Well, this could be the end of those rare visits to shoe shops.
After venturing out in the snow the other Sunday, to take photos, I noticed that my footing, which is unsure at the best of times, wasn’t as solid and stable as it should be. I have slipped on snow and ice many times and, because of my height and general build, I fall as a giraffe would fall if it encountered frozen water for the first time. Arms and legs flailing wildly and pointing in all directions of the compass.
Looking at the soles of my brown Dr. Martens boots I noted a distinct lack of tread. The heals were warn to a scoop and the main tread area was flat and smooth. Only the edges of the sole showed signs of the original grip pattern. Of course the leather uppers showed no signs of wear and the laces had only been replaced 3 or 4 times since purchase. Considering that I purchased them in late 2004 I think they have lasted quite well. These are the same boots that caused so much suffering during my trip to London a few months ago.
Since then, and certainly during this snowy and icy spell, I’ve been wearing black Dr. Martens. These still have a full tread because they’re only brought out for concerts because of the steel toecaps.
The first place to go to for any purchase is Amazon.co.uk. There really is no point even searching for an individual footwear manufacturer if you can’t purchase them easily online. I saw a pair that I liked the look of by Cat. They weren’t the usual Cat boots either, those bright yellow things that people wear with the laces undone and the tongue hanging out. Repulsive. These were a more rugged, authentic working boot and in my line of work exactly what I needed.
Because I’d never purchased footwear online before, and had never purchase Cat footwear before, I really wanted to try a pair on. The buying experience isn’t complete without entering a shop, trying on the one shoe and walking up and down. This just isn’t the most viable test conditions at all for footwear. Walking up and down on carpet hoping to get a feel for what could be an expensive purchase. If your town is anything like mine then to truly test footwear your path needs to be littered with broken glass, barker’s eggs and pavement pizzas. How are you going to make a purchasing decision based on 3 or 4 steps up and down a length of Axminster.
I’ve purchased shoes and boots in the past, tried them on in the shop first and then had months of agony and pain trying to wear the damn things in. Shoes that must have been made specifically to torture customers. Boots that you have to stamp on for half an hour to try and soften the leather.
With some Christmas money burning a hole in my wallet, and no sign of the ice disappearing, I made a purchase online.
According to Amazon they only had them for sale via a 3rd party merchant at nearly £100. Even if they last 5 years that’s still too much for a pair of boots. Amazon has adverts for Javari so I checked on there. They didn’t have the Rope colour that I wanted so I bought a pair of size 10 Croutons for £71.24. Javari seem to be part of Amazon now so the checkout was fast using my Amazon email address and password. No need to set-up a new account and enter address and credit card details. It was all really fast. LOVEFiLM take note.
They arrived this morning, a full day before they said they would, which took me by surprise.
I still have to give them a run out, that’s later, but I’ve tried them on, walked up and down a bit and they feel fine. No more shoe shops for me.