June 1, 2023

The practical joys of a good pair of boots

A beautiful forest quilted with deep fluffy snow.

A chilly wind swept, ice covered sidewalk.

A long driveway packed with snowdrifts.

Slushy, sloppy roads on warm wet days.

All of these situations call for a good pair of winter boots. Upper Michigan dishes out some of the nastiest winter conditions, but also some of the best fun of the year.

Good boots mean warmth and safety.

I think everyone has had a favorite pair of snow boots in their lifetime. For me it was my “maple leaf” boots. My sister and I both received a pair for Christmas back in the late 1970s. They were mukluk-style boots with a nice thick fur lining. They fit so well into the toe holds on my snowshoes.

I wish I had a dollar for every snowy mile I hiked with those boots. I wore them quite a few winters until the soles were gone. My sisters lasted even longer.

The next pair of boots that I fell in love with was my Sorels. My dad and brothers had the fancy felt lined Sorels before me. But now they made women-sized, fuzzy-topped boots too, and I totally needed them. I have had several pairs of Sorels over the years.

Winter foot gear has come along way over the decades. I remember the days when my brothers would have to wear black zip-up or buckle-up galoshes over their shoes.

Those must have been cold walking to school on sub-zero mornings.

Snowmobile boots became popular next. They had felt liners, but weren’t super waterproof or comfortable.

Next came the green Thinsulate lace-up boots. These were fine if you were able to wear a thick wool sock in them. I was raised in a family of six kids, so we had a lot of hand me down boots.

Do you remember putting plastic bread bags into your boots for easier pull ons and to protect from the leaks?

Our wet boots were lined up by the wood stove. My dad made a special wooden “boot box” for when they were dry.

Boot styles have changed so much over the years and have been perfected for almost every condition or outdoor adventure.

For a while in the 1980s nobody wore boots at all. Folks just dashed through the snow and wetness in tennis shoes.

Now boots, the bigger and fluffier, are in vogue. Women wear all kinds of leather fashion boots, Ugg boots and warm winter boots.

Men and women who work outdoors find comfort in the LaCrosse Iceman’s boots.

Winter is an awesome time for fun in the U.P.

The best way to enjoy it is with a good pair of winter boots. A pair of ice creepers for traction attached to the boots is a good idea too. I use creepers walking the dogs all winter long.

May your winter boots do some frosty fun walking too!

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