You know what happens a lot in the UK? Rain. Back home, rain is an EVENT. Rainy days are when you sit inside, eating jaffles and squabbling over who gets to be the racecar in Monopoly. Here, rain is a way of life and people just…get on with it.
The first wet day here I squelched about in my little Nike Frees, until I lost all feeling in my toes and began to stress about trench foot. And so to the task of boot shopping.
I pretty quickly nixed Hunters. I know they’re like a British Institution or something but I can’t get over the fact that they’re just plastic and essentially 1 gene sequence away from being Crocs.
Dubarrys also got the thumbs down. They’re this Irish brand of boots which are perfect for traipsing through sleet or horseshit. However, they’re crazy expensive and not even that comfortable. The store I went to was staffed by a really snooty lady who scrunched up her face in a moue of disapproval when I asked whether there was something with a tad more arch support…as though I would be getting more than enough for the £300 they’d set me back (attitude which I don’t think is acceptable outside of a Julia Roberts movie).
Horribly disloyal, but I finally ordered some L.L. Bean boots online. Described as ‘the original antidote to wet feet’, they were designed by Mr. Bean himself over 100 yrs ago (but these days are tricked out with all the Goretex and Thinsulate business). According to the website, ‘Our signature boots are still sewn right here in Maine – one pair at a time – by expert craftspeople whose technical skills and passion for their work is evident in every pair of boots they make’. That’s probably a bit of a stretch, but I’ll imagine that the boots were lovingly crafted in a bright Santa’s workshop of cobbling elves.
These boots promise to be good for: snow, sleet, rain, hail, working on Arctic fishing trawlers and perpetuating stereotypes of preppy college students.