From last Sunday through Wednesday, I was in Seattle for a conference. The conference was at the Washington State Convention Center, and I was staying a hotel three blocks away, all uphill. I had no idea, before that conference, just how hilly Seattle really is.

I mean, sure, I got an idea when I had my brief visit last summer after the coast backpacking trip, but staying there for four days drove the point home, directly into my calves and feet.

And I had a mission on that trip. I wanted to get myself to that lovely flagship REI store and find myself some boots that would work. My boots from Cabella’s that I wore last year fit, but they didn’t protect my feet from the rocks on the coast trip. Previous boots from the Boise REI had protected my feet well but squeezed my toes so much that I still have issues with my right foot’s toes.

And so, I did a speed walk after my last session on Monday night, from the convention center to REI. And there, with the help of a very nice salesman, I found my boots.

They fulfilled my basic requirements of having a good toe bumper, waterproof, shank, over the ankle height… and they fit my toes. The salesman also got their boot guy to do some stretching on the outer ankle of the right boot, which was a bit tight. But I think the other parts can be adjusted as long as that toe box has sufficient room. 
I was advised to wear them frequently to break them in, and I’ve already started. I’m excited for the hiking season to begin again so I can see if I’ve finally found the boot that I can wear out. 

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