Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
I’m a video producer, which means that on any given day, I have to do things like sneak a model I’ve covered head-to-toe in whipped cream into my bougie gym’s showers, be described as a “turkey” by a dozen pre-schoolers while holding giant white wings in front of a bodega, and function as a 21st-century lady’s maid to a woman dressed in an 18th-century gown.
After nearly a decade of trial and error, constantly updating my Pinterest boards and taking some seriously solid advice from other female filmmakers, I finally feel like I have my job wardrobe more or less figured out. But I didn’t know just how well it’d been curated until a pair of Blundstones saved my right foot from being impaled by a medieval sword.
I’d bought a pair of the women’s dress boots about eight months after I saw one of my friends, a fellow documentary filmmaker, rocking a pair. I’d spent a week trying on every hiking boot at REI and finally forked over $180 for the Blundstones. I outfitted them with arch-supportive insoles and put them to task in the NYC tundra.
I was on my last shoot of 2017 before Christmas with a phenomenal subject who can only be described as a battle witch. As you might expect, she had a replica of a medieval sword hanging on her wall. And naturally, I insisted on using it as prop for b-roll we were planning to film at a nearby park.
We headed downstairs to grab the shot. My camera operator went first, carrying the camera and a tripod. I followed with the sword in hand. As is characteristic of any New York apartment, the staircase was narrow and poorly lit; the 4 p.m. sunset didn’t exactly help illuminate our way. As we reached the bottom, the camera guy placed the tripod on the floor to open the front door. From the corner of my eye, I saw the tripod starting to tip toward the floor.
I’ve been told that the first thing they teach you in chef school is to never chase a falling knife. Unfortunately, the first thing I learned as a production intern is to never let the equipment hit the floor. I let go of the sword, which was pointing tip-first at my right foot, and caught the tripod. In the same moment, I felt a jarring blow right at the center top of my foot.
It hurt. A lot. Sure, the sword wasn’t exactly in its sharpest condition, and I can’t tell you how much it weighed (in my head it was at least 20 pounds, but in reality it was probably around seven or eight). Still, all its weight was concentrated in one area, and were it not for my Blundstones, I would have probably been in a emergency room 20 minutes later.
Neither the camera guy nor the talent had realized anything had happened. I stretched my foot and the pain had pretty much subsided. I looked at the shoe. There was barely a scratch on the textured leather that had quite literally just saved my foot.
I plan on spending the money I saved from having to go to the ER on getting Blundstones in every style and color for pretty much the rest of my life.
Racked occasionally accepts products for research and reviewing purposes. For more information, see our ethics policy here.