I remember logging onto WoW the night after Patch 4.3 launched with transmogrification. I’d been working on Toriah’s transmog outfit for weeks, but I was missing one key component: the boots.
IRL, I was never into the whole shoes and “OMG IT’S A SHOE SALE AT [fill in department store here]!!1!11ONE!” stereotype. Not saying there’s anything wrong with it— just never been my gig. I only have a few criteria when it comes to shoes: be comfortable, be functional, and don’t look too stupid. Turns out I’d grow up idolizing all sorts of characters who wear boots: hiking boots, combat boots, Jedi boots, femme fatale superspy boots, pirate boots, zombie apocalypse boots. You get the idea. Guess it kinda came with the sci-fi/fantasy territory, and then some.
So, anyway, I had a very specific look for Toriah— chiefly, cuffed boots that didn’t scream “pirate” and more “rugged ranger.” It took me until the day of to realize there was a recolored version of the boots from the Valorous Cryptstalker set that was actually a shade darker, which I liked.
There I was, scrambling at the last minute before raid to get Toriah all prettied up and ready to go while the rest of my guildmates and raiders are coming online. My friend Fleshie asks me what I’m doing. I tell him I’m getting the boots for my transmog set.
He quips: “Boots? BOOTS?! That’s what this is all about?! Sheesh, women and their shoes.”
Now, Fleshie knows quite well that I’m not the “typical” girl who has closets full of shoes, and he knew his one-liner would get me. I calmly explained to him that if he had to look like a demented murloc/Aquaman at some point in his raiding career, he’d want to transmog the perfect outfit, too. It wasn’t so much a point of fashion as it was an RP, getting-the-right-look sort of thing.
What I forgot to explain to him was that I do, in fact, feel a hell of a lot better when I’m wearing boots. This was something I had forgotten after not working for a good year or so. The only times I went out, was usually to the grocery store or an errand or two. You just don’t wear three-inch-heeled boots to the store, especially not while toting a baby around. It just wasn’t feasible for me.
That’s why, last winter, I forked over some dough for my zombie apocalypse/Sith invasion boots, or The Ass-Kicker Boots for short. *grins* In all honesty, I needed a pair of shoes that had traction soles, would help keep the water and snow out, and kept my feet warm. Again, three-inch-heeled boots not exactly ideal for icy paths.
Since I equate boots with my many fictional heroes, wearing boots gives me the sense that I can take on the world and anything it throws at me. I actually discovered the other day that my stride, step, and even driver-side seat position were all tailored to me wearing boots. I physically feel “right” with boots. Though, don’t ask me what I’ll do if/when my current boots ever wear out.
Some people have a lucky pair of underwear, a favorite shirt, a trinket with meaning or sentimental value— something seemingly mundane and powerless— that gives them the extra boost they need to get through those particularly trying moments in life.
For me, it’s a good, solid pair of boots. Take yesterday, for example: a very busy, oh-my-Lord-in-Heaven-help-me Monday at the library. I knew it was going to be, at best, a rough day. I put on the outfit that went best with my dress boots and, literally, put my best booted foot forward. When we finally got a moment to catch our collective breath, I leaned against the desk and said to my coworker, “Today was definitely a boot day.”
So, when I need a little mental boost, when I’m feeling down, when I feel like I need a bonus to my inner strength and fortitude, I strap on my boots and head out to face whatever the world wants to throw at me.