There an element of the irreplaceable in something has been handmade. These boots were made to fit my narrow feet perfectly. The shaft is purposely small to accommodate my bird-like calves. I know about the raw product. I can tell you which parts are calf skin, and which are sheep skin, and the process for dying the leather. I learned about the stitching and methodology of customizing boots for stick legs like mine. I've hashed over the idea with their maker of unique and handmade, and the frustration that it is fading. Even in Guatemala, it is an uphill battle to compete against mainstream production.
I've been breaking my boots in over the last two weeks, and while they are still rather stiff, the process is worth it. Soon they will wrap themselves around my feet and hug them through wild adventures and trials alike. I know they are just shoes, but there is a soulful element that is undeniable. Given the time, they will become a wordless journal of the places we've crossed, and things we've been through. They will tell a story- one I hope of passion, long journeys, difficult choices, and restoration.