The Soul of My Boots

Karrimor Boots

To most “normal “people replacing footwear is a relatively regular occurrence, whether it be for practical, fashion or “just because I can” reasons. This week I find myself in new territory. I am actually getting sentimental over the necessity to dispose of my well-loved but even more well worn out walking boots.

Shoe Shame

Around three times in the last 5 years of JWalking I have actually worn a pair of heels, each time being for a fabulous family wedding and I loved it each time, even though I tottered around like I had visited the bar a few too many times. It was great to feel a little more lady-like, be a just a smidge closer to Jonno’s height and that of our sons and daughter-in-laws and cast off the endearing hobbit references for a day or two.

Dave and Ali Wedding

Our daughter-in-law, Tabitha, is a successful freelance footwear designer and author (Tabitha 50M). Her designs are innovative and inspiring and I secretly like to think that our philosophies on sustainability and longevity are not a million miles apart albeit a different market area. I invariably have what can only be called shoe shame whenever we meet up but I have learnt to cope with this slightly irrational feeling. I would look even odder in jeans, a waterproof jacket and stilettos. (I hope Jonno doesn’t get any ideas!)

Tabitha LInkedIn

We are so proud that Tabitha has recently featured at London Fashion Week as a part of Positive Fashion which is an initiative to encourage positive change in the fashion industry with a regard for the environment, people, community and craftsmanship. The emphasis being on repurposing materials and sustainably crafting the footwear of the future.

Tabitha Knotted Ankle Boots
“Knotted Ankle Boots”
Tabitha Leaf Mules
“Novakaeru leaf mules in collaboration with @joaomaraschin”

Some of these things we unwittingly uphold through the lifestyle we have. Adopting these principles in the world of fashion must be much more challenging but things are changing and Tabitha is at the forefront.  I always say that when the day comes to take off our JWalking boots for the final time I will hijack Tabitha to be my personal footwear designer/shopper. What a day that would be!!

Happy Feet

If these soon to be discarded but wonderful boots (Karrimor Mount Mid) had a tracker, what would it have recorded since their inaugural outing in June 2017?

  • A total of 6 months walking and working in the Scottish Highlands
  • Over 25 house sit locations and dog walking duties
  • Exploring Snowdonia, the Northumberland coast and two trips to the beaches of Devon
  • Overseas trips to Normandy, Holland, Norway and Ireland
  • Winter trips to Krakow and Munich
  • Dodging falling trees and floods of storms, most recently Ciara, Dennis and Jorge
  • Countless train journeys
Schiehallion Munro in the Cairgorns Scotland
“Hiking up Schiehallion in the Scottish Cairngorns”
Bergen Norway Wooden Houses
“Shopping in Bergen in Norway”
On the Road Again - Antrim Coast
“The Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland”

It would be interesting to see how many happy steps this equates to over 3 years. These boots have carried me safely and comfortably on many a journey but what adventures will their replacement bring? Although the boots are split and ready for the bin, I shall keep the laces – upcycling or an excuse for memento? You decide.

We keep being told that we should be sponsored by Karrimor !

Hopelessly Sentimental

Tabitha recently wrote an article for Sacre Bleu! a quarterly art and fashion magazine. It was a thought provoking piece about material possessions, in this case footwear, being “an emotional and intellectual companion – capable of anchoring memories.” How true is this? I am sure if I asked anyone of my friends what a particular pair of shoes, dress or item of jewellery reminded them of they would have a memory to share.

Housesitting in Cheriton Hampshire
“Walking the terriers at the housesit in Cheriton, Hampshire”
Coastal Walk in Devon
“Exploring Morte Point on the Coastal Walk in Devon”

Another sentence that jumps off the page to me is that footwear can remind us of “people and environments visited and remembered” and this is certainly the case for me. Even though we do not have many possessions to trial this on – these simple old boots prove the point.

Hooray New Boots!

New boot shopping will begin in earnest in a few weeks or so in readiness for a few hiking trips in the summer. I am sorely tempted to purchase the same brand and style to “Karri” on the story. At £31 in 2017 they were a great value for money and I am looking forward to the new ones carrying me on some new adventures and, until that first off road experience, there being slightly less shoe shame. The bench has been set quite high by my soul mates. (Not to be confused with my sole mate, Jonno!!)

Pinterest - Soul of my Boots



  1. Your daughter is amazing! What fantastic shoes! 😀

    I know how you feel about your hiking bool soul mates. I am always so sad when I wear a pair out and have to find new ones. Especially if they are super comfy. I hope you find an amazing new pair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tabitha’s shoes are beautiful, I love the knotted heels, but a) I couldn’t walk in them and b) I looked at the prices! Mind you, I understand I might not be quite the demographic she’s aiming for 😀. I’ll stick to the same flat boots that I’ve bought 6 times now …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It will be a tough day Jo when you finally say goodbye to your beloved boots. They have done you so proud and carried you through many adventures. Good luck with choosing the next pair, they have big boots 🥾🥾 to fill😃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I can totally understand your sentimentality for a much loved pair of boots. And yes, why not keep the shoelaces! 🥾 Losing a pair of much loved boots is like losing old favourite slippers but anyway happy new shoe shopping! Well done to Tabitha too, what a great achievement. BTW I share your hobbit syndrome. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Many congratulations to Tabitha. I share your sentimentality for great walking boots. I have fond memories of climbing more than 25 Scottish munroes in the 90’s, including Schiehallion. These days I only walk on the flat, and have a sentimentality for wellies.


  6. Happy new boots Jo. I’ve never thought about being sentimental about footwear. Probably because I’ve never spent so long getting to know one pair of boots that intimately. With all those miles and adventures you would make a brilliant brand ambassador for Karrimor.

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave us a comment, it always makes our day.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.