Wednesday, January 19, 2011

sensible shoes for winter weather

ice storm 2
Photo by Flickr User Tyler Wilson

An ice storm Monday night turned all of D.C. into a skating rink just in time for everyone's commute back to work from the long weekend. Schools were closed, work schedules delayed and we were reminded of how paralyzing winter weather can be out here.

I made it into the office after a slow shuffling walk on 1/2" thick ice coating the sidewalks all the way to the metro. On board I marveled at the array of footwear chosen by my fellow commuters who seemed wholly unprepared for anything more than a spring rain shower. The same was true during a snowstorm a few weeks ago, and of course, last year's snowpocalypse that shut the city down.

Now I understand that in D.C. it is still somewhat unusual to encounter terrain any more challenging than wet pavement, but from a Colorado native who has seen plenty of snowy sidewalks, the residents of our nation's capital need some help.

I'm not suggesting busting out the Sorels (which I love the look of), unless you are able to do the work shoe switcheroo once you reach your desk. That's fine if you're in the office all day, but for meetings across town, lunches with clients and anything else that takes you away from your desk you need a pair of work and weather-friendly boots.

Wellies are not snow boots. Even with fleece liners. Your feet will be dry, but probably not terribly warm, and judging from the woman I saw careening off the curb, they don't offer much in the way of traction.

Sneakers are not snow boots. Obvs.

Your beautiful flat leather boots are not snow boots, and wearing them in the salt/snow mushy mix will kill them dead.

Your Uggs are more like sponges than snow boots, sad little foot sponges that were never intended to be worn in the snow. I'm talking about the original Uggs here...

These are snow boots. Are they the most beautiful boot in my closet? No. Are they sleek and simple enough to go unnoticed while keeping my feet warm and dry and ensuring I don't go flying face-first into the intersection? Yes, Yes and Yes.

I bought these in college. They still make them. Incredibly comfortable and invincible in the snow. Spire Peak Waterproof Boots by Merrell.

For something with a little more riding boot influence - Tovah by La Canadienne - they should know a few things about snow boots.

And a little funkier -  Keen's Bern-Baby-Bern Boot

Big wedding post coming later. Don't say you haven't been warned...