Posted by Cara Anderson on 1/9/2012 to Cheslers News
We all want to look good and feel good. In the winter, this can be quite a challenge. How do we look stylish, but keep warm as well?
Fortunately for us, this year warmth is stylish a novel idea, I know. Uggs remain a very popular brand in our area, and the classic Sorel boot is being seen all over. These two brands keep it simple a bulkier lining keeps you warmer. Uggs sheepskin boots trap the warm air your body produces and keeps it close to you (but keep in mind they are not meant for slushy days). Sorel uses a similar approach, but with a removable felt inner bootie. The more warm air the linings can trap, the warmer your feet will be.
But what if you dont want a bulky looking boot? There are still ways to keep warm. First of all, if you can layer, then do so; but only as much as you can without making your boot too snug. If your boots are tight, your feet will be cold, not matter what you are wearing. Two pairs of socks help to trap that warm air. Socks that do not cause your feet to perspire are best lightweight wool, cotton, or some of the highly technical fibers out there on the market.
The next step is to keep your feet dry. Wet or damp feet are cold feet. The socks will definitely help. Look for linings that will wick away moisture. Light wool or a cotton weave would be good. Check to see if there is a waterproof membrane in the boot. Membranes like Gore Tex or Sympatex allow tiny water vapour molecules (from your body) to pass through it, but a full sized water molecule (from a puddle) stays out. As long as the membrane is intact, your footwear will stay dry.
In order for that membrane to work, you need a breathable upper like leather or some other breathable material. Most materials that look like leather will not work as well because they do not have the pores. So if you are going to get a great pair of dress boots, spend a little bit more and go for the leather it will last much longer and be more durable.
The last thing to look for is a light insulation. Thinsulate pretty well has the market cornered here. There are different weights of it in different types of footwear. You will see it as 100g, 200g, etc. The higher the number the warmer it will be, but slightly more bulky. If your boots have 100g to 150g, you should be pretty good, as long as you are moving.
Temperature ratings can be very misleading. We are all different, some of us are always cold, no matter what, and some of us can be outside in a blizzard in a t-shirt and be fine. There is also the fact that the more you move, the more heat you produce. You will be colder waiting at the bus stop than you would be walking the dog. So take temperature ratings with a grain of salt.
So to sum it up - dryer feet make for warmer feet water is not your friend, whether it is from the outside of your boots or the inside. Look for wicking materials to take the moisture away from your body. Get a waterproof leather boot with a membrane. Make sure you have enough room in the boot for warm air around your feet.
Follow these tips, and you can look great while being stylish or be uber-warm and go for the Sorel-type boot.