t find them. But I’d gaze at the others; touch them all, smell them, ask questions about them. I even tried a pair on once, but I never found #490s and it never seemed like the right time to boldly ask someone to have them ordered in.
They were a little big and a little brash, but they were only $10. I couldn’t walk away. I slipped on some insoles and let them have their way with me. You can see the actual pair up there in my masthead between the Dr. Martens and the gumboots.
For the last year we’ve been everywhere together – spring, summer, winter and fall. We’ve walked mile after mile through rain, sleet, slush, snow, ice; in minus 30 temperatures, on sidewalks, in fields, through the woods and on moonlit beaches.
We’ve gotten sloppy and messy together and then I’ve wiped them down with a bit of water and worn them out to dinner with a pair of tights and a skirt. They’re certainly not the height of elegance — but dressy enough for most of the places I like to go.
And my feet have never been treated better. Such comfort. Such stamina. They’ve been kept toasty warm on the coldest days and comfortably dry on the wettest days.
But…and there’s always a “but” isn’t there? While these lovely #510s have been nothing but good to me, I’ve never been able to forget about those #490s. And this past weekend I saw them, at last, in the flesh …beckoning me from inside a shop window.
The #510s and I bought them.
Oh, I know how tiresome it is to listen to someone gush about how perfect their true love is, and I know some of you probably already have a pair of Blundstones, so you can skip this if you want, but I still need to tell how amazing Blundstones are.
- They’re made with a 2.5 mm thickness of leather.
- The leather folds under the sole for almost an inch for extra durability and weather-proofing.
- The soles are “injection molded” not glued on.
- The leather is treated with “dual-density polyurethane” so I never have to treat, spray, wax or condition my boots.
- They came with a little pouch of wax which they said I could use if, by chance, I ever felt the need to shine my boots up a bit some time down the line.
- They have no laces or zippers or buckles – they just slide on and off.
I have to wonder why not all outdoor footwear can be made this well.
The Blundstone website has a page called Art to Boot which invites artists and celebrities to “art up” their Blundstones, which are then donated to raise money for various charities. Have a look at some of the gorgeous things people have done with their boots.
There’s also a page called Your Boots where you can enter a photo of you and your Blundstones and a little story of all the places you and your boots have been and gone. There are tons of stories –funny, interesting, crazy, charming stories. I hope my 490s and I collect some interesting stories like this over our lifetime together.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had a lot of great sensible and not-to-sensible shoes and boots in my life – a lot! I make no apologies for my footwear sluttishness. But all those shoes and boots were only infatuations – short-term flings. Sooner or later the shine wore off my affection. The soul fell out of the relationship. I’d feel too tied down. And I’d walk out — kicking them off like an old pair of boyfriends.
But the #490 Blundstones and I? I think this is the real thing at last. I really do. And the #510s? We’re still good friends. We’ll get together for some rough-housing once in a while and maybe, one day, I’ll fix them up with someone else would would really appreciate them.