Green Boots #shoes #recycle @Mishaherwin @BarryLillie1

DSC_2711I have had my green boots for maybe six or seven years and though the uppers are still excellent – and more to the point have reached that foot nirvana   where they’ve moulded to my foot shape so that I can wear them anywhere for any length of time – the soles and heels were showing the miles travelled.  

In this household we do our best to recycle whatever we can, or else donate unwanted goods to a good cause, so having them repaired went without saying.

lastIn the 1950s/60s my father would repair our shoes at home using an iron last. Carefully trimming new soles and heels to fit, pasting them with glue and carefully tapping them into place. This partly because it saved money but also because we lived out in the back of beyond and had no shoe repair shop to visit.

blakeysMy brothers boots would often be tipped with Blakeys that tapped and sparked on paving stones – though Dad never put them on my shoes. I was never too sure why.  The girl’s shoes were less robust it was true and perhaps would not take such as assault but at age 5 or so I was always a little jealous at not being able to ‘strike sparks’ as my elder brothers could. At age twelve I would have been mortified at steel tips – but that’s kids for you.

DSC_2712Some people might be tempted to see worn heels as a good excuse to buy new boots… but these are my green boots! And I don’t want to go through breaking in a new pair if I can help it! So a trip to the heel bar was in order, and an hour later they are fit for a few more miles.

As I collected the repaired boots  I wondered briefly when getting shoes mended became less common. Did the throwaway culture of the 1980s really extend to such a thing? Or was it the type of shoes?  

My loverrrrly scarlet boots, for example, had soles of the latest silicone rubber – which  perished and cracked long before the tread was worn. I had no choice but to throw them away and it made me so sad that they had been made with what was essentially built in obsolescence. A deliberate ploy on behalf of a major shoe manufacturer (Hotter)? Or simply an assumption that nobody kept foot wear for more than a season or two?

Or did it simply become easier for most people to throw shoes out and buy new? In these days of recycling and upcycling I hope people are less inclined to be so profligate with the world’s resources. 




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