Excuse me, sir, but where did you get those boots?

February 10th, 2008 § 0 comments

While in Australia, I received as a Christmas present from my mum a fine pair of R.M. Williams boots. They’re the “Comfort Craftsman” model, in brown. Without a doubt, I’d say they are the finest pair of footwear I’ve ever owned. I wear them a couple of times a week, at minimum, and they’re always incredibly comfortable.

Australian work boots like these are sort of unique-looking. They’re made from one large piece of leather, just stitched once up the back. They have elastic sides and pull tabs at the top.  You’ve probably seen them before.

I’m constantly amazed how much attention they garner, in very strange places. I was on the 6 train last week, heading home after work, listening to This American Life’s weekly podcast, and generally zoning out. A guy sitting on the seat next to where I was standing tapped me on the shoulder. Seeing I was wearing earphones he pointed to my feet, then gave me a thumbs-up and wink. I noticed he was wearing gray suede brogues. I would have thought his own shoes were far more worthy of attention than mine.

Later in the week, on the elevator at work, I was going up to my desk from the ground floor, when a guy whom I had never spoken with before exclaimed (in a crowded elevator, no less)

“Whoa man, those are nice shoes! Where did you get those?”

“Australia, actually.”

“Damn, those are nice. Are they boots or shoes? [he bends down to take a closer look] Boots. Let me see those better.” Awkwardly, I pulled my trouser leg up an inch or two to oblige. He exclaims once or twice more, then he got off the elevator. I haven’t heard from him since.

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