These are my Wellington Gardeners. I bought them ‘way back in the 80’s, and they cost me more than $100.00. That was a lot of money back then. Heck, for me, it’s a lot of money even now!
My Wellies are made of real rubber and have a reinforced shank. It was the reinforced shank that sold me on them. I’d suffered bruised and swollen arches too many springs; brought on by forcing shovels, spades, or forks into hard soil and through tangled roots. The reinforced shank would spare me that discomfort.
More than twenty years have passed and my boots are still serving me well. They are still waterproof, still work-worthy, and they still have tread on the soles. These days, I mostly use them for walking muddy trails but I’m still very grateful to have them.
These are my Birkis (Birkenstock clogs). I bought them in the 90’s so they’re not quite so old as my Wellies. Like my Wellies, they cost more than $100.00. I had to save up for them.
My Birkis are made of plastic, with cork insoles that provide great arch support. I bought them because I was told that the arch support would help me maintain better posture and thus reduce my lower back pain. They did.
I’ve worn my Birkis a lot. Except in snow or on the very hottest days of summer, they are my every day shoes. I love them because they’re easy to step in and out of, because they improve my posture, because they're comfortable to walk in, and because they keep going and going.
The insoles are replaceable. I’m on my third set now.
There’s not much tread left on the soles of my Birkis. I’ll have to think about a new pair within the next year or so. I’m saving up.
What do my Wellies and my Birkis have in common? They’re not pretty but they’re practical. They’re durable. They're comfortable. They’re still about the same price they were when I bought them all those years ago. They were designed with a specific purpose in mind and they fulfill their purpose very well.
Investment footwear means different things to different people: For some it means Manolos or Jimmy Choos. For some it means custom ordered and handmade, For me it means Wellies and Birkis. I’m so glad I have them.