Friday, June 20, 2008

Fashion Friday: Farm Edition-Footwear

Yes, that's right. It's that time again. Time for me to show you what is hot and what is not on the farm.

I've kept you up-to-date with such shocking regularity, that I know you've come to expect a new edition every Friday. Or every 6 Fridays. Whatever.

After my last edition covering outerwear, the phone calls just poured in from farm fashion designers all over the world asking me to advise them. But never fear. I will not lose sight of my goal - to bring you, my dear reader, the very cutting edge of farmwear fashion. I know you will sleep better knowing that.

And so let us begin.

Footwear. Really, farm footwear is pretty simple. It's all about the boot.

Muck boots are my regular daily footwear necessity. Muck boots come in either black or some shade of brown and are rubber. You can get them insulated for winter, too. They come up about mid-calf and protect you from all manner of foulness. And when you step directly in the cowpie? Just hose those babies off. At only about $15, you can't lose. We all have a pair.

Instead of showing you a link, I'll just show you examples of how they go with everything...

Caleb hunting out in the pasture
Don checking a fence

Now, one thing I've learned is that sometimes, the muck boot just does not come up high enough. Sometimes, you just need a hip boot, I think.

Meagan getting chicken-manured straw out of her boots
And me, having been slimed with newborn calf manure on my Old Navy jeansOh, the humanity.

As versatile as the muck boot is, sometimes you need something sturdier. That is where the steel-toed boot comes in. When you are working with an animal that weighs 800 pounds or so and seems to have no idea where her feet actually are, a steel-toed boot can be the only thing that stands between you and a squashed foot. And that would just not be pretty.

Sadly, I do not have a pair. I couldn't find any for women. It seems that the steel-toed boot manufacturers do not care if women's toes are pulverized.

What I do have are cowboy boots. Finally, something that at least looks a little cool. Especially at a barn dance.

I opted to get cowboy boots with a treaded sole. Most cowboy boots have slick bottoms great for sliding in and out of a pair of stirrups. But that slickness isn't necessary around here, and is actually quite dangerous. Just ask the kids. They both have slick-bottomed boots and have been flat on their bottoms more often than they'd probably care to think about.

I picked up these boots from Rocky. I really like them. They are very comfortable and tough. They aren't steel-toed, but they do have a pretty tough toe. So far, Annabelle has not tested their sturdiness. They do, though, unlike the muck boots, stain. I have a nice big milk stain on them a wayward squirt. But that is okay because now they look broken in. One thing I've learned out here is that you don't want to look like you are new. You want to look like you've been farming since before you could walk. Otherwise, you get no respect.

And now, I feel I really must warn you. You may think that you don't need boots. That you can just slip on whatever shoes you already own and be perfectly fine. You can't. And you won't. Oh, you may slip by a few times, but sooner or later, you will pay.

One cautionary tale I can tell is the time I wore my Bass sandals out to the field. Hey, they were by the door, okay? Anyway, I won't bore you with the whole story. Let's just sum it up by saying there were not one, but two smashed caterpillars under my toes that I had inadvertently kicked off some grass as I walked.

And, of course, I'm sure you can picture stepping directly in the middle of a big sloppy cowpie with your cute slip-ons. It ain't pretty.

That concludes this week's Fashion Friday. No time for questions today. But, I'll catch you back here (unless you've gone running and screaming for the nearest exit) some random Friday in the future where we will cover appropriate tops and bottoms for the farm.

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