Project Description

Boots, boots and more boots!

The oldest boots I can remember was some Cowboy boots I got when I visited Dad in the States in the mid 1970’s I ruined them playing football in the street. Boots have never been a fashion thing really but did have some Monkey boots in the 70’s and some Riders for school.

I’ve always worn boots, since my apprenticeship days, we had to wear them – steel toe capped boots. Not the nicest of things just the cheap old stuff that did the job. Somedays I would go to work in them as well as wear them all day at work. On hot days it was trainers to work then put the boots on. They took ages to bed in, but cover them in old engine oil and it wasn’t long before they softened up.

I did have a pair of Doc Martens that I drove to the Isle Of Wight Scooter rally in the early 80’s, I got to the ferry, put my foot down in a puddle and my socks got wet! I looked down and the sole had dropped off and hadn’t noticed, must have just happened around the corner! I then had to use my beer money to buy some shoes! I’ve never owed a pair of Doc Martens since!

After that I was given some 1970’s motorbike boots and used those on rallies – totally not fashionable at all at the time. Those saved my feet when my con rod snapped at 70mph and sent me flying over the handle bars – I still remember the the leather soles and buckles clicking every time I rolled over!

Since then I’ve had hundreds of boots – it’s my obsessive nature. Riding a Scooter or Motorbike daily wears out boots, they wear shoes out even faster and don’t get me going about wearing poxy colourful trainers with stripes down them – what a no no! Like wearing tee shirt and no gloves on a bike – may as well wear no helmet!

I’ve spent thousands on boots, £350 a time is normal, I buy them, like them, wear them to death and have to throw them away or get them repaired. Or I buy them like them and they don’t fit!

I’ve always struggled to find boots that fit my feet – I’m always in pain, stood up, walking, stood still or sat down. I’ve a trapped nerve that comes and goes between my toes.

I’ve had my feet measured up at Altberg British boot manufacturers, then bought a load of boots expecting they would fit and be comfortable. I wore all those out and modified them my self after making a spreading boot tool shaped to my foot. In the end they went in the bin. Over the years it’s got worse, my foot size has gone up 2 sizes, I went back to Altberg and the gaffer measured me up and said ‘no wonder your struggling I’ve never seen a foot so square’.

So I buy more and more and second hand army boots to try and find a boot thats been spread out to help me. Some I wear as fashion with jeans or vintage trousers for that vintage look. Some I have for the motorbike, some I have for the Scooter, some I have for sunny days and some I have for rainy days!


Whatever the weather, whatever the journey I’ve got a pair of boots.

And as I live on a farm, boots are practical for the heavy duties and digging and wading through the mud. For that reason I wear vintage Scandinavian outdoor and Army trousers that stay at the top of the boot – this stops the trousers getting muddy and don’t have to change them all the time.

I’ve walking boots and walking boots. But at some point depending on how many miles I’ve done my feet hurt, so the next day I wear another pair, then and another pair. I can wear a different boot everyday to spread the pain. And then theres boots I wear with thick socks and some I wear with thin socks!

And as I’m an engineer I wear boots to walk to work and work in. And I have different boots for digging and jogging in!

And I have boots were the manufacturer say these are the best thing since sliced bread and won’t leak – and they do.

Part of me liking boots is the practical side of my job, farm work, biking and all the other rough stuff I do – I like the engineering side of them and how they are made.

Boots are an engineering marvel and the people who has designed machines or jigs to make them – marvels me.