Author Topic: Buying winter shoes/boots?  (Read 6462 times)

act01

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Buying winter shoes/boots?
« on: December 02, 2014, 02:41:47 AM »
**EDIT: This thread is from 2014... I don't need advice anymore. Thanks :)

Weird dilemma. I live in SoCal, where it never gets below 40. I'm going to Canada for work soon, where it probably won't be above 0. The closest thing I own to winter-suitable shoes are hiking shoes (that aren't waterproof). I'm borrowing a pair of heavy snow boots from a friend for the days I know we'll be outdoors, but I need to take something along that's not as bulky - comfortable enough to walk in short distances, won't freeze my toes off being outside for 20 mins, and won't slip on ice.

I can't find good quality for under $100 (which I *really* don't want to pay). Low end shoes/boots (under $40) all look too lightweight/flimsy to me. Any ideas? Should I just save my money and risk it with my hiking shoes?

I've tried a number of thrift stores, prop stores, sport stores, discount (Ross, Marshalls), Craigslist... I was hoping to spend as little as possible, but I'm running out of time and ideas. If I have to spend money, I want it to be something I would wear again back here, in which case, heavy/bulky shoes aren't great (but a boot option might work).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 12:37:05 AM by Spondulix »

DrSweden

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 03:10:01 AM »
Risk it! If they are not good enough then buy something in Canada. Most likely it will be easier to find something there then in California.

1967mama

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 03:35:29 AM »
Yep, wait till you get here to buy anything capable of coping with a Canadian winter.

NeuroPlastic

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 05:24:05 AM »
Risk it with the shoes, but use some good wool socks.  A proper pair makes a huge difference, regardless of the shoe/boot/whatever, and at a much lower price.  I avoid the high-tech, wicking socks; they leave my feet dry but co0old.  If you need to manage moisture around your toes, plain silk sock-liners under the wool will keep them dry and warm.

MrsPete

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 05:57:54 AM »
I don't need warm boots where I live, but I have bought several pairs of good-quality hiking boots for my family over the years from eBay.  They always seem to be available. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 06:42:37 AM »
If you're looking for decently warm winter boots, they're likely going to cost around 100$ or more.  Buying winter boots is a bit different than regular shoes.  You want to buy a size larger so that they're roomy on your feet.  Extra room keeps your toes warmer since you can layer heavy pairs of socks.  If your toes fit snugly in a shoe they tend to get less circulation and will get colder faster in the winter.

^ All that said, I reread your post.  For short 20 minute walks outside you don't even need winter boots.  Any pair of waterproof/water resistant hiking boot will do just fine.  You'll probably be fine in running shoes with wool socks to be honest, you won't get frostbite from 20 minutes of cold.

wwweb

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 06:46:12 AM »
...but use some good wool socks. 

As an avid winter hiker, I completely agree.  Good wool socks + three season hiking boots work for me until ~20F (many hours outside).  If you just want quick trips around town, a good pair of wool socks + your hiking boots may be enough.

jamal utah

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 09:26:25 AM »
On the topic of socks, folks on the "buy it for life" thread have suggested this place: http://darntough.com/

I don't have any experience with these but it sounds like the socks are guaranteed for life, so when you wear them out you just send them back for another pair.

MsFrugalista

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 11:57:10 AM »
I second a good pair of wool socks. I have a few really good SmartWool socks which I love. I live in NorCal now and still wear them! Also, for boots, I got a really nice pair of Teva boots from REI and keep my feet/toes very warm. Depending on how long you expect to be outdoors (and where in Canada you're going), you should be fine with a good pair of liner socks with an additional wool pair in your hikers. Enjoy!

act01

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 04:53:51 PM »
Awesome suggestions - thank you everyone!

act01

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 05:03:25 PM »
Part of the trip we'll be in Banff - that's where I was concerned about winterized clothes/shoes. Or is it really necessary? (I'm not sure how much interest I'll have in being outside, but would like to do some sightseeing)

Dave1442397

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2018, 05:03:55 AM »
If you want a cheap pair of boots for now, check out Sierra Trading Post

https://www.sierratradingpost.com/all/mens-boots~d~137/?page=1&overrideSort=LowestPrice

Villanelle

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 05:18:46 AM »
Will you be working outside or just doing some regular walking around, and do you need to look nice?

I have a pair (actually several now) of Kirkland (Costco) knock-off Uggs. I am pretty sure they are about $40.  If I don't plan on walking for hours and don't plan on being "off road" (aka off the plowed roads and shoveled sidewalks), those are my go-to.  I find them to be incredibly warm and plenty sufficient in the German winters.  (They stretch a lot, so by them tight.  And for even more warmth you can add thick socks.  Just try the on with the socks but remember to still get them on the tight side.)

You might also find some knock-off Uggs at some of the stores you mentioned. 


Edge of Reason

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 07:57:34 AM »
You will have to be prepared for snow, rain AND FREEZING rain (our new normal) during a Canadian winter. Sidewalks and roadways are usually cleared early and (when the sun is high enough to help with the melting) they are usually bare. If you want comfortable dry feet (and not have to lug around extra shoes and dry socks), you'll have to invest in something that is more than $40.

We have snow on the ground here 4-5 months of the year (that sounds so terrible when I write it down). Here on the east coast we get Nor'Easters (huge dumps of moist snow in short periods). I wear boots (Bogs) on stormy days when I know the sidewalks and roads have been cleared I wear a pair of waterproof (gore tex) trail running sneakers with wool socks instead. This is enough to keep my feet warm and dry and give me enough traction on the ice or in case it starts snowing again. You could most likely wear them when you move back to California as they are breathable and waterproof it's just the wool socks that make them warm.

For those situations when we get freezing rain a lot of people also use these things things that strap onto your shoes/boots and give you grip (studded tires for your feet). They are sold in a lot of places in Canada but pick them up early in the season because they usually sell out.



« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 07:59:41 AM by Edge of Reason »

Kitsune

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 10:08:48 AM »
As a Canadian (Quebec):

- If you aren't expecting to be out much at all, layer thick socks with waterproof boots. Re-wax any leather so that you increase the waterproofing.
- If you're expecting to be outdoors/care about aesthetics but don't need something that's going to last you 2+ years of heavy-duty wear, stores like Yellow have decent boots for 50$ (CAD) or so (ditto: Walmart). They're cute, they're warm (enough), they are leaky and cold and crap after 3 months of regular wear, which isn't something you need to worry about.
- If you're going to be outdoors a bunch, get decent boots. Seriously. There's nothing more miserable than cold feet. And if you're feeling charitable, drop them off at the local immigrant association or women's shelter when you leave - a lot of people arrive here with no money and no winter clothes.

DavidDoes

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2018, 10:20:26 AM »
A couple years ago, my friend and I went on our first winter backpacking trip. I never buy single-purpose shoes, so when I started looking for shoes for this, I considered only shoes I could use on the daily as well.

What I found were some great Adidas Terrex GTX trail running shoes. They utilize Gore-Tex, so they're completely waterproof, and they're a mid-top, so I won't be wearing boots. Being a year-round cyclist, this was a dream come true! So my first winter backpacking trip went down without a hitch even though I didn't have high-top shoes, I didn't get any snow in my shoes. While my buddy was drying his shoes out by the fire, I was sitting warm and dry.

I've worn these shoes every day through two Autumns and Winters here in Seattle for cycling and for normal wearing. I've even worn them into the summer until it becomes too warm. I'm wearing them right now, and they're still mostly waterproof. I'm sure I could do something to fix the one part that isn't (right foot, small toe area). But Gore-Tex carries a lifetime warranty on all of their products, so I might just take them up on that.

I paid $70 for these shoes on Amazon, because they were a yester-year model.

This summer, that same friend was having his "bachelor party" trip, where we got a cabin and floated a river. I knew I needed water shoes, but I didn't want just water shoes. I wanted something I could wear like a normal shoe during the summer, since I didn't have any shoes that weren't too warm for the summer. Adidas came to the rescue again with their Terrex CC boat shoe. It's mesh and has holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain out. It was a good thing I got more shoe-like water shoes instead of the barely-there ones, because the river was low, and my feet met some rocks. No harm done thanks to those shoes! I went on to wear them the rest of the summer with and without socks. Those shoes were $52 from Moosejaw.com, and I'll get 10% back in dividends. :)

SunnyDays

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2018, 10:23:28 AM »

For those situations when we get freezing rain a lot of people also use these things things that strap onto your shoes/boots and give you grip (studded tires for your feet). They are sold in a lot of places in Canada but pick them up early in the season because they usually sell out.



Another vote for these.  They work great!  Nothing worse than slipping on ice and breaking something.  Otherwise, follow above suggestions for warmth.

socaso

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2018, 02:44:00 PM »
I just bought a pair of Columbia snow boots from Poshmark for only $20. They had all kinds of snow boots/shoes for under $100. I am very happy with mine, they are practically new and the treads don't even look worn. If you go that route you could resell them after your trip.

FIFoFum

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2018, 11:38:59 AM »
This zombie thread is nearly 4 years old! I think the OP has probably already figured out what boots or shoes would work in 2014...

Dave1442397

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2018, 02:44:32 PM »
This zombie thread is nearly 4 years old! I think the OP has probably already figured out what boots or shoes would work in 2014...

Oh, that's weird...how the hell did the thread get to the top of the page? Wasn't me, although my post is now the first one of 2018...someone deleted things before it.

DS

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2018, 08:42:48 AM »
This zombie thread is nearly 4 years old! I think the OP has probably already figured out what boots or shoes would work in 2014...

Oh, that's weird...how the hell did the thread get to the top of the page? Wasn't me, although my post is now the first one of 2018...someone deleted things before it.

Probably a spam link / bot that was deleted.

act01

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Re: Buying winter shoes/boots?
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2018, 12:36:38 AM »
This zombie thread is nearly 4 years old! I think the OP has probably already figured out what boots or shoes would work in 2014...
LOL yes, I was wondering how this got revived from the dead, too. Most of the trip I wore hiking sneakers. The thing I didn't consider is I wasn't going off-path anywhere. In a place like Banff all the sidewalks are going to be kept well groomed.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 12:41:39 AM by Spondulix »