Gardening clothes

@alan , bought a pair of the HISEA rubber boots. Very easy to slip on and off and that’s a feature I wanted. Also comfortable. Also came with a lifetime warranty that I can’t imagine ever needing looking at the construction. Thanks for the recommendation.

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I’m someone who used to strictly buy work clothes from thrift stores. I still do, as much as I can, but my preferences in clothing have changed as I have aged and moved around the country. Among other things for a decent pair of work pants, the local thrift stores are charging far more.

I expect my clothes to work as hard as I do. I also have come to see work clothes as less one size fits all tasks, and more, certain clothes are the right tool for the job at hand.

I am quite particular about boots. Did i say i was particular? My boots are from kennetrek, and for those who think things should be cheap, you are warned. be sitting down if you look them up. I’m not likely to buy a pair of boots…or any shoe…without being able to put them on. I realized some time ago that my “comfort zone” in what I spend on a pair of boots is (was) about 80 to 100 bucks. What I was finding was that there was very little or nothing in my preferred price range I actually enjoyed putting on my feet, and when I did get them, they were quickly replaced due to wearing out and falling apart. There comes a point when the footwear is more ducktape than original shoe and you just gotta.

So I went looking for better footwear. As the price went up, my willingness to accept what I perceive as deficiencies decreased quite rapidly. Falls apart? yep, time for a new boot. not a new pair, a new boot brand. Not completely comfortable? yep, definitely time for a new boot brand. What I found was not cheap. so i can put a price on a pair of boots. my feet being as comfortable at the end of a day as at the beginning? i can’t put a price on that, but it’s also not something i’m willing to sacrifice.

Like many here, I work outdoors. I’m in mud, water, wet grass, compost, mulch piles, you name it. I keep muck boots on hand for when it i know it’s gonna be wet and muddy and leather just isn’t gonna last. when my current pair wears out, which i can see the cracking getting far enough that it’s time for me to start watching for sales, i’m most likely gonna get another pair.

I’m willing to listen to suggestions. just know, that when I say i’ll take under advisement, i mean just that. and how it feels on my feet is more important, and that can be highly subjective, in which I am the final arbiter. you can be the final arbiter in your house. i am in mine. and my wife lets me think so.

likewise, my work gloves are a very specific brand of not cheap gloves. Again, i arrived where i am by trying just about any cheap glove I could locate. if the gloves from the hardware store lasted a couple months, i considered that about right. more to the point, even when wearing double gloves, I was still picking out thorns and prickers every evening. my current pair of work gloves cost 70, and has lasted for close to 18 months. Since I switched, nothing has gotten through them, but I also haven’t handled a lot of barbed wire, so I guess the stress test has yet to be thorough.

there are going to be those who see the price tag and go off. once upon a time, I would have been one of them. My preferences have changed, and my willingness to compromise performance has sharply declined.

words from my grandfather…buy quality, you only cry once.

still…i wish things were cheaper.

The price of skilled labor is higher in the U.S. than many other countries an it’s not as if the U.S. has a monopoly on the technology of boot making. The Carolina boots I mentioned used to be made in the U.S., but the cost of labor here rose to the point that craftsman from China were used instead. Now Keen is making quality boots in India. The hiking boots I used to buy were Vasques made in Italy, but prices kept going up and then the boots disappeared.

I’m on my feet all working day with much of it being climbing up and down a ladder continuingly as I prune fruit trees. Then I will often drag heavy loads of brush long distances to brush piles.

I have had plantar fasciitis in the past but I learned to use only very stiff soles and haven’t had it flair up for years. On some boots I wear thin metal inserts that are quite rigid, certainly in any rubber boots I
might wear. The only other thing I need is for the boots to hold my feet securely. I can’t buy shoes in most stores because they don’t carry wide sizes. If I order a pair in the mail and they don’t fit properly, I can return them free of charge just dropping them off on a site that is on the way to many of the places I work. Once you find a boot that fits, you can likely order them again for replacement. I wore the Carolinas for 10 years replacing them 5 times before they discontinued the model.

One other thing, I buy boots large enough to wear very thick Merino wool socks inside. J.B. Field’s Icelandic “30 Below XLR” Merino Wool Thermal Sock × 3. are the brand and style I buy and they come in packs of 3 for $45. They are extremely thick and 20% nylon so last a very long time. Cool in hot weather and warm when it’s cold. They wick sweat.

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LL Bean has become a luxury brand based on high quality outdoorsy clothing and its general trendyness. Years ago I purchased a couple of their river driver shirts from a discount outlet for a fraction of their usual cost at LLB. These shirts are double layered with wool on the outside and comfortable cotton on the inside and they are a heavy, very long lasting shirt now made in Canada. They are very warm and the wool is not very attractive to moths, which has become a crucial issue for me- I have a drawfull of once beautiful and luxurious cashmere sweaters (a couple of them woven in Scotland) that look like the wearer was killed by a shotgun blast. I still wear them in spite of the swiss cheese affect of all the holes because they are comfortable and warm but I’m happy to have an alternative that functions in much the same way. I used to purchase them in late winter sales and at thrift shops, but that era is over. You can find some reasonably priced cashmere clothing on E-bay however.

I went to the LLB site and found a couple of them at about 40% off which made them almost reasonable in my book. I ordered two because it gave me free shipping and liked them after seeing and wearing them so much I ordered another two (on sale in limited sizes and colors)- one for me and one for my NHamp. located brother who loves outdoor sports. These are great shirts for all seasons but summer. I should also mention that they are long enough to cover my long torso without pulling out of my pants when I’m climbing apple trees. They offer tall sizes for exceptionally long torsos, but regular is good enough for me.