L. Neil Smith:
They were practically a trademark with me, I have had a couple of really good pairs (Lucchese), and I bitterly regret that I can no longer wear them, owing to Charcot Syndrome, a condition common to diabetics. At great expense, I even had a zipper installed in them by a maker of orthopedic shoes, a few years ago, but it didn't help a bit.
Those in charge of my wellbeing were aghast. You would think that I'd pulled the pin on a hand grenade. I found myself hammered from every conceivable angle about the manifold evils of boots de cowboy: how they distort the proper angle of the foot, cause the development of all the wrong muscles, cramp the toes, cause the wrong part of your foot to hit the ground first, etc., etc., etc., etc., ad frigging nauseum.
Instead, I'm supposed to be delighted with a pair of ugly, boxy, custom orthopedic clod-stompers only Frankenstein's Monster would be proud of. If the insurance hadn't been willing tp pay for them, I would have told the purveyor to fribble off. I think of them as my Henry Ford shoes: you can have any color you want as long as it's black