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Joined: 06/03/2010

        My first boots were galoshes; the soft rubber slip-over shoe type things with metal snap fasteners so you could tuck your pants in and snap the galoshes tight. The galoshes tops went up about seven inches. They kept your feet dry to a point but weren’t always comfortable or easy to get on or off, especially at recess time in grade school. Galoshes stayed with me for several years until I decided it was time to upgrade to something better.
         My upgrade was a pair of high top rubber hunting boots. These boots had a molded sole and heel so you didn’t need a shoe inside but I soon discovered that they needed a pair of wool or knit socks to make them more comfortable. They had some laces up at the top of the boot which was around eight or ten inches high. They were sort of olive drab color and the only real drawback to these was leaks due to tears or punctures from things like barb wire or sharp branches while hunting or roaming the woods. My last pair was covered with bike tube patches. I liked these boots for spring smelt dipping or sucker spearing and fall puddle duck hunting in the swamps. They weren’t really the warmest in winter.
         The next upgrade was to leather hunting boots greased with waterproofing to help keep the wet out. I don’t remember all the brand names but I tried many over the years, like Redwing, Danner and Russell and even brands from discount stores if they looked substantial. Some were uninsulated and some were insulated and some were even rubber bottom leather top like the Maine hunting boots although not the famous brand which at the time I couldn’t afford. Over the years I’ve always had at least one or two pair of leather boots for hunting and usually a pair of snow-pac boots like snowmobilers wear for winter. The pac boots use the felt liner to help with cold weather and cold feet but I always wore knit socks too.
         The latest boots are available with Gore-Tex and Thinsulate linings along with other new high tech materials and are a definite improvement for cold foot protection and waterproofing. They wick moisture away from the foot and vent it out while still retaining water repellency. I keep a nice pair of mountain boots with a rugged sole and strong side leather for real ankle and shin protection and they are insulated to at least 0 degrees. The only drawback to high tech gear is some of the boots are heavy, small price to pay for comfort     
         My collection is varied but you probably can’t have just one pair of boots!