Boot Up

One thing my husband and I have never had a problem with is putting shoes on our kids’ feet. Since birth, they’ve always been well-outfooted, er, outfitted, with cowboy boots.

My son’s first pair of boots were a baby gift and he wasn’t able to wear them much because his chubby feet wouldn’t fit in them.

My daughter learned how to walk in a pair of cute red roper boots.

There haven’t been very many times we’ve had to buy our kids cowboy boots because I have a network for getting hand-me-down boots from other moms but I’ve also been approached by people if  I’d like some boots for my kids that they had that weren’t getting worn. When people ask me what size boots my kids wear I tell them I don’t have to know what their boot size is because I have a gift for knowing without looking at the size: it’s whichever pair of boots in the hand-me-down pile fit. Rarely have we received a pair in a box but this dress pair was given to my son along with a pair of work boots.

 

Generally speaking, kid boots don’t wear out quick, but depending on the quality of the boot my son’s proven that theory wrong a few times. These are one of his many everyday work boots that he’s since outgrown but we still have.

Once my kids outgrew a pair of hand-me-down boots the footwear would get passed on to other kids. Youth boots may initially cost more money than other footwear, but when a dozen kids have worn the ones I bought and my kids have been given a dozen hand-me-down pairs, I get my money’s worth.

Now, my husband’s cowboy boots are a different story.

He can wear a pair out in a year easily. His gait tends to make his boots “run over,” as we call it, or wear out the heels and sole along the outside of his boots. He’s tried different kinds of inserts to make his boots last longer and wear evenly better, but he says they bother his feet and claims he’s tried them all. These are his baby boots and may explain why he has flat feet??

 Once his boots reach a certain point he just has to get another pair. But we never get rid of the old ones even though he’s not likely to wear them again. Instead, they get added to the rest already hanging in the shop rafters.

But boots can be found haning in all sorts of other places.

 

My teenage son is like a magnet to hand-me-down boots, which I’m grateful for. People see him in cowboy boots and before long, other moms, wives, and cowboys are giving me boots for him to wear.

The bad thing about having so many boots especially in the wintertime is that they all end up in front of the door. Nobody wants to put on a pair of cold boots or ones filled with snow. This is a common sight in my kitchen in the wintertime since we don’t have a mudroom.

What’s great about our kids’ feet getting bigger is that they can wear some of my husband’s or my old boots. This is especially helpful when they need an old pair to wear if there’s really muddy ranch work that needs to be done. When I want my son to have at least one nice, clean pair of boots for dressy occasions, my husband’s old boots come in handy to save at least one pair for dressy ocassions.

Our kids may have to get by without a few things growing up, but cowboy boots will never be one of them.

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About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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