Winter walking can be wonderful or worrisome. Your footwear makes a big difference. Visit any major ski town. You'll notice that locals can stay balanced, even on the iciest streets. Snow-sport proficiency might play a minor role in these super-human balance skills, but footwear is a major factor. The locals wear insulated, high-traction waterproof shoes, which often have added ankle support. Function trumps fashion. Remember, you don't get bragging rights for injuries caused by sidewalk slips. The right winter walking shoe keeps you upright.
The LL Bean company, located in Maine, has been manufacturing cold-weather clothing since 1912. It's hard to argue with success. The classic, waterproof and breathable Bean Boot is an obvious choice. It comes in men's and women's models.The 8-inch model reaches the lower calf. The 6-inch model reaches the ankle. The Gumshoe has the same construction as the Bean Boot, but it fits like a regular shoe.
Freeport, ME 04033
Sorel Naknek and Fairbanks Drift
Sorel is noted for its boots, but the company also manufactures what they call an "arctic sneaker." The Naknek Drift is the women's model, and the Fairbanks Drift is designed for men. The snowmobile-inspired outsoles provide superior traction. Waterproof leather keeps your feet dry, and felted wool linings keep them warm. These sneakers are lightweight, so they may be a viable choice for snowshoeing. Sorel is a subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear.
Columbia Sportswear Company
14375 NW Science Park Dr.
Portland, OR 97229
Slip-on shoes have some distinct advantages. You don't need to worry about loose shoelaces, and if you are taking a plane trip to a ski destination, they are easily removed in the security line. Merrell makes slip-on models for men and women. The Quantum Moc Waterproof is the men's model. Its sole has been compared to a snow tire, and its waterproof, insulated construction keeps the feet warm and dry.
The Winterlude 6 Waterproof is the women's model. This waterproof, insulated shoe is treated with an odor-preventing antimicrobial agent.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.