The Deadly Dew
Waking up after dawn listening to the birds and the sound of camp activities, clanking of cookware, smell of the first coffee that’s ready. I open my eyes and see the dew on my tent. I rub my eyes get up to head to the hooter. I slip on my Fugawee concords and head out. Walking through the fresh dew on the grass, I approached the hooters, step right up to do my business and exit smartly. After pouring a cup of coffee and some spirits to help the day along, I then meander back to my lodge, I realize that between the clay and my morning travels I now have wet feet.
How did the sole get so soaked?
Fugawee shoes are historically accurate and don’t use rubber or composite soles leaving us at the mercy of dew. I found it astounding that the first composite soles came after 1900! The first rubber heel was patented in late 1897.
So now my feet are squishing around in my concords like a wet set of moccasins. It has also started raining slightly. What should I do?
1) Do nothing and push on.
A: as the sole leather becomes saturated with water, the sole leather will become more pliable than the edging glue. This is caused a separation in the outer and inner sole creating what is called a smile. Easy fix DYI.
B: The wet leather sole is softened and is more easily mis-shaped and/or abraded when walking on concrete, asphalt, rocks or any hard coarse/rough surface. Just like walking around on waterlogged bare feet, even soft beach sand will hurt after a little while.
2) Dry the shoes by a fire.
A: Might as well make it a funeral pyre throw them in! What will happen is that the oils in the leather heat up and cooks the sole leather, Like frying chicken. It will develop cracks in the leather like dried mud and will fall apart days or weeks after that.
3) Put them up and let the air dry them and use your second pair of shoes or go bare foot. This pair will last you for years.
So what the Fug am I supposed to do?
What I do is go barefoot in the mornings or rainy days. Nancy, my Mother, has what I think is the best solution, and I have stolen hers. That is a Dutch type wooden shoe. The oldest wooden shoe to date is 1280 which was found in Amsterdam. I figured that the Dutch have been dealing with mud for 500 years by the time the 1700s came around, it must be a good design for the job.
The rabbit fur inserts make them more usable for modern feet. And there is a different gait you need to walk. It’s a great hooter shoe with morning coffee but not so great for trekking.
Can I cheat?
How to cheat. In one word rubber. Need to have a heel cap and a rubber shoe saver sole put on, and this will eliminate 92% of the surface area that the water can enter. With proper treatment of the uppers, you will have warm happy feet.