Muddy shoes at work site
Photo: Leslie Monthan
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4. Be prepared to get dirty

This was the cleanest my feet looked for most of the week. In packing for my trip I'd forgotten how trashed your clothes get on a work site. The mud washed out, but caulk and paint permanently relegated one pair of cargo pants to the painting-clothes category. The shoes, being steel-toed Timberland versions designed for rugged treatment, held up well. But for most of the work a cheap pair of sneaks would have done fine. Word to the wise: Having a second pair of shoes to alternate wearings gives your feet a rest from pressure spots and blisters. I also wished I'd brought bandages for those blisters and other inevitable small ouches.
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