Thursday, December 1, 2011

Different Perspectives and Boot Suggestions

We've been having some typical end of fall weather in the last week. It went from 70's and sunny, to 50's and then 40's and raining, and as of this afternoon we were back in the 60's. This time of year Mother Nature tends to exhibit multiple personality disorder. One thing that has been consistent in the last week is the morning temperatures have been cool, anywhere from around freezing to mid 4o's as we start our day.

It is no secret to anyone who has read this blog that I really dislike cold weather. Jason with his Canadian roots does not have as many issues with cold weather. This morning as we were getting ready to start our work day I compared our outfits. Jason had on his jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and he had a jacket with him. I had on long underwear (top and bottom), jeans, two pairs of socks, a turtleneck, a sweatshirt, my heavy coat and gloves.

It was a bright and sunny day and Jason's jacket lasted about 20 minutes. After about 45 minutes I did take of my gloves, but the rest of my ensemble remained. At noon I took my coat off, but the long underwear, jeans, turtleneck, and sweatshirt remained. I was able to continue to work comfortably like this for the rest of the day, even as the thermostat finally worked its way up to sixty degrees. Jason kept asking me if I was hot. I kept replying that I was comfortable. He absolutely could not fathom this and all day long I kept having to answer the same question, "aren't you hot?"

One would think after several years of marriage and working together in the great outdoors that Jason would have clued in to the fact that it takes a lot of heat and sunshine for me to be hot. But apparently he still doesn't grasp this concept. I guess when my box of winter apparel arrives from REI tomorrow he will be surprised, although I don't know why. I'm most excited about the Sealskinz gloves I ordered, I hope they live up to their claim of being waterproof. I also have some more Smartwool socks on the way, more long underwear, hand and foot warmers, sweatshirts, etc. I'm trying to be prepared, and hoping that being prepared will keep me from needing all of this stuff.

My only source of frustration is my ongoing hunt for winter boots. The last couple of years I've worn insulated paddock boots that were waterproof. However I always manage to kill the waterproofing and put cracks in the foot within a few weeks. Jason told me to order Sorel boots, a Canadian brand. I ordered those and wore them twice last week. My feet still hurt from wearing them, they are the clunkiest, heaviest, most uncomfortable things I think I've ever walked around in. To be fair they were very warm and dry (they are rated to -60F!) but I was crippled after two days of wearing them. I've also tried two pairs of Muck Boots in the past but they always pull my socks down and rub my heels. And surely I am not the only person who has managed to put cracks in Muck Boots?

If anyone has any suggestions for winter boots to try (waterproof and warm are my goals) please share!


the Blue Heron that we see almost every day

Kennedy and Toledo


Silky and Calimba

Chance and Leo


Trigger and Thomas napping, Apollo and Baby grazing, Homer hanging out


Johnny, Rampal and Largo


lara said...

OK, I love the photo of Wiz! :) Thank you for posting! But wanted to say the photos of the blue heron are ridiculously good! The one with it in flight...AMAZING! And the shades of the foliage... Beautiful ;)

Lauren said...

Ug. I'm hoping someone has good responses for you. I've been happy with my Mtn Horse winter tall boots, you might see if they have a paddock. I'm going on the second season and they seem to be holding up, but I can promise they won't make it through this one.

And yes, I killed my muck boots.

Mare said...

Don't worry, I also completely killed me muck boots! Good winter boots, that'll last are hard to come by...

Anonymous said...

I've had very good luck with Bogs boots - they're comfortable and fairly durable.

Laura said...

As a Canadian, I have to chuckle at all the clothes you wear on a fall day! :-) I'm lucky that I don't get cold easily...

Boots are tough - I don't really have any good suggestions, since I'm not outside working as much as you guys are (desk job!).

Anonymous said...

I have a winter boot problem too, but I'm in MN. So far, no winners. Just to let you know, the classic LL Bean boot is lighter while just as dry and almost as warm as Sorells, but can't take "Barnyard acids". Major cracking. Cracks have killed every boot I have tried.

Oh, and nothing is quite so aggravating as having your socks sucked down under your feet is there? My current boots (discount ones) do that - aarrgghh!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and please do share how those gloves work out for you.

Karen V said...

What Kate Said! I JUST bought my very first pair of Bogs and I LOVE them! I bought the tall - which cover my calves. The entire boot, toes to heel to top of calf is insulated. I hate having cold feet and fell in love with these boots on day one!

I bought mine from Katie's Coast to Coast. Michelle is a WONDERFUL person, easy to deal with, reasonably priced, and supports horse folks (mainly barrel racers but she loves all horse people!)

Send her an e-mail with your normal shoes size, request for color, and your shipping address. If she has any questions, she will contact you!

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of the Mountain Horse ice paddock boots. They are not leather but are waterproof (up to the laces anyways) and I'm sorry to say that they are still not the warmest things. If you wear wool socks and keep your feet moving, then yes, they are warm. But if your feet get still like when riding, then the toes can become alittle chilled.
I do have a pair of furry lined snow boots from Lands End I bought a few years ago to walk the dogs in and THEY are warm! and waterproof, but I can't remember if my socks slide down in those though

Anonymous said...

Have you checked LL Beans website for boots? They have a huge variety and their quality is the best. I wore them all the time when I lived in New England and spent countless hours mucking in rain, slush and slop.

amy324 said...

We are also at the time of year when you don't know what you're going to get from day to day, so it's fortunate that I have a large truck, because it's full of all my various degrees of gear. This includes a complete change of clothes for when your feet are stuck fast in the mud and a horse inadvertently bumps into you and you end up sitting down in said mud. Not that that's ever happened to me...

For 3 seasons, my choice is the Blundstone 500.

For the cold... first I tried Kamik boots from Sierra Trading Post. The women's were too narrow, so I have the men's and they are heavy and clunky. But *very* warm.

Next I tried Mudruckers tall boots from Dover and that's where I'm staying. They're similar to Bogs. I had to size up so I could get my high instep through the ankle turn part, but there's more room for socks.

If it's cold, I use Grabber hand warmers in my gloves, and when it's *really* cold, I use them in my boots as well. The toe warmers are a waste of money. The hand warmer pack fits right under my toes in front of the ball of my foot and I don't find it uncomfortable. And they're quite toasty! Well worth the $1/day.

For other gear, I've recently become a fan of Duluth Trading Company. They know their stuff and have excellent customer service.

Yes, if you can find warm, waterproof gloves that still allow the dexterity you need to tie on a rope halter, please share!

EvenSong said...

I've had similar cracking problems with Muck boots, and they rub not only my heels, but my Achilles as well--Doctor recommended changing, it was getting so irritated and swollen.
I currently have a pair of large "boys" size Sorrels, and they're not as clunky as the men's, if you can get away with it. I wore to death a women's pair that didn't have the squared off sole--more rounded, with "chain" style tread instead of cleats.
As for gloves, a few years back I bought a pair of water-proof/wind-proof snowmobiling over-mittens (from Camp-Mor, I think), and put them over my regular goatskin work gloves. They're WONDERFUL! I just strip them off quick if I need more dexterity for a bit. I keep a couple of hand warmers in my coat pocket, but rarely need them.
I have Reynauds Syndrome (poor or no circulation to feet, hands, and in my case face) and really need the extra help. I can't go out in the winter without a full face fleece hood/mask or it triggers a nasty migraine.

Kristy said...

I second the Duluth Trading Company comment. I am truly a Southern bred and born gal that gets cold when the temps drop below 60F and would love to spend my winters in South America or Hawaii. I HATE being cold. But I work on dairy farms (read as = around a LOT of manure, water and chemicals) from Tn to Texas to Canada and somehow wind up spending most of January and February in upper Minnesota and Wisconsin (b/c my Canadian bosses either have no sympathy or must think it's funny). I have found that going with a waterproof hunting boot was the best decision I've ever made in my entire life. Those hunters know what they're doing. Think about it...they muck through mud and water to SIT around all day in frigid temperatures waiting on a deer to arrive. I seriously think they are nuts. But they have figured out how to keep their feet warm. I look ridiculous running around dairy farms in camouflage boots, but I have no shame. I'm on my third winter of RedHead 1600g of Thinsulate and love them. A little heavier than I'd like, but warm feet are a MUST! I also own stock in UnderArmour (base layer 3), Bass Pro hunting gear, Carhart, and try to look respectable to customers by wearing a lot of presentable clothing from REI, Athleta and other outdoor/fitness clothing companies.

And tell Jason that he's the nutty one. It is a scientific fact that people born and raised in northern climates have more blood metabolites and truly thicker blood than those in Southern climates. That's why he melts in the summer, and is comfortable in the winter. He was simply bred for it.

It is also why if I travel above the Mason Dixon line even in the summer, I take a light jacket.

Anonymous said...

I was able to wear these for 3 years cleaning stalls without cracking and wearing wool socks for warmth, and they're not too expensive:

amy324 said...

Hmm... I like the mittens over the gloves idea. It would only work if the gloves were thin enough, but that's the whole idea - being able to use your fingers. Going to give that a try.

Jill said...

I'm new to the winter of Canada this year and am just waiting for the snows! I bought a pair of Sorel Caribou boots for when it's really bad, but they are very clunky and VERY hard to drive in! I will not be doing barn chores in them. They do a less chunky model though, otherwise I'm no help as yet, sorry!