I'm a fairly grizzled long distance rider: in the last 4 years I've explored great chunks of Eastern Europe, Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, Kurdistan and other distant lands; I travel light and I've learned a thing or two about kit and thrift.
So God only knows why I did this to my boots.
“I bought these boots three or four years ago from the Chippewa Boot company in Wisconsin USA. They call them the Fireman boot; I liked them because of the zip up front – so much quicker to get on or off than with any other I own. They were comfortable straight out of the box and I’ve worn them for 45,000 miles on some of the worst roads in the worst weather on the planet.
A couple of years back the clutch on my Victory Vegas started to play up when I was riding through the Balkans. I got the clutch fixed in Osijek, East Croatia but I‘d ripped the surface of the left hand boot because the gears needed a lot of ooomph to change up.
Meantime I’ve seen the drift toward enormous Adventure boots but in truth I’ve never understood why you’d want boots weighing a couple of kilos hanging off the end of your leg. It’s hard to dance in them. And these Chippewa’s protected my ankles on several occasion when I found myself laying under the bike in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
So – you’ll understand I love these boots; I didn’t want to buy any new style and replacing them would cost fifteen tanks of petrol… that’s a lot of miles.
And then, lo and behold, stumbling across the Net I found The Boot Repair Company. By appointment to the military, police, fire brigades and other heroes. I wrote to the boss, Tom Forbes, and asked if he could not just replace the worn out soles but repair the torn surface. “Sure” he wrote, “leave it to me.”
A courier arrived, took the boots away; couple of weeks later, a courier arrived returning the repaired items. And here’s the truly splendid result. A red gear change patch – to match both my Victory and Moto Guzzi Stelvio colour schemes and... red stitching detail on the soles. Cost? Two and half tanks of petrol – and that included the courier.
As I write I’m just ordered some red leather laces to online; regrettably sometimes I go a bit over the top…
New boots for old and get to save two thousand miles of petrol?
No contest … why would'nt you?”
Chippewa Boots https://www.chippewaboots.com/
Tom Forbes, The Boot Repair Company http://www.bootrepaircompany.co.uk/