As you may have gathered, I spend a lot of time looking at (or as I like to call it, because it makes it seem less weird, researching) shoes. First of all, I like doing it — I find it relaxing; second, I’ve made too many bad shoe choices in the past, so putting the effort in beforehand does save me joint pain later.
So my current obsession is snow boots. My snow boots are great but truly wrecked; I’ve had them for years, and I’ve patched them up with Sugru, but now I think they are beyond saving.
I wear snow boots for walking the dog in the winter, and yes it does seem like overkill to wear snow boots in the UK when it rarely dips below freezing, but arthritic joints do not like the cold or, something the UK has perfected, the damp. Frankly, there can be no overkill when it comes to boots in winter.
My main snow boot criteria are warmth and waterproofness (now a word) — there must be absolutely no water getting in whatsoever, yet still not be restrictive of my movement. A bonus criterion is making me look like Leia on the ice planet Hoth, but this has yet to happen:
So, I’m currently researching, comparing and contrasting boots. I like Merrell footwear, but recently people have been going mad for Sorel. Then, I got an email from Clarks telling me about their winter Trigenic range. TRIGENIC SNOWBOOTS KLAXON!!!. There are two styles, the more walking boot style:
and the more snow boot style:
The GTX, as you’re probably aware, stands for Gore-tex, meaning that these boots are totally waterproof. Clarks also have non-Gore-tex winter boots, like the Tri Attract, which are nice and slightly cheaper, but as I said above Waterproofness is key for me.
So of course I set off for Clarks as soon as I could. My local branch only had the Tri Arc, but I figured I could get a good feel for whether the boots would suit my needs.
First up, the wool lining is super cosy, I don’t think anyone would complain about getting cold feet, and the boot looks good. Being in the trigenic range, they have the wonderful, arthritis-friendly flexing sole that is lightweight and springy. One downside of walking boots are their weight, which can add to the pain, and these shoes have gotten rid of that aspect while still maintaining sturdiness and warmth. These boots would be a great addition to the winter wardrobe of arthritis sufferers.
However (there’s always a however) I wasn’t 100% sold on these. The soles are sturdy, but they are not full-on snow boot level of grip that I get from the Merrells in the top picture, and I wonder how much of a battering these could take. If you mostly walk on grass or track I think these would be fine, but I want something that will cope with flint and cragginess, so I didn’t want to buy them until I had tried on some full-on snow boots. That may be a mistake, because I don’t think these are going to sit around for long.
So if you’re tempted and looking for warm boots, I would get in there and order some, but hopefully I can conclude my research before they all sell out!