Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dirt Cheap DIY Boot Trees

So. I have two problems with boots. And I use the term "problem" pretty loosely here folks. In fact lets go with So, I have two kinda-dumb-first-world-problems with boots.
The first problem isn't just me, it's just a thing that knee high boots do. See:

My boots flop over. Which wrinkles the ankles and makes the tops all flat and puts a crease down the middle. It's a whole big thing. And Not Cool. 
The solution is Boot Trees (not trees that grow boots - though you guys, just the idea of trees that grow boots makes me feel kind of fevered).
Boot trees that you jam into your boots to keep them erect and wrinkle-free (oh my god. I just wrote "erect" on the internets. So, HI! If you came here via a google search for "erect", you're prolly in the wrong place, perhaps turn your safe-search off?).
Now, in an ideal world I'd have a full compliment of beautiful, hand carved, vintage boot trees. Or even just a bunch of these. In this world I don't, and I'm fairly unlikely to acquire 'em any time soon. 
But that's OK! 'Cause there are a couple of different solutions. 

The first, and my total favourite, is this:

Wondering what that is? It's flexible plastic chopping board of course! (Remember how I use them for EV.ERY.THING?) And all you do is roll it up and jam it down your boots. You could get all fancy and cut a rounded "V" shape out of the bottom. I didn't because most of my boots are flat.

Next there's the old  "wine bottle down the boot" trick. Which is OK? I guess? But not ideal, because
It kind of puffs out the ankles in an odd shape, but doesn't stop the top of the boot from being flat. Also, having "hidden" booze in my closet makes me feel like my Alcoholic Granny - which, gross & kind of upsetting. Ok moving swiftly on...
Here's a shot of the difference between the choppin' boards and the wine bottles:

Note the unpuffy ankles on the choppin' board boot versus the bottle boot.
And lastly (and the cheapest way) is to roll up a magazine and jam it down there. It's not perfect but it'll does in a pinch.

And as for the second problem I have with boots, um. OK. Don't judge me now... but... I have 5 pairs of brown knee high boots, (OH, and one black pair too). 5 (and they're all... um,  pretty similar actually).
It's a sickness.
I blame Duo Boots.
See, I am a girl with chunky calves, (not like baby cows, like the bottom parts of my legs, chubby baby cows are adorable).
Which means that knee high boots were pretty much a no-go for me, with the zipper-straining and the weird calf muffin-tops and the plain old "YAH, dude, these are never going to do up".
Anyway, my mum was all "you should look up Duo, they do different calf sizes".
I was all "WHA!? Why wasn't I informed!" and I had my first pair picked out before she'd finished her next sentence.
Now here's were I warn you before I send you over there. They're kind of expensive. Actually, not "kind of", they ARE expensive.
They're your forever boots. My first pair have trotted happily through four Canadian winters, complete with mushy snowy salty grey slop attacking them, and they still look awesome. I take care of them, with regular waterproofing sprays and sticking chopping boards inside them and softly crooning love songs to them. But you do that when you pay a bloody fortune for your boots (or at least I do?).
So, if you have wide (or skinny) calves you should go check them out here.
And here's the good part. If you can wait till the new year, they have a BRILLIANT sale. They get to be, if not dirt cheap then "OH MY GOD I CAN TOTALLY JUSTIFY THIS" cheap. It's a heady time.
Just to be clear here, Duo isn't sponsoring me (mine is an unrequited love. Le sigh). I just happen to think they rock the free world and I'm not even kidding when I say that their boots are kind of a life changer (well they were for me anyway).

NOW! I'm off to go and lurk around Duo,  pressing my nose against the (browser) window like a Dickensian orphan. Because, 5 is NOT too many pairs. no no no trala la la-I'm-not-listening-la.


  1. Snort. Have I mentioned how awesome I think you are? Really. So nice to have you (and your boots) back on the interwebs. I totally have a thing for boots too, it a problem that I don't find the over-flopping a problem? Now I'm a little worried I should be singing to them more often. (Read: At all.)

    On the up side, I just bought some of the really crappy flexible chopping boards in a fit of desperation in the middle of the night a few weeks ago, and now I guess I know what to do with them when I upgrade to a grown-up chopping board. And then my boots will smell like onions.

  2. Holy Cow!! Why Have I never heard of Duo?? LOVE!!

    I have extremely large calves, thanks to years of exercise, running, and family genes. I have never, ever owned a pair of tall boots, because I've never found a pair that I could get on over my calves. Oh, I'm so happy now!

  3. yay - i LOVE duo for my chunky calves too!

  4. Yes, yes, yes, another Duo fan here!

  5. But Amy, onions are all home-y and comforting. My boots smell like the apocalypse, or maybe just some kind of pestilence? And that's just 'cause I put my feet in them. True story. Also possibly TMI.

    And Angela, I know right! I actually squee'd a bit for you.

  6. Genius! I just went out and bought 32 (came in packs of 2/1.00) flexible cutting boards from the Dollar Tree to stuff in my 32 (yes, 32) pairs of boots! Someone is actually selling something very similar but for about 5.00 per pair! Glad I found your blog! Keep up the good work!

    1. WOAH!!! Suddenly I feel maybe I'm NOT addicted to boots. I shall let my husband know there is a nice (lucky) lady who owns 32 pairs and I should undoubtedly be allowed to buy more.

  7. Erin, never TMI. ;-) And true! I hadn't thought about the fact that scenting my boots with onions might be an improvement over their current state. Hmm.

  8. You are like my spiritual twin. I too am addicted to boots (3 black pairs, 2 browns & 1 pair of uggs)and have just purchased a lovely pair of Duo Boots from their London store (Florence, check 'em out, they have tassels!) Thank you for creating a blog that lets me know that this is ok. xxx

  9. YAY! I searched for D-I-Y boot trees and found this blog. Now, that made me happy! Thanks!


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