So what’s with the combat boots? That’s a good question, and one I’ve been asked a few times over the past two days since posting on Facebook that I was breaking in my new combat boots because they gave me blisters.
You’d think I’d posted some sort of Obama/Romney debate point, judging by the number of responses I got on one little profile post stating I was following my USMC friend’s advice and soaking the boots in water, then wearing them wet to shape them to my feet so they wouldn’t hurt anymore. Which they did. Hurt, I mean. A lot. Well, the comments and advice and questions and criticisms came fast and furious, showing me exactly who was manning their Facebook feeds that sunny Sunday morning. This led me to believe that how one breaks in one’s combat boots is a very personal decision.
And yes, I resisted when my friend told me to fill my brand new Bates boots up with water and soak them until the pigskin turned dark. I would never dream of soaking my cowboy boots in water. Granted, my snakeskin cowboy boots have also never given me bloody blisters the way the initial, short-term wearing of my new combat boots did. They’re the right size, trust me. I’m the perfect sample shoe size, and have been forever, so that’s not the issue. But I do think my socks were too thin the first time I tried to wear them, and that led to the heel blisters. But anyway, after my friend, who’s been in the military for more than half his life, argued with me for literally days about this, at times using some colorful redneck-isms I will have to write into a future book, I finally agreed. I would try his method, as horrible as it sounded. I would soak my pretty new boots and then wear them wet until they dried.
So that’s what led to Sunday being Boot Break-in Day, which found me kneeling next to the bathtub trying to get the damn boots to stop floating and stay submerged. Which led to step two, me wearing 2 pairs of sock (1 thin and 1 so thick when I laced the boots my feet went numb) and plastic bags, and wet boots for the remainder of the day.
And then again in my slightly less wet boots the next day, but with only one pair of normal thickness socks with the boots laced, since the boot expert reprimanded me for doing it wrong on Day 1.
This brings us back around to the why? Why do I, a civilian, need combat boots in the first place?
This is why…The Boot Campaign
In a nutshell, the Boot Campaign is a grassroots effort founded in Texas whose goal is to get as many pair of combat boots on civilians as there are in active duty service, which they hope will promote patriotism, and raise awareness and funds for organizations that meet the unique needs of our military and their families. Please do go to the site of this registered not-for-profit organization (a 501c3), donate if you wish, check out the charities the Boot Campaign supports, the cool things in their storefront, and the pictures of the celebrities and everyday people too, who are participating in this effort.
AND if you’re at an upcoming book event where I’ll be, namely the RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City next May, and Authors After Dark in Savannah next August, look for me in my combat boots. Don’t be shy, come right up, take a picture, and ask me about my boots!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, it’s been 2 days straight now of wearing these boots for 12 hours a day, and I remain, so far, blister free.