I admit it. Ever since arriving in Maine two weeks ago I’ve been obsessed with looking at people’s feet.
More specifically, their footwear.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not from around here. I’m not even from around somewhere cold. The most experience I’ve had with ice is busting up a bag for the esky to cool beers down.
But having to adjust to walking on it? That’s a whole new exercise in scary, dear reader. I’ve got a temperamental enough back as it is without putting a foot wrong on the frozen stuff and landing on my butt or worse. The ice storm we got here on Sunday night and Monday made my own front steps slippery enough that I went online and bought health insurance to top me up while I wait for my work cover to kick in on February 1.
So I spend a lot of time ogling people’s boots, trying to figure out what works best. There are a lot of Timberland-style work boots with rubber tread, and a lot of pairs that look like they’d be perfectly safe on the Himalayas. But even when I’m shopping around I notice one thing: that for the most part, all the tread looks exactly the same. And it looks the same as it does on then hiking boots I have that are already not terribly grippy. So what’s the difference?
I mean, that didn’t stop me from buying a big pair of heavy insulated boots with what they say is winter-ready tread. But as extra insurance I also bought some removable (bad-ass) crampon-style cleats to really sink into the asphalt if I have to.
I just hope they arrive before I end up buying a car … and subsequently become a fully fledged American who drives everywhere.