Storm warning footwear

The wind is blowing like a banshee in Chicago, and we’re predicted to have a fairly large storm: four to six inches (10-15 cm for the rest of the world).

In such a case one doesn’t want to wear fancy footwear, for the combination of snow, slush, and salt (liberally applied to Chicago’s streets and sidewalks to melt the ice) is toxic on boots.  Ergo, I donned my special pair of “storm boots”: a tough-as-nails pair that I never clean or condition.  I’m not sure who made them, but they’re probably Mexican, and have fancy stitching on the vamps and shafts:



  1. Sarah
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Those are beautiful boots, but the pointy toes don’t look so good for the feet. Is this the only style they make them in?

    • vall
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Some are more pointed than others. Your toes don’t go all the way to the point, so it’s not as bad as it looks.

      Why do cowboy boots have pointed toes? It’s for stepping on bugs in corners.

      • bacopa
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        The pointy toes are for sliding in and out of stirrups quickly. The style was developed in Spain hundreds of years ago and reached its present form in Mexico. The high heels hold the feet in the stirrups.

        Not so good for long walks, but perfect for getting on a horse fast.

        • Stackpole
          Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          I can hardly wait to see the pictures of JC riding around Chicago on his horse.

          Clearly he won’t need to waterproof the boots (cf. #6, below) if he has mounted the horse even in a (half) fast manner.

          • Stackpole
            Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            The horse may get his/her feet wet, but that seems to be taken care of by natural selection – hoofs, et. al.

  2. John Schneider
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    From experience growing up in Nebraska, my first thought was, “they’re cool, but not great on ice.” Stay upright!

  3. litchik
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    So, the wind is blowing shrilly? Is it shattering glass?

    Nice boots.

  4. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Storm coming? Welly boots. If its going to be icy/ slushy / sleety, “welly boots with studs in the cleats”, or crampons or other gripping devices.
    Alternatively, sandals with a towel and a pair of nice warm slippers in your rucksack for when you get back indoors. That’s good down to about 270K, after which it’s the wellies again.
    Ice, salt and dog “stuff” coated on? Hose them off. They’re rubber (or hydrocarbon-ish polymer, these decades), so “meh”.

    • Dominic
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Wellies get stuck in something & they get sucked off. You must have walked on enough snow covered boggy ground in your time? Putting tyour foot down on what might appear solid ground & ‘squelch’!

      • Dominic
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        PS I see the bottles have migrated to the top shelf!

  5. Andy Lowry
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Elephant boots are good for inclement weather.

    • Dominic
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      But how would they tie the laces?

  6. Stackpole
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    How do you waterproof the boots?

    • darrelle
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      A common product for that is an “oil” (actually wax that is liquid at room temp) that needs to be applied regularly. I usually slather the stuff on liberally, let the boots sit overnight, then wipe off any excess. “Australian Oilskin” type coats use a similar product, though the material is typically a heavy cotton, not leather.

  7. Sarah
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I worry about American readers not understanding the term “wellies”. These are “Wellington boots”, high-topped rubber boots.

  8. JBlilie
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Sweet! And they must be seriously tough!

  9. Bob J
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    So what boots are we going to see you sporting at TAM? One hundred degrees plus and not a drop of water in sight.

  10. Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Do these really keep your tootsies warm, Dr.C? We’re supposed to get 15-20cm tonight too. Very windy already.

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