August 16th, 2015 by Ed Bruske
Nothing gets you in the mood for farming like walking around with wet feet. So it’s time to bid adieu to the Wellington boots I bought from Cabela’s in March. Within a couple of months of arriving on the farm, they started to leak. You can see the problem in this photo: the material is badly cracked and separating like crazy.
Thus, my search for a practical pair of slip-on rubber work boots continues. I started with the famous Muck boots. But having owned two pair that fell apart inside a year, I gave up on those. When I posted about it, a publicist for Muck boots contacted me immediately and offered to send me a third pair free. My wife thought I was crazy to decline. But why would I want yet another pair of boots that won’t last? Plus, what kind of writer am I if I can be bought off with a pair of boots? (Don’t answer that.)
Searching online, I found the Wellington boots on sale at Cabela’s. Since they were only $30, I decided to get a second pair for my wife. So far, hers have held up fine. But she doesn’t work in them like I do, nor is she constantly pulling them on and off all day like me.
I figured the Wellington boots would tide me over till I completed my boot research project and committed to getting a pair that really will last. Readers have recommended several different brands. I’m not sure I’m ready to spring for the $450 pair of handmade French rubber boots, but there are other options to consider. I just didn’t think I would be back to square one only a couple of months after getting these Wellingtons. Turns out the famous name doesn’t mean much.
A kindly woman in the Cabela’s customer service department urged me to send the Wellingtons back to the company in Oshkosh, NE, for replacement. Since the postage was $12.60, the boots turned out to be not such a bargain after all. Then I got an email from Cabela’s saying the Wellingtons were out of stock. They gave me 24 hours to chose something else, or they’d send a gift card for the original purchase amount. Now I’m saddled with trying to find something to buy with the gift card.
Meanwhile, I was kind of stuck for boots. Mornings around Spy Dog Farm are always wet with all the dew on the grass. I stopped at the local K-Mart looking for something to tide me over. Nothing there. Next stop was Tractor Supply, and there I found a clunky pair of rubber boots on the “clearance” shelf for just $12. They’re a size bigger than I’d normally wear, but that means they’re that much easier to slip on and off, and I can wear extra heavy socks in winter.
My wife says that because these Tractor Supply boots were so inexpensive, they’re bound to last forever. I just assumed they were made in China. But lo and behold, the stamp on the sole says “Made in U.S.A”
What could be better?