I was looking at the sale shoes and there was a fella trying on boots with the shops boot fella. I had to sit next them as the wee seat pod is right there and I’m not sitting on the steps up to the mezzanine floor, I mean that would be rude on several levels. So we got chatting between us, that’s what people do.
The heavily branded promo softshell that I was wearing says many things “I didn’t pay for this”, “I bought this on ebay because I like logos”, “I think I’m clever”, “I want to look like I’m a professional climber”, “Look at my mates website, it’s written all over me” being some of the most likely, and indeed one is true. But I suddenly felt a bit conspicuous in it. Anyway, I was asked about the footwear thing as I was trying on new Salomons and I will not lie “I don’t wear boots in the mountains anymore”. The customer looked back in disbelief and then intrigue, the boot fella’s heart sank.
One hour we were at this, I tried not to, I did. But, “My feet are achey and tired when I come back from the hills in my boots, isn’t it worse in those plimsoles?”, “No” says I, you adapt to it quite quickly. “But what about ankle support, do you not fall over?”, you know what’s coming…”Well, when neanderthal man was chasing a sabre toothed bear across the tundra with his spear in his hand, or walking south to avoid the snows of winter he wasn’t wearing stout three season boots was he? That’s what you have ankles, they move and work with the terrain rather than hold you rigid regardless of whether it’s a pile of bricks or a duvet you’re walking on”.
Pow! The bolt of lightning struck, he went for the trail shoes. “Aye, they’re light…I like these…”. I’d gone too far, I had to get out of there and quickly.
The customer went for the boots originally because that’s what he always used. How do you break that in the minds of every long suffereing overburdened hill goer? The boot fella knows his stuff and was well equipped to help the now confused customer in his diverted footwear quest. So the expertise is there if you ask for it.
However, having escaped that one unscathed and I now curse the day that we didn’t intercept in the case of the poor sod in Tiso who was being sold B2 boots and G12 crampons when he plainly had no need for them, but “Well, winters coming” and “These are the right things for climbing the Ochils”.