There’s no nice way to put it but here it is anyway… I can’t find a single pair of hiking boots not made overseas. It’s just beyond me. My search for buying local, at least where boots are considered, is over. But how’s the old saying go - something about that it’s not a sin to admit defeat but never to have tried?
The most disheartening thing, I think, are all the manufacturers who say that they make their boots in America but seriously do not. Red Wing Shoes, Patagonia – I went to their stores only to find Made in China labels on every shoe. I mean, come on, a little honesty, folks!
With my options limited, I chose the lesser of two evils. I purchased a pair of boots made in the EU. The European Union has environmental laws far stricter than China’s, and a lot less slave labor, so I knew I could minimize my guilt, somewhat. I ended up going with a LOWA boot.
Now, if I can be allowed to sing their praises, after seeing that the boot wasn’t made in China, I didn’t need to do a whole lot of comparing. The LOWA boot fit me so well and was so comfortable, I knew I’d found the right boot right away. It was really astonishing.
So, the boot battle is over and I’ve learned that I can’t buy local all the time. With some things, it’s just not possible. But, again, the idea isn’t to get everything right 100% of the time. The idea is to do your best and try your hardest, to invest your time and effort into your ethics and do the right thing whenever you can.
Now, to plan my next hike…