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Boots, Bras, and Balance

Published: 3/16/2010
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By Maddy Butcher

I was bumbling around before dawn one morning last week, looking for a bra to wear before getting dressed, swilling some coffee, and heading out to the barn.
I have a grand total of two bras in my possession. One is usually clean. One is usually in the wash. (Ok, I may have a few lacy things, but they don't count for everyday wear.)

Sad, huh?

I had to laugh as I pulled on my boots and considered my Boot to Bra Ratio: about 7 to 2.

Balanced or imbalanced?
You be the judge:

No, I’m not going to post photos of my undergarments. But I will wax nostalgic about my boot collection.
First, in my defense: Boots are essential for one's comfort, for utility in all four seasons, and for versatility.
I used to tell my sons: If Mom isn’t happy, no one’s going to be happy.

That’s the way I feel about my feet: If my feet aren’t happy, nothing else will be either.

I have boots I ride in regularly. I have boots in which I do mostly barn chores. I’ve tried to have dress boots, but inevitably, they make their way to the barn after a night on the town.

Most are Ariats. After trying Justins and others, I’ve found Ariats to be the ones I can stand in all day. I have a wide foot and tend to be tough on footwear. Ariats can handle the abuse. (The same cannot be said for their clogs.)

Most of my boots have little or no tread. Treads stick in stirrups. Treads drag mug into the house.

Since I know my precise size, I usually order from They have the most styles and the cheapest prices. I also discovered with one not-so-good pair, that BootBarn has good customer service.

Pictured on this page:
An old black pair of lacers. I bought them during one of my many summers in Montana and they have served me well. They’re no longer water proof or terribly comfy, but I can’t stand to part with them.

A new pair of lacers. They’re awesome but not broken-in enough to be super comfy yet.

Yummy cowboy boots with multi-colored stitching and another black and tan pair. Both Ariats. Both great riding boots.

I have a low cut pair of insulated barn boots. These boots take the most grief. I slather them with beeswax a few times each winter.

For subzero cold, I break down and wear these ugly Timberland boots. They are nice and warm, but make me feel like I have the feet of a studly football player, circa 1983.

Then there is the low cut Cole Haan dress boots, purchased 20 years ago for 45 bucks. They're the only ones not smelling distinctly of manure. I can go out on the town with them (but I try to clean the mud off first).

Invest in your feet, I say. And who cares about bras, anyway?

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3/17/2010 Rosie S.
OMG! It's not just me!
3/17/2010 Ali
Great story Maddy...I can totally relate and alot can be said about the footwear one chooses to wear...Fun to see your collection...thanks for sharing...makes me want to go order some new boots for spring!!
3/17/2010 Anne
OMG! I can so relate, Maddy. But I finally broke down and donated a bunch of boots to an auction for an equine rescue facility. Selfish of me? Nope. Good reason to buy more boots? Yup! Gotta love boots.
3/17/2010 NancyLee
Oi! I had this same realization a few weeks ago. I came here from SoCal a couple years ago where I had lots of fancy dance shoes - mostly of the open toe, real high heel varity; now my shoe collection consists of 3 pair of riding boots (cowboy, paddock and winter - yup, all Ariat), hiking boots, 2 pair of barn boots (summer and winter), wellingtons, flip flops and clogs. Thats it!!! Geez - what the heck happenend to me???? Notice the overwhelming imbalance of BOOTS to other types of shoes????
3/18/2010 Joy
I love my boots!! When I get a new pair I just can't bring myself to throw the old ones out. I have a closet on the porch just full of retirees!!! Glad it's not just me..;).
3/18/2010 Missy
Gotta ask, what are bras and lace???? Great story, Maddy. I'm in the same boat, sans bra.
3/19/2010 Anne
My old Cowboy Boots by Dwight Burgess Although I don't have cows anymore, I still wear my Cowboy Boots. So I guess they're not just worn, By Cowboys, but also other galoots. I've walked into a church in the city, and started lookin' around for my seat. It didn't take long to see I'm alone, With Cowboy Boots on my feet. My brother wears patent leather oxfords, and he really hollers and hoots. Whenever I walk into his house, Wearing my Cowboy Boots. Now if a fella's wearin' his sneakes, He can run like a man with the scoots. But he'd better not have too far to run, if he's wearin' his Cowboy Boots. I got rid of all my cattle, in the spring of Eighty-Four. Since the price hasn't gone down, I haven't bought any more. I've seen my share of horses, and the work they could get done. But now I'd rather drive my pick-up, and leave the horses to my son. I gave my son a saddle, and an old gun that hardly shoots. But one thing I won't give away, Is my right to wear Cowboy Boots. Some people might not understand it, but there is one thing that I crave. When I go home to be with my Lord, I'll wear my boots to the grave. I hope it won't be right away; Cause there's so much left here to do. But when I do go I won't be surprised, If Saint Peter is wearin' 'em too.
11/3/2010 Chris B.
Pretty funny! My ratio of shoes, boot and bras are about equal! Well, maybe more bras but I have my favs--

"There are no problem horses, only problem riders" - Mary Twelveponies