Never underestimate the importance of a good pair of boots
Boots are some of your most important pieces of equipment around the flock. They protect you and they help to keep your flock healthy by avoiding transmission (you should have a dedicated pair that is only used around your yard.)
Oh, to be sure, there are tons of boots to choose from, some are cute, some are fanciful, and some even come with stacked heels.
Here’s what you need to know. Fit the boot to your purpose. For some of us, we spend hours in our boots and that means we want boots that will give our feet support. The day you find me wearing high –heeled boots is the day you can pack me up and send me to live at the home with grandma.
Another thing is that my feet have to remain dry. Dry and comfortable feet are happy feet.
What this means is that you need to not be swayed by the cute boots. While they may be adorable, during a cold snap (and we’re talking well below zero, here in New Hampshire) that cute neon-colored thin rubber just might crack. Cracks let in water as well as bacteria. This is not good. Your feet will not be happy.
Figure out what your needs are and then match a boot to those needs. If you live in a warmer climate, you probably don’t need insulation. If you don’t worry about tucking your pants into your boots then you won’t need one that is wider at the top. My point here is that you need to figure out what your needs are *before* you buy the boot. Match the shoe to the purpose. Don’t just buy the boot because it’s cute or on sale.
Those will be the boots that sit, unused in your closet.
I look for tall boots that end right under my knees. I want a steel shank in the toe box in case something falls on my foot (and when you work around a coop, something will always fall on your foot.) I want my boots to be able to withstand the elements while keeping me comfortable – this means I have a summer pair and an insulated winter pair.
It also means I stay away from the trendy boots and instead go to the more expensive, durable brands that are well made and will last years. When you’re outside, standing in a pile of coop muck, or you’re wading through the spring mud in order to get feed and water to your flock, trust me you’ll appreciate the work you put in selecting a good boot.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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