These are my new boots. Aren't they cool?
I have another pair almost exactly like these in dark brown suede. I've had those boots about fifteen years, and I love them, too, but I don't wear them so much anymore. The right one has a gigantic blood and pus stain inside, near the top, where my cancer oozed all over it that summer right after I injured it. After I sat down for a month with my foot up, per an emergency room doctor's advice, I went back to work while pursuing a medical solution. That took months. My cancer grew and grew, became ulcerated, and the ulceration became infected. My leg swelled and swelled, and I cut my hours and cut them again, and eventually my second- and third-opinion specialists came back from vacation -- one of them twice -- and found time to give me some very bad news, which made me make a hard decision and some concrete plans.
I kept working right up until a few days before surgery, fewer and fewer hours every week. And those last couple of months, my leg swelled so much and required and bled through so much bandaging that I couldn't fit it into a pant leg and had to wear skirts all the time. The brown suede boots that look like these nice new black leather ones complement a skirt well. They are kind of loose and have unconstricted ankles, so they also accommodated swelling well. The right boot also helped hold up the blood-and-pus-soaked bandages, which tended to sag and fall. That's why it has that stain. By the end of my shift, the bandages were usually soaked all the way through.
I also don't like to wear them so much now because they don't have a lot of traction left, and the heel is about an eighth-inch too short for my prosthetic foot. My new boots have perfect, half-inch heels and traction. See?
I think that traction will last about a year.
These boots don't have zippers. It took me 20 minutes a week ago to get the right one on over my fake foot using the technique I have demonstrated in my famous rubber boot post so we could go out to a jazz concert. This is because dress boots often have a cardboard inset inside at the heel to keep the leather stiff around the back of the foot, and there is no shoehorn long enough, thin enough and also strong enough to help get such a thing around a rubber foot heel uncrumpled. I don't know if the second time putting them on will be this difficult. I do know that after all that, it will be awhile before I change shoes.
I bought the brown suede boots at a thrift store. These nice new black ones came in a box emblazoned "CL by Laundry." They are made in China. I found them at a small discount women's clothing chain called Cohoes priced around fifty bucks, forty with the 20% off coupon I found in the local paper.
It took me three years to find these boots. Want to talk about why I think that might be? Stay tuned.