These Boots

While there is no power greater than the power of long shapely legs atop high heels, I have found that an even more powerful effect can be achieved with long shapely legs clad in a righteous boot.

The power of boots was first revealed to me when I learned to ride a horse. Paired with my favorite blue jeans and a pink button-down boy’s Oxford, my Jodhpur boots would transport me to a higher level of happiness and self confidence. The day that I wore the riding boots, blue jeans and pink Oxford on the school bus for the first time was the start of my enduring love affair with iconic men’s clothing and footwear.

Always the first one to get on the school bus, I had to endure an awkward ten minutes alone with the terrifying bus driver, who lived in a rotting Victorian house and was unfairly rumored to have placed one of her babies in a birdcage and hung it from the porch rafters in a snowstorm. I would sit as far back in her bus as I could without getting on the wrong side of the Thornton and McLaughlin boys who were older and tougher than I was, and who ruled the very back of the bus.

As the bus rumbled toward Perryville where my best friend Renee lived on her family’s goat farm, I would try not to get picked on. Renee was a redhead and a tomboy; we caught sunfish in Bullhead Pond with bent safety pins, we rode her Welsh pony down to the Baptist church and demanded Hi-C from the Sunday School kids, we watched goats have kids, and we often slept in the hayloft. Once Renee got on the bus, I was out of the woods because together we were as tough as nails. She habitually wore boots, too. Together, we were too weird to mess with.

On that particular bus ride, I remember thinking to myself that I felt damn good about the clothes I was in. If Renee didn’t get on the bus that morning, I knew I could handle whatever came my way.

Because I spent my childhood in the company of horses, farmers and farm animals, I was destined to spend a lot of time with various iconic and practical shoe styles once I grew up. There was a dalliance with Birkenstock, and later on, a fling with Teva that I am not proud of. In the end, I settled on Dansko and we have been very happy together, chiefly because I am allowed to spend time with my first love, which are riding boots.

Even I am not immune to the awesome power of the Frye harness boot. Forced to take a selfie a very out of character selfie because I'm just so fabulous.

Even I am not immune to my own splendor when properly shod. Here, I am forced to take a selfie by the sheer power of the Frye harness boot.

The term “riding boot” describes a spectrum of boots ranging from lace-ups to pull-ons designed for either horseback or motorcycle riding. I am the proud owner of a pair of Frye harness boots, a pair of men’s black cowboy boots, and most recently, a pair of mid-calf lace-up riding boots. I have discovered that each pair of boots is magically imbued with differing degrees of power.

After spending two months off my feet and on my back in the summer of 2009, I chose to get reacquainted with walking with the help of some bright red Danskos. It was more of a marriage of convenience and I frequently dreamed of the day when I could wear my Frye harness boots again without triggering a vicious backache.

While recovering from the deluge of medical bills that were the consequence of my riding mishap, I decided that I had to get a job with health insurance. Eventually, I was hired as a production artist at Ocean State Job Lot, a chain of over 100 off-brand stores in New England. The Advertising Department, where I worked, existed solely to serve The Buyers.

Collectively, The Buyers resembled a flock of entitled birds. From their aerie atop the pre-fab grey box that is the heart of Ocean State Job Lot, The Buyers swooped down to the second floor to torment Advertising with their special brand of clueless caprice—they routinely delivered their hand-scrawled copy edits to us post-deadline, changed layouts, and swapped out products at press time. There was just no end to the nonsense perpetrated on Advertising by The Buyers, which they enriched with extra dollops of rudeness whenever the spirit moved them.

One of the more egregious offenders was the clothing buyer, a pugnacious little man we called “Hand Job”. He and I actually got along quite well most of the time because I had immediately recognized and understood his type. It wasn’t until he came into the copy room on a Friday afternoon with guns blazing in an attempt to bully and intimidate me, that my Frye harness boots revealed their true potential.

Like Dorothy’s ruby slippers, my footwear suddenly manifested magical powers just when I needed them to. As Hand Job frothed at the mouth, I felt myself grow six inches taller, which emboldened me to step right into his circle of spittle and stare down at his head while he screamed at my collarbone. This is what it means to be bigger and more powerful than someone else I marveled, as he slunk away with his tail between his legs.

Here we are resting in our Double H boots after administering a well deserved ass kicking to the Dimpled Miscreant

Here we are resting in our Double H boots after administering a well deserved ass kicking to the dimpled miscreant who dissed my sis.

My sister has owned a pair of lace-up riding boots for years and I had long admired the sexy Cuban heel, the buttery soft leather and the many grommets. Notoriously cheap, I had denied myself the pleasure of owning these boots until a few weeks ago, when I impulsively purchased them online in preparation for my trip out west.

The day the new boots arrived, my sister and I decided that the thing to do on a dark and cold wintery afternoon was go to our favorite bar for a beer. As we sat in the warm glow of the bar, someone who had recently committed an outrageous affront to my sister’s generosity and humanity, darkened the door. It goes without saying that we were both wearing our Double H boots.

Thanks to my footwear, I didn’t default to my usual cowardice at the sight of our former friend. Normally, just thinking about any type of personal conflict turns my bowels to water and makes my head pound, but when I stood up to follow my sister I was transformed into a strange hybrid of Tony Soprano and John Wayne. I cast a long, intimidating shadow on the rugged wooden floor as I clomped around the bar to confront the guy who had dissed my sister.

Making my way toward our quarry I was waylaid by some friends, so I was forced to deflate back down to ordinary proportions and make normal conversation for a few minutes. From my diminished vantage point I could see that something exciting had happened and that my sister was now striding out of the bar in a decidedly pissed off way. I excused myself, re-inflated into my boots and strode over to the culprit. “You gonna make things right with my sister?” I grunted at the perp, channeling my best Muscles Marinara. When he said that he would, I gently, but menacingly, punched him on the shoulder and said “that would be for the best” before turning on my heel and exiting the bar. I gave no quarter.

Now that I have twice summoned the frightful majesty of the boot, I intend to use my awesome powers only in the service of justice and goodness. In my size 10 boot, I will trod upon that fine line between bully and backbone as gracefully as a ballerina, standing up  to any male miscreant who wrongly assume that I am ineffectively shod in flimsy heels.

Related: The Story Of The Treacherous And Misleading Boots


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  1. John Norton says:

    Love the boots and the women who wear them!

    1. admin says:

      I love you,JN!

  2. katy says:

    There is something about that Cuban heel that really sets up the self confidence. Plus the way it elongates the shapely calf cannot be dismissed lightly. These are the ne plus ultra of boots, no doubt about it. So glad you have joined the clan. And think how you are gonna take the West by storm! No one will dare to diss whilst you are in da boots!

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