I got myself a decent pair of winter boots today; I have a feeling I may need them.

Last winter was a strange time. We didn’t have much snow and I did without boots (using regular walking shoes, not the dress shoes) until well into January. Then I bought an inexpensive pair to do me until spring. They barely lasted; they were a thick canvas material covered with a thin coat of some rubber or latex material. By spring they were cracked and letting in moisture. I used them a time or two during summer hikes for ankle support, but they no longer served their main purpose and were now consigned to the garbage.

Checking out new footwear can be quite a chore. They are never the size I think my feet are; therefore I have to try on each pair that strikes my eye and is in my size range. One store had a handsome pair in size 8 1/2 (my current shoe size) so I tried them on. They didn’t fit. The clerk could not find an identical pair in size 9, not even 9 1/2, so I left disappointed.

I was wandering around a retail area (a mall that isn’t a mall but a puzzle of stores and parking lots) and passed through a Zellers to check for inexpensive CDs when I saw signs proclaiming all winter footwear reduced by 40%. I checked it out – just in case, you know. I looked through the stuff they had set up in several different displays when I saw a pair of boots that struck my fancy. What was more surprising, they fit! Straight to the cashier, no browsing through music or other matter.

They feel good. Up to about mid-calf. Black, and smelling of leather (though that can be faked, I believe). Felt insoles. Faux fur lining. Size 9.  And the sale price brought it under $50.00.

But the feature that really sold it to me was its closure: a heavy-duty Velcro fastening on each side. No more struggling to get feet to slide into boots! No more struggling with little zippers by cold fingertips! Please, let them last! I have already learned to close them from the bottom (open from the top) or I leave a bubble-like opening at the ankle.

Now, let it snow if it must.

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