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Beefs and Beliefs
Sock protectors Alan Newport
These simple cloth bands keep the seeds and rocks out of your boots.

The amazing sock protector

Those of us who like to wear shorts in the summer have a problem. I have a solution.

I'm one of those people who likes to wear shorts all summer and into the fall. And I recently found a product that solves the one problem that comes from my shorts-wearing habit.

Grass seeds. It seems like tons of grass seeds build up in my boots and embed themselves in my socks every time I go out to the farm. It's worse, I suppose, because I wear six-inch hiking-style boots, but that's what I find most comfortable. I'm all about comfort, hence the shorts. The late Neil Dennis (of Saskatchewan) once told me you can wear shorts until if freezes, and I figure that's a pretty good rule. When it gets cold enough, I may abandon the shorts, but until then I call shorts and hiking boots my Canadian cattleman's outfit and I wear them nearly every single day of summer.

The problem with the grass seeds is they get in your socks and for the most part they don't wash out. They are uncomfortable and bothersome and they just keep getting worse.

I had thought briefly about wearing gaiters, but quickly rejected that as a bad idea. Might as well wear jeans and taller boots. Gaiters, for those of you who don't know, wrap around your legs and boot tops from about the knee down typically are worn in snow country to keep snow out of one's boots, and sometimes to help keep pant legs drier. In rattlesnake country, some people wear snake-proof gaiters. So I had been toying with the idea of making some just tall enough to go from the ankle down and maybe tie underneath my boots.

Then one day, somehow, I was searching online to see if someone, somewhere, might manufacture such an item. And I happened upon a thing called "sock protectors" from Australia. God bless the Aussies. They are a shorts-wearing bunch like many Africans and some of the Canadians. I searched and searched until I found some that didn't cost $25 to ship from down under to my home and I bought a pair for a total of about $16 US.

Now I wish I had bought a couple more. I love these things. I've been wearing them almost a month now and nary a grass seed gets in my socks.  Further, some of the Aussies who have given reviews of these sock protectors say they even work to keep gravel and pebbles out of their boots. They have an elastic band at the top and you just slip them up over your socks before you put your boots on, then pull them down to cover the tops of your boots. Simple and effective.

They can be found on ebay and a few other places. The ones I ordered came from this ebay seller.

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