Listen to Nate Talun
If these boots could talk.
On the average day, my boots walk 18,500 steps and climb 85 flights of stairs. They get caked in dirt, concrete, sludge, floods and spills of all kinds. The leather is dinged up, the steel toes dented. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Because we’re at our best when the going is the toughest.
I worked construction through high school and was hired into an apprenticeship program through the carpenters union local at 21. I spent the next decade learning everything from foundations and exterior framing to ceiling tile. Now I’m a general foreman for large-scale projects, where I’m often in charge of 100 people. We recently did the HaborCenter sports complex in downtown Buffalo, along with the UB School of Medicine nearby, which is 10 stories high and covers almost 12 city blocks.
Here’s something else I’ve learned: you can tell a lot about someone by looking at their feet. How hard they work, how smart they work, how much pride they take in what they do. It’s all written on those boots.
Me, I’m all Red Wing. My first pair was a gift from my mom 10 years ago. I wore other brands before that and was surprised how fast they fell apart and how much they hurt my feet. Then Red Wings came into my life and I never looked back.
I wear insulated 9-inch loggers for the extra arch and ankle support. They saved me when an 80-pound drywall sheet decided to crack in two and land on my feet. I’ve also walked over rebar with all my weight and kept right on walking, because my Red Wings took the punishment. When it looks like I’m going to be in the muck or chemicals for the day, I switch over to Injex polyurethane boots.
Here’s one more tip: a boot dryer. No matter how wet my boots get by quitting time, they’re bone-dry and ready to go the next morning. But most of all, invest in good work boots. They make all the difference when the hours get extra long and work extra demanding. They also say a lot about who you are.