My son has worn Justin work boots and Levis blue jeans almost everyday since he was five, maybe before but I seem to remember hiking boots and cute little boy shoes before then. He is 10 now, so we have been through many, many boots and even more jeans. I, at first, tried to make sure he had shoe alternatives - tennis shoes, dress shoes, Tevas, flip-flops. He never wore any of them unless I "made" him. He goes without shoes whenever he can and he will wear flip flops at the beach, but other than that he is wearing those Justins. I gave up and just let him wear them, making sure he had a nicer pair for nicer occasions that he couldn't wear in the ditches, pastures, and springs.
A junior high school boy that the Pink Panther knows from scouts has a pair of John Deere boots. They have a thicker, knobbier sole and a green upper, but are essentially a work boot, though not a Justin. Pink Panther mentioned, a few weeks ago, that he might like to try John Deere boots because he thought they looked tougher, but he was scared that they would not be as comfortable as his usual. I told him that we would look at them when he outgrew or completely ruined the ones he had.
This weekend Pink Panther spent the night with one of his friends, let's call him Bo. Sunday afternoon they played here and then I drove them back to the Bo's house so they could go bowling with a group of children. Pink Panther said that Bo had gotten some Justin boots, but that he had wanted some of the John Deere boots and his grandmother, who was purchasing the boots, encouraged him to get the Justins because she felt they would be more comfortable. Then Bo said, "My cousin's step-brother's girlfriend's brother said they were real comfortable." Pink Panther said, "I think I'll try them since they're comfortable."
I'll remember that Bo's cousin's step-brother's girlfriend's brother is the ultimate authority on boot comfort next time I purchase boots for myself.
I was not completely surprised by the "cousin's step-brother's girlfriend's brother" because that tradition of making a connection is a country Southern past time. My daddy's father's wife (my grandmother) used to listen and tell the local gossip during her Dr. Pepper and peanut break at the hardware store where the chairs were pulled around so everyone could hear. Clarification and connecting was an integral part of the story. The story wasn't valid if it was prefaced with "I heard," but if authority and connection was established by saying, "My cousin, twice removed, said" or "My neighbor's, brother's wife's sister said" then the story was true and had merit.