what airline are you flying? check their baggage fees concerning oversize luggage, and if it's more than it would be to rent, then disregard the rest of this.
however, i have flown 4 round trips (8 ways), some with multiple connections (never a straight flight) over the past 2 winters and southwest or the one time i flew united never lost my bags. only ever had to pay one $50 baggage fee too cause the agent was being a stingy bitch hole. if you get to the airport and check in at a reasonable time, your bags will probably be alright.
if you're still not feeling it, go ahead with the rentals, it's not my money. but seriously like other have said, take your boots with you. i have fit mine in my carry on every time so there's no chance they can get lost. you can even sling them over your shoulder
fart as loud as you can