Making it work

My relationship with my current walking boots is a bit like an arranged marriage.  I’d had a ch Smiling in the rainpassionate teenage romance with magnificent calf high Diadora boots that took me on my first trek in 1975. We wore denim flares, jumpers knitted by mum and oily Japara jackets.  And weren’t my boots GREAT?  But I grew out of them.  You change, you know?

Then I moved on to leather Diadoras ankle boots that I’d fallen in love with in my early 20’s.  We covered a lot of ground together, shared many highs and lows, knew each other at our best and worst and had a love that had endured for over 20 years.  Until, suddenly and unexpectedly, while  waiting for a bus after a few days training walk to Changu Narayan near Kathmandu, and just three days before we were to trek the Annapurna Circuit together, my beloved Diadoras quietly died.  Ke garne?*

There was not much for it except to have a short term fling, eyes wide open, with a pair of cheap, tarty Hi Techs.  It was an easy relationship. No expectations of longevity. We were using each other.  I knew that. They knew that.  As expected, the Hi Techs did not last the distance and on day 20 of the Circuit (yes, we were doing it in reverse), they lost their souls/ soles. It was not a relationship worth pursuing.

Just before returning to Nepal in 2008, I had a few hours in Sydney to buy some new boots.  It was a marriage of convenience. Their pedigree was good (Scarpa) the fixer was confident, I was vulnerable and needed a solution fast, and so it was.  From the start it was hard work.  Months of stuffing them with wet newspapers, layers of Dubbin, exhaustive preventative preparations.  On treks I would wear them as much as possible then swap with relief into runners.  But we did not give up, and eventually, after some years, the relationship was going OK.  We had to learn when to give, when to shut up, how to lace, what socks to wear. And so on. But we’re making it work.

With merely the (possibly superstitious) application of a blister patch to the back of both ankles I can walk in my boots for hours, over whatever terrain is dished up to us. Me and my Scarpas.  And my blister pads.  Due to somewhat haphazard packing for my recent Upper Mustang trek, and to your benefit dear reader, I had not one but three different types of blister prevention:

Dr. Scholl, Band Aid and Compeed.

This was a well controlled study.  A pad was applied before the day’s walking which usuallyCompeed entailed a little bit up, a little bit down and a little bit flat.  (This was Nepal remember!)   They remained on for as long as they remained on.   Which in the case of Band Aid brand, was approximately twenty minutes after setting off.  Pathetic.  The Dr. Scholl brand was a little better and sometimes lasted the day.  It was fussier to apply and resulted in more litter.  The Compeed brand was far and away the Rolls Royce of blister pads.  Applied easily, stored easily (those little plastic boxes can be recycled for all sorts of things later!) and lasted on my heel for a very long time.  I avoided too much water on the area and given the conditions this was not a big issue.  I would thoroughly recommend Compeed. Dr. Scholl if you have no choice, and don’t waste your time with the Band Aid brand.  (Please note: I am not receiving any payment for this review but would be happy to accept any free samples that any Compeed executives reading this post would like to send my way!)

*You’ve heard it before and you accompany it with a resigned shrug: What to do?

12 thoughts on “Making it work

  1. Cathy

    Oh I LOVED reading this. Its perfect Wend. I had a long long long relationship with Rossi boots. Some may even remember the time I bought 2 pairs when I found them on sale at the wangaratta Aussie disposal. Love. True love. And then… as you say, I changed. I have Aslo boots now that are so comfortable and so wonderful, that I don’t even talk about them. They’re just part of me- what’s to talk about. Re those blister pads- I have been known to say to my cousin, ‘you’ll WISH you’d get a blister just so you can use one!!!!!’ Full endorsement from me too. Cath xxx

    Reply
    1. Wendy Moore

      Come to think of it Cath, I didn’t hear a peep from you in Upper Mustang about your boots!!! If my Scarpas scarper, I’ll have a look at Aslos. Glad you didn’t tell Judy about wishing she’d get a blister!

      Reply
    1. Wendy Moore

      Just google Compeed Deb and you can get the photo too. Or did you mean the girls in the mists? LOL! You must be back SOOOOOON! Missing you! Good practice I guess. Wendy

      Reply
  2. Pamela Parr

    enjoyed your post,even though I am not a walking girl myself,(wish I was )so do not have the blister experience,did have apair of Rossi boots bought for me once when I was expected to do the bushwalking thing,but as I was always left behind to lug two little kids along soon gave that away,so the boots lasted me for 30 years,I think I took them to Nepal on my first trip,in anticipation of doing some walking,but as I was suffering from an unknown heart problem I found walking a bit of a problem,so again I escaped the dreaded blister problem,finally wore them around the farm untill they “died ” a couple of years back

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      That may be a record for boots Pam! Hope you get a little walking in on your next trip. Hugs, Wendy

      Reply
  3. Les

    Dear daughter, I hope you realise that it was my suffering opened the way to your love affair with Diodara boots. Oh! the sore spots and blisters I endured struggling with Bludstone, Osolo and sundry other brands before discovering Diodoras. But my pain was your gain as it was I who insisted you try a pair. And I may be coming to your rescue yet again – try La Sportiva.

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Well the other thing you taught me was about value so I will get my money’s worth from the Scarpas and then look at these wonderful alternatives you and Cathy are spruiking! I think I have benefitted from your suffering on other occasions but hey, what are fathers for? Lovely to have you here. See, it’s not ALL polymer! MWAA

      Reply
  4. Indigo Kate

    No, it’s definitely not all polymer! It’s blisters too. And love stories and growing apart. Sigh. We’ve all been there and it was so sweet to revisit those fond boot memories with you. Love your work, from head to foot. Kate x
    PS. I had to laugh at your humble request that perhaps the blister people might send you a free sample. Be bold dear and ask the boot people to send you several pairs! In different colours to match your jewellery. You are a professional trekker after all!

    Reply
  5. Angie

    Thanks Wendy! Reminding me of my lovely faithful red Josef Seibel boots that lay forgotten in the back of my wardrobe. They carried me in Italy in 2006! Xxxx

    Reply
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