The mucks and the mire

Something that I learned many years ago when I ran a lot of miles was that shoes used for running needed to be quality and replaced often to keep up their usefulness.

When the running shoes I was using started to break down, I noticed more back and knee pain, and it was even more torturous to put in the miles. Believe it or not, on the average, I was running around 30 miles a week.

Why is it a wonder then when I became a farmer that I purchased the top of the line, at least as I was told, in quality mud/muck footwear?

It took a lot of dog treat sales to purchase the pair of Muck brand clogs I fell in love with, but these shoes served me faithfully through five years of seasons. They worked so well that I figured I would not need to purchase another pair for a very long time.

My attitude changed this past November when I noticed my feet seemed to be getting wet in spite of ensuring I wasn’t splashing through puddles that were deeper than the waterproof material on the shoes.

Maybe I wasn’t being as careful walking through wet grass or the mud of the chicken run. Or perhaps I was just mistaking the cold for being damp.

Since the pigs have arrived, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the barn and outdoors in spite of the weather. Call it “nesting,” but I’ve wanted to organize the space where they are a bit better and start to clean up things in the barn that I have neglected for a while.

It was on one of these cleaning afternoons that I finally noticed the culprit of the dampness. The entire heel of both Muck shoes had come loose and was allowing the damp, the cold and the nastiness of the barnyard to enter the shoe and come in contact with my feet. Gross.

I’m not going to lie, part of the frugalness that sets deep within my being said I could just get some bread bags like we used to have in school to put our feet in and prevent the moisture from getting in.

However, since I don’t eat a lot of bread, it would take a couple of months to gather up enough plastic bags to make it through the year, not to mention how badly my feet would feel from the nonbreathable material.

So I guess I need to add new Muck shoes to my household needs list. I’m not one to hold still for very long, so it’s not surprising that shoes wear out quickly. In the future, I really should start paying better attention to the footwear used to move about the farm.

However, if you see me eating a lot of bread over the next month or so, you know I changed my mind.

Until next time…