Why I didn’t buy the boots

Last week, while I was strolling around the mall in Dhahran, I found a pair of boots I liked. They’re at the Caterpillar store, a decent brand. They’re light for a boot and looked fairly stylish to me. I could have picked them up for a little over $70.

I thought about it then while I was there. My friend even encouraged me to go for it, especially since I have a hiking trip coming up in Ethiopia and a couple months of trekking through South America planned for the end of the year. I suddenly realized I needed those boots.

But I didn’t buy them.

I went back to the store two more times during the trips to get pages for my passport. The first time back, I couldn’t find the store (it’s a big mall, I guess). The second time, the store was closed, so I waited an hour and half for them to open before finally walking away.

I didn’t buy the boots. I didn’t buy them because I got to thinking about the shoes I already have.

My dress shoes, the ones I wear to work each day, cost three dollars, I think. I don’t know exactly how much they cost because my mom picked them up at a thrift store about four years ago. She got them for my dad, but they didn’t fit him properly. Worked out for me.

My tennis shoes, the ones I wear for everything else if I need shoes, cost five dollars. They’re gray shoes from Walmart, Chuck lookalikes. They’re falling apart, of course, but they cost five dollars, for crying out loud, and I’ve worn them on three continents now.

Lastly, my sandals cost a whopping 10 riyals. That’s less than three bucks. I hadĀ Birkenstocks before these ones, and I’ve been a big fan of them for a while. For less than three dollars, though, these cheapies from Saudi are pretty good for now. I’ll just replace them when they start to fall apart on me. No big deal.

And that’s it. Right now, these are the only shoes I wear. So do I really need the $70 boots? I hiked Hallasan, the tallest mountain in South Korea, in January, in the snow, wearing Chucks. Surely I can make it through Ethiopia and South America with the same.

That third time at the mall, I walked out without the boots because I don’t need them. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of continuing to rotate between three pairs of shoes that, combined, cost about the same as two movie tickets.