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Consider me spanked by the weather. I fell three times in the snow this morning.
What are you wearing on your feet to stay upright on snowy paths and sidewalks?
I went down three times today thnks to a stubborn resitance to practicality and, um, my Uggs. Yes. Uggs. The boot I always swore I would never wear. But I made the mistake of trying a pair on last Spring, and they haven come off since.
In my fantasy life (left) that me, in the picture. I in Aspen, say, or at Sundance in my fur vest, strolling from event to event.
See below for real life.
First fall today: Foot out from under, ass on ground, Kitsilano alleyway, in packed snow on tire track, while walking my son to school. Flat on my back.
Second fall: Same alleyway, same tire track, same foot. Why am I wearing Uggs in 3 cm of fresh fallen, slippery, wet snow? They may be warm and toasty, with their fleece lining. But tread? Nope. These are fashion boots. They from Australia. Where it never snows.
I lie on my back in the alleyway for a full minute, letting the snow fall on my face.
I got the warmth thing covered: I wearing a puffy down coat that makes me look, and feel, like a big sausage (thank you Happy 3 Consignment on West 4th! I was one of many in there on Monday we were passing the down coats from one to the other, like buckets of water on a fire brigade line; one lady bought three). But on my feet, I wearing Uggs.
I have a vague recollection of tossing my 5 year old waterproof suede La Canadienne boots with grip wedge soles perfect combo of decent looking but snow functional in a donation bag last summer Why?
I fall a third time this morning, on the plaza in front of my office building,
which hasn been adequately salted
Considering I grew up in Ontario, where it snowed at least 5 monthes of the year, I feel like a bit of an ass. I know better.
Falls are preventable. The last time we had heavy snow, I interviewed Cheryl Leia, a fall and injury prevention specialist at Vancouver Coastal Health.
Here are her tips:
Expect a slippery surface. (Duh.)
Wear well insulated, waterproof boots with low heels and tread. (Uggs = no tread.)
Never wear indoor shoes outdoors even if you just walking to your car.
Take a wide stance when you walk, to distribute weight more evenly and stabilize your centre of balance.
Shuffle, so both feet are down flat on the ground as you walk. (It easy to become destabilized when you are lifting one leg as you are narrowing your base of support.)
Dress warmly. When your body is warm and relaxed, it responds more efficiently.
If you don have boots with a good, winter sole yet, better get them quick. Jay Jay Quibuyen at 3 Vets told me today that the recession in China has slowed production of Sorels, the gold standard for grippy soles and warmth. Most stores received only 80 per cent of their orders this season, and there been a mad rush for the last week at his store.
Sorels are lined and good for up to 40 below. They make you look like you about to walk on the moon, but for fashion addicts, 3 Vets has the Joan of Arctic version, which have a fur cuff. Baffin boots are also excellent says Quibuyen.
He also recommends Yak Trax, grips you can pull onto an existing pair of boots. There are several varieties, including the for runners, that have extra Velcro to keep them in place as you fly fleet footed over the snow.
Snow boots should not fit like hiking boots: there must be room to move your toes and keep blood flowing. Your heels and toes should have wiggle room, as long as your whole foot doesn come up. And it good to have room for a layer of extra socks.
My favourite addition to my winter wardrobe under my boots are my Lululemon Savasana socks: Wicking, 100 per cent Merino wool (but not itchy), with grip soles so you won slide around when your boots are off (they make great house socks too for anyone, like me, who hasn found the perfect slipper), and they have sexy buttons to peek over the edge of your not so sexy snow boots.