Murray and I both have 30 year old Hanwag hiking boots. Unfortunately they have been sitting in the camping gear cupboard for about 8 years unused. Here is what what they look like.
Murray and I slowly increase our mileage in our hiking boots. We walk to the library at Bonnie Doon Mall, about a 10 km round trip.
We arrive at the library, pick up the book on hold for me and start our walk home. About a block later, it feels like I have mud stuck on the bottom of my boot. Something is scraping the ground each time I take a step. But I haven’t walked through any mud! I stop to look at my boot. The bottom of my boot has come apart and the back end is flapping like a flip flop. It isn’t just the sole that has come loose, it is the sole and half of the cushioning section.
We don’t have anything with us to temporarily fix the boot, so I continue to walk home flapping. I leave a trail of boot crumbs. By the time we reach home, my boot is flapping quite well.
I phone Track ‘N Trail, the shop where I originally bought the boots and ask them for the name of a shoe repair place where I could take them. They recommend Corona Shoe Renu. I go there and they give me the sad news that my boots are unrepairable. The chatty fellow tells me that our climate is very dry and when boots, or shoes, sit too long unused, they do dry out. This is what probably caused my boot to disintegrate.
So, boot shopping is top on my list of things to do. I buy a pair of Scarpas from Mountain Equipment Co-op but after a 2 km walk around an indoor track, I decide that they are a bit too narrow and I may have trouble on a longer hike. I go to Track ‘N Trail and ask the young fellow to fit me in some boots. Well, guess what? I am back into a pair of Hanwags. They are great boots, lots of cushioning and fit my feet perfectly.
I walk the indoor track and walk outside through our river valley and am comfortable knowing I picked the right boot. West Coast Trail, here we come.