Any person who has spent an appreciable amount of time hiking through the hills and hollers of the Ozarks undoubtedly owns and loves a favorite pair of boots. It does not matter how many pairs of boots one may own, nor for what purpose, there will always be one favored pair among them. I own few shoes. But I own many boots. When your activities revolve around the outdoors, you tend to get that way. And indeed, I do have a favorite pair of boots. I just call them “my boots”.
Now in the winter, just after 6″ of snow has fallen and it is 10 degrees outside, I would probably choose to put on my insulated high-top hunting style boots to tromp around in the woods. If the snow conditions happened to be just right, and I had the energy, and if my back weren’t hurting from lugging diesel fuel, then I might elect to lace up my cross country ski boots, step into my cross country skis, grab the ski poles and pretend that I were still young enough to do these sort of things. Afterwards, I would probably want to lounge around a warm fire in the fireplace, which means that I would have to trek through the snow to get firewood. This would call for my lightweight, zip-up insulated snow boots, which are perfectly matched to this task.
When a more formal occasion presents itself, such as an anniversary or birthday dinner at a sit-down restaurant, then the footwear of choice would be a pair of western boots (cowboys wear cowboy boots, and I’m not a cowboy – hence, western boots). When a less formal occasion presents itself, such as manure management in the paddock, then mucking boots are called for and nothing less will do (note to self: never economize on mucking boots …yuck).
Now that it is springtime, and the spring rains have (fortunately) begun in earnest, the boot I might select during a prolonged rainy period might be my pull-on high top waterproof work boots. They will keep my feet dry, they have good traction and fair ankle support, but best of all, they can be slipped on and off easily and quickly (a godsend when a chore involves going in and out of the house repeatedly with muddy boots).
In the summertime, I usually reach for my light weight, waterproof lace-up work boots, which are an excellent choice as a general purpose boot, and due to their sturdiness and light weight, perform very well for a hiking boot.
All of the boots that I have just mentioned are specialized boots of one sort or another. To recap, there were insulated high-top hunting boots, cross country ski boots, insulated snow boots, western boots, mucking boots, high top pull-on work boots, and lightweight waterproof lace-up work boots. In total, I might wear these boots for a combined total of ten percent of my shod time.
The other ninety percent of the time I simply wear “my boots”.