Two years ago I purchased a pair of Bogs Urban Walker loafers. I recommend them to my fellow lazily uncaring shoe users who live in sometimes-wintry climate zones. Beyond basic waterproof construction, they boast integrated “booties” made of a stretchy material whose upper aperture cinches snugly but comfortably around one’s ankle, forming a seal that offers the warmth and dryness of full-sized boots while retaining the low profile and easy build/teardown process of loafers.

I last week had reason to wear them for the first time in many months, and I continue to celebrate my past self for taking the unusual step of purchasing them. For my whole adult life, I have typically only worn a single pair of shoes or sneakers, simply making do with them, no matter the weather, buying a new pair only when the old disintegrates past an acceptable threshold. An unbeatable plan when it comes to conceptual simplicity, but leaves something to be desired in the realm of having dry feet. A few years of cohabitation with a more sensible shoe-wearer, plus my discovery of Zappos (the browsing of which I find infinitely less painful than any physical shoe-shopping expedition), finally helped me realize that I too could employ this strategy to improve my life significantly at a cost of relatively low added complexity.

I wager there exist many others like me in this regard. I address this post to them. Please get some winter shoes. I like these! Maybe you should look at these.

Do note that the Bogs Urban Walkers are not handsome shoes. In particular, they lead with enormous puffy clown-toes. You will not look classy while wearing them. But some days you’ll want to go outside wearing two flannel shirts that don’t even match underneath your winter coat, because on these days looking excellent does not rank among your primary concerns whilst strolling (or, indeed, carefully penguin-walking) down the sidewalk. Quite likely the host of your destination will encourage stocking-feet upon arrival anyway, because they don’t want your tracking the wintry mix all over their hardwood.

The Zappos page I linked to above lists only “men’s sizes” and I don’t know what that implies for ladies. Feet do not strike me as particularly dimorphous body parts, even less so than hands. I mean, if you like walking around as much as I do you’ll eventually have big ol’ spread-toed hobbit-feet no matter the rest of your shape, right? Like, is there a standard cross-gender size conversion that women tacitly learn early on?

This knowledge escapes me because I do not talk to women about shoes much. I also don’t talk to men about shoes, and generally I don’t even host privately internal dialogues about shoes either. All of which comes round to support why I like these simple, practical, comfortable winter shoes that have kept my feet dry for years without heavy expenditure of either money or attention. I hope they or something like them work for you.


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