Raindrops Keep Fallin’

On my head, shoulders and shoes. I think my Barbour needs reproofing.

I had planned on showing you how to make avogolemeno sauce today to serve with a Greeked up meatloaf. It was dinner last night for friends. However, with the weather such as it is, and a recent request from a reader to show you my storm shoes….

Ron Rider of Rider Boots and R. Martegani fame made these up for me when he first started carrying the line. “Gunboats” he called them. They are reminiscent of the shoes worn by government employees during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. These are shell cordovan, which should be pronounced as Ricardo Montalbán would when extolling the virtues of “crushed Corinthian leather”, made from the rump of a horse. That guarantees that they are all but indestructible. My storm shoes make sure that regardless of the state of the rest of me, my feet are incredibly comfortable and dry.

They weigh in a something like five pounds, giving me solid footing in gale force winds and are just the thing for tromping down the median on Monument Avenue in the rain whilst walking a complaining dog whose waxed cotton coat is still waterproof.

The double sole and “storm welt” help to keep unexpected puddles from flooding the gunboats. That said, there are days when I must dry them out. Today will be one such day, after my weekly walk to my tailor.

To properly dry your shoes, DO NOT subject them to any sort of artificial heat. No ovens with just the pilot light on. No radiators. No hairdryers. Instead, stuff them with newspaper and lie them on their sides. This keeps the cork filling from rotting as far as I understand it. After a day, replace your shoe trees in them, clean and polish as usual. They will last you a lifetime.

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