I have a really ridiculous number of boots (well, okay, at least they’re in pairs – I suppose really ridiculous would be an odd number of them, assuming a two-legged wearer). I was just realizing this morning that it makes me slightly sad that the one I’m wearing today don’t have any story; like my earrings, most of my boots do have a story. (Actually, my earrings come in two kinds: ones I’ve made, and ones with a story attached. Some are both at once.)

There’s the high-heeled Doc Martens I bought in the Netherlands – I actually tried on a tall (I mean, comes further up the leg) version of those at a street market in Amsterdam, but decided they were probably impractical – and being sold on the street, might well be counterfeit. So back home in Eindhoven I bought the ankle-high version, something like these. They’re surprisingly comfortable; mine have more of a platform in front so the heels don’t feel as high as they look.

There are the boots I bought during shopping sprees in the US, during the years I lived abroad (in Europe, clothes and shoes cost more; in Taiwan, things tend to be either cheap and shoddy or designer and expensive). There are three pair of those: the tall brown boots, which I hurriedly replaced with nearly identical ones last year on a lunchtime run to DSW, after the original ones sprang a pinpoint leak in the sole that let water in; the tan cowboy boots I bought in a farm coop in southern Oregon, on the theory that as an American abroad, cowboy boots are my birthright even though I’m actually an East-Coast girl; and the black cowboy boots I bought the next year because I liked the tan ones so much. (Unfortunately, that last pair are much less comfortable than the tan ones, even though they’re the same size in the same brand.)

There are the really ornate boots I bought last month in Wyoming – yes I have three pair of cowboy boots – because they just straddle the line between fabulous and ridiculous, and were on sale for half price. They’ll remind me of that ski trip whenever I wear them, plus they’re just fun to wear.

There are the duck boots I bought after spending the day at a regatta where it was pouring down rain all day and the gaps between parts of the dock resulted in me going ankle-deep in water – not that it made me much wetter, by that point. I wore them to work, too, one day last winter when we got a snowstorm that mostly shut this city down.

And there are the ones I think of as THE boots, my Rossi Endura boots. I’ve been wearing them since I bought them in 2009 in Tasmania on our second trip to Australia, and they have years left in them. I wanted to buy a pair of Blundstone boots, after seeing a guide on our first trip to Australia hike all over the Outback in great comfort in them, but the guy in the shoestore in Hobart didn’t want to sell them to me. They’d recently moved production from Tasmania to Korea, so he talked me into getting a pair of Rossis because they were at least made in Australia (not Tassie, though). I’ve been glad ever since, because they’re the best boots ever – I can walk for miles in them, off-trail or on any surface, they’re waterproof, yet they’re still nice enough for work even with dress slacks. (Granted it might help if I ever polished or waxed them.)

I’ve also got the dusty-red low boots I was wearing when I began this entry, a pair of gray ones in the same style (both Born Raisa; some light hikers from Merrell, I think; some black Teva waterproof tall boots. But it’s never as much fun wearing boots that don’t come with a story attached.