“What’s that on the side of your boot?” said Roz as we waited for a bus in Bouillon.

It looked like a small crack so I bent my sole to test how bad it was.

“Interesting…” I thought, as the inside of my sole revealed itself to the world.

“Your boots are fucked!” said Roz. She wasn’t wrong.

Tom's boot sole with the crack in it opened up

I originally got my boots from a friend of my brother-in-law who was getting a new pair so kindly offered them to me.

They’ve come walking with me to several countries so it wasn’t a big surprise to find they’d run their course.

Luckily we were headed to Namur then Brussels in a few days, both of which have a few outdoor stores.

A bit of browsing and a quick decision later and I’ve got some new boots.

Tom shopping for new hiking boots

Here they are, next to the old ones, looking a bit like new soldiers sent to relieve a battalion who’ve done their tour of duty.

The old and new boots side by side

I left my old ones with the rubbish bags at our friends Stu and Sam’s flat in Brussels. I think it’s fair to say they performed above and beyond what was expected of them and the next time we have a drink in hand I’ll be raising it to them.