My brother-in-law, Leonel (or Leo for short), gave me a great tip last week. He knew I liked steel-toed boots for when we are doing construction stuff. I seem to always drop things on my feet somehow.
I had a great pair of Wolverines that lasted me three years before the soles started falling off. So I had been using my hiking boots on our construction days, which is not the best way to keep your hiking boots in good shape.
Costa Rica is notoriously expensive for clothing, especially name brand clothes. That’s why my wife and I try to not buy new clothes until we visit my parents in California, where we go crazy in the outlet malls once a year. My wife usually buys a bunch of clothes for her numerous nieces and nephews there too. I still remember the first time I took her shopping in California and she was in shock at how cheap things were (in comparison to the crazy prices here).
The last few years there have been “Americana” stores popping up in our area. These are stores that sell used clothes from America at really good prices. Think Salvation Army. But the cool thing is that you can find brand new stuff at these stores a lot of the time, with the original tags still on them. So occasionally we shop at these stores now too. I’ve found some good deals like a great Gap jean jacket for $3. Yes, three dollars.
So the other day, on the way to buy some more materials at the hardware store, Leo stops at a small “Americana” store that I didn’t know of. He tells me to check out the boots they have. I wasn’t really in the mood for a detour from our project, but I’m glad we took it. There were about 40-50 boots all lined up. Half of which were cowboy boots (not my favorite) and the rest were work boots. And most with steel toes!
Eventually, I found a pair I liked that fit. They looked brand new except for some cosmetic problems on the tongue. Plus they had Vibram soles. Bonus! But I hadn’t heard of the brand before (LaCrosse). So I looked them up on my phone and found a similar pair on Amazon—for $330! The sign on the wall said all boots were 20,000 colones. That’s about $35 at today’s exchange rate. You did the math correctly, that’s 10% of the normal price.
So, yes, I bought them and have been happily using them all week—climbing ladders, mixing cement, and even dropping a cinder block or two on my feet with no pain 🙂
Steel toe boots rule!