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Old 01-19-2021, 19:18   #4
Quiet Professional
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 463
I went through that experience earlier this winter. Have several pairs of "retired" boots stored in master bedroom walk-in closet. Sitting there for the last decade or so.

Pair of Rocky Goretex insulated hunting boots that I wore in OEF I for just a few months of that first winter, then never wore again. Like yours, the Vibram soles just kinda disintegrated while sitting there. Some of it "glued" to the storage shelf. The rest just peeled off in crumbly sticky soft chunks with light tugging. Tossed 'em.

Pair of Raichles I was issued over at 1-10 back in the late 90s? GTG. Even put them back into this winter's dog-walking-in-the-snow rotation.

Two pair of desert Belleville jungles last worn in 2012? Still GTG.

My original pair of dress Corcoran jump boots, leather soled, circa 1977? Last worn in 2011. Still GTG, but my big ass oft-broken feet no longer fit into them. I'll literally never be able to wear them again. But I can't stand the thought of tossing 44 year old still serviceable boots. Go figure. Guess I'm a Hoarder.

Besides the unexpected death of that pair of Rocky's soles, I was surprised to find that my big flat feet have gotten a half-sized bigger over the years. Various shoes and boots that fit me years ago are now too short and too narrow for comfort. I guess late middle aged spread hit my feet as well as my middle.

But yeah, those commercial Vibram soles seem to have a half-life. I've seen it before with other boots in long storage. They look OK to the eye, but the sole material degrades to the point of crumbling in your hand.

Maybe they rely on regular use and foot funk to stay serviceable?

This thread reminds me that I need to go check on a pair of LNIB Danners I keep stored out in my vehicle for winter use. Haven't actually worn them in years. The soles may have turned to crumbly dust...

Last edited by Astronomy; 01-19-2021 at 19:27.
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