Submitted by Tami Rougeau, Team Easyboot 2014 Member
It's that time of year when we "booters" get around to cleaning up and repairing the boots that we have used all season. For some, it is transforming those Easyboot Glue-Ons into Gloves or adding power straps to the now well-worn and slightly stretched out Gloves, or maybe just replacing gaiters or cables and buckles that have seen better days. Over the past 17 years or so of being a "booter", I have discovered a few tools that make it much easier to accomplish these little jobs. Over these same years my husband has become tired of me pilfering his tool shed and has put together a nice collection of tools just for me.
To begin with, it is very handy to have a good collection of screw drivers of various sizes. The large flat head style is great for prying off Glue-Ons or really well fitted Gloves as well as working the buckle on the Epics. Smaller flat heads are good for scraping glue or dirt from the boots. The tiny screw drivers work great for getting the last bits of glue out of the crevices. Of course the standard size Phillips is for working the screws of the buckles, gaiters and power straps.
Over the last several years the strength in my hands is just not what it used to be so I have found a whole new love of power tools. These things are the bomb. Of course my favorite is my little Dremel tool with its various attachments for cleaning up boots. But this year,I discovered a very close second: the small rechargeable drill/screwdriver. After about the seventh or eighth boot repair my hands get tired and the larger drill was just too big and heavy for my hands. Along with the Dremel this is a must have if you plan to repair your own boots. It really is meant for screw driver heads but my husband got me a drill bit with a special attachment so I can use it to drill out the holes for the power straps and gaiters too. No more hole punch device for me.
In addition to the above mentioned tools it is good to have pliers, wire brushes and and assortment of cutting tools as well as gloves and eye protection.
The nice thing is that most of these items are not expensive and can often be found at garage sales or in the bottom of some tool bag or box somewhere. Most, if not all of them, can also be found in sizes and weights that are easier for smaller-handed folks like myself to work with. Being able to repair those used boots is a great way to get the most life out of your boots. And what can you do with all these tools? A couple of years ago I did a story on how to clean out Glue-Ons, so check it out.