Same flight to Boston — figured I’d make good on my vow to invigorate the blog with at least one new post.
As I prepared for the weekend, I did a little shopping for a new pair of fall boots. (Ended up with a Frye Logger boot for the random few among you who have a sartorial orientation). I am a total web junkie, so in preparation I did what any modern citizen would do and spent a lot of time browsing the various consumer reviews of any number of fashion-forward-but-still-functional fall footwear options. As you can imagine, there are lots of fan favorites that get constant rave reviews. In the boot world, Danner, Red Wing, Zamberlan, and a few others garner the kind of adulation that is hard to imagine being heaped upon footwear, but there it is. (Google any of these brands if you doubt me.) And yet, among the numerous five-star ratings on the various sites which compile such things, you can find a few disgruntled souls, seemingly betrayed by the brand in which they’ve invested their boot-buying dollars. How do you treat the dissenting opinion among the otherwise positive feedback? Is it more valuable in its uniqueness, or less valuable because of its idiosyncrasy??
As I went through this process I was struck by the similarity between the search for a fairly mundane pair of boots (mine are decidedly less mundane than the older boots which they are replacing) and the quest many people undertake to find a plastic surgeon with whom they might entrust their beauty, safety, and money. There are many surgeons, and there are many review sites with volumes of reviews. Ultimately, you have to narrow it down to a few seemingly-deserving individuals. I’d recommend you do what I did with the Fryes: do your research first, and pay attention to all of the information that’s out there. Bad reviews aren’t more or less valuable, they’re just another bit of information to assimilate, and they could be a point for particular scrutiny when trying things on in person. Ultimately, however, it’s about fit. The web can teach you a lot about a boot or a surgeon, but there’s no substitute for a visit to try them on.