March 10, 2012


I mentioned a short time ago that I'd gotten a pair of leather boots. They're Courteney Frontiers, made in Zimbabwe of water buffalo and antelope. I've been breaking them in with short walks. Last weekend's hike at the river and a few shortcuts through wet grass here and there made me realize they weren't too waterproof. They're stamped with a manufacture date of 6/11, so whatever treatment the tanner applied probably dried while they sat on the shelf. I figured it was time for some polish.

I looked online for Courteney wax, but it seemed kind of pricey and I didn't want to pay shipping for shoe polish. Kiwi carried me through a lot of Army inspections, so I went to Academy and got some clear Kiwi polish. (I picked up a pair of thin wicking inserts, too - I had tried some fancier inserts but they changed the fit too much.)

Then I spent a good part of the afternoon on the porch, listening to the rain, shining my boots and reminiscing. The leather sucked the first coat in, so I added a thin second coat and took them outside to catch some sprinkles, then buffed them some more.

As I finished with the polish the rain began to trail off, so I laced up and took Fergus for a mile walk. Sensory overload for the old guy - water flowing down the gutters, wet grass through which to blunder, birds shaking out and calling to each other from their huddling places, spring blossoms pummeled into a cacophony of smells. Fergus was prancing with joy at so much to feel and hear and sniff.

I was worried that the polish might change the character of the boots, and in the end, gentle reader, it did: they are two steps closer to perfection. Raindrops bead up and roll off. Not all, but more than before. And they look awfully good.

Happy feet, man, happy feet.

After Fergus, I took Aries and Ondine out in turns for a mile apiece. They were both horrible. (Can't have everything. Not all in one day.)

I took the picture above after I got home, the result of three miles of walking in the soggy aftermath of a heavy spring shower. Not bad! (And as I sit here typing this a few hours later, I notice they've dried out nicely and the wax has cured and the shine has mellowed. Nice boots. I hope to wander many a mile in them.)


  1. This is probably the best thing I've ever read about shoes.

  2. "listening to the rain"--in Texas, that's a bonus.

    Good footwear is essential--since it's like second feet.

    (the aliens in "John Carter" have 4 arms--something to consider
    in the next evolution)

  3. I love that picture