These Boots Are Made for— Oh, Shit.

bootssmallThis, in the photo to the right, is what I call a catastrophic equipment failure. And I should have known better.

I like to go for a “walk” on Sunday afternoons. This usually involves me heading off to the Forest Service land within walking distance of our house. I head down a trail, or a jeep road, or a drainage, and see where it takes me.

Today, I added some serious bushwhacking to the itinerary. I headed across country off-trail and climbed a hill to see what was there.

At the crest, I looked down to see what was dragging from my boot. It was the sole, as it turned out. It was completely separated, except for the toe cap.

“Uh, oh.”

So I started climbing back down. Then the other sole gave way. Both were now flapping off my boots, off-trail, in the middle of the desert.

These were my good boots–Asolos that have taken me from Alaska’s Kesugi Ridge Trail to Escalante. But they’re old. And they have cemented soles. And the thing about cemented soles is that they work great right up until they don’t. And then they fail, off-trail, in the middle of the desert.

I’ve stopped buying cemented soles for this reason. But these were my bulletproof Asolos that could take anything. Until today.

I was in no danger–I had water, food, a gun, means of making fire, a knife, means of signaling… And all I needed was the knife, which I used to cut off the flapping outsoles once I got back to the road.

But next time, I’m buying welted soles. You can see when they’re failing, and you can fix them. Oh, and I’m bringing duct tape. That would have helped.

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