Sole Improvement

By , September 8, 2016

I have a new pair of shoes that needs breaking in. I love the fit, they’re perfectly comfortable and warm. But, the soles need help.

I’ve only worn the shoes outdoors a couple of times. The new soles, while built for rugged terrain, seem to be too new to provide proper traction.

I noticed slippage as I walked around, but I didn’t realize the seriousness of the problem until Tuesday, when I actually took a tumble.

Rain that day had wet the grounds, particularly the rocks in the dooryard. I rounded the cabin, carrying a bucket, and stepped on a wet rock. Next thing I knew, I lay on the ground, rather battered, especially around my right elbow and leg.

I wasn’t hurt badly, just very unhappy and, as it turned out, bruised. My step on the rock slipped as if I’d hit a patch of black ice.

These shoes are supposedly designed for winter use—I admit to using them a little prematurely. But, if I continue to slip this badly now, what good will they be in ice and snow?

Hopefully, this will change. On the next dry day, I’ll take a hike on the rocks somewhere. Hopefully, that’ll scuff the new soles into reliable usability.

We are particularly mindful of the danger of falling. In one of my former jobs I wrote a lot about fall prevention for senior citizens, so it’s ever in the back of my mind (see How Spruce Needles May Be Our Key to Aging in Place). Our home environment offers far too many opportunities to misstep, trip, slip, or otherwise fall down, and to injure ourselves in doing so. In 11 years of ownership, we’ve only broken one bone on the homestead, when Michelle’s mother suffered a greenstick fracture on an early visit. We’ve been luckier than some (see Missteps) but we work hard to hedge our bets, as it were.

Ironically, these new shoes replace a couple of older pairs that have worn through the soles. I used them so hard that rocks and tree roots had perforate the thick soles. Walking around the house, the shoes squeak like children’s toys as air squeezes in and out of the shoe’s air chambers.

I beat the heck out of my shoes around here, apparently these new ones need a bit of that beating before they become fully safe to use!

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