There are a number of items that your average-not a skier-usually prefers beaches-antipodean does not hold in their possession when considering going to Europe for Christmas, specifically:
- Good boots that can deal with snow/wet slushy conditions
- The best all purpose jacket (one that can keep you warm, dry and act as a wind breaker)
- Ways to keep hands warm but still able to use devices
Today, I managed to resolve issues one and two.
I did a fair bit of research on line, and it seems evident that there is a very clear line between boots/shoes that can handle Icy surfaces, and “Snow Boots”. To be honest, I was pretty set on the snow boot option, and had managed to narrow it down to either Sorel’s, Ecco or Helly Hansen. However, there were a number of other alternatives that came up in my search. With the capacity to use a more hiking style boot that could handle the Urban winter conditions, and also be of use in Southern Hemisphere winters, becoming a more attractive option.
When I went shopping today, Timberland were NOT on my list – I for one am not the epitome of fashion, and to be honest was of the view that my decision was going to be based firmly on function over form. However first shop I walked into was the Timberland store in South Wharf DFO, and I fell in love with the classic 6 inch waterproof premium boot, and at a great marked down price ($149AUD*). To my credit, I did check out all my other options, and also the competitors to the Timberland boot (again, Ecco, Helly Hansen and Sorel) but for the price and capacity to wear in a number of different scenarios, the Timberland boot won out!
The rub here is that I have an absolutely awesome Kathmandu goose down jacket – NOTHING makes me warmer than this jacket, however it is a soft shell, and as such a bit of rain or snow and the jacket looses its insulation. Either, I needed a new jacket, or a rain jacket that I could put over the top of the Kathmandu jacket if it rained. I found my solution at Macpac (as a side note, both Kathmandu and Macpac were founded in New Zealand, and are both just wicked brands as far as I am concerned!), where I was able to pick up a light waterproof travel Jacket (extra large) to fix my concerns.
Yes, I may not look particularly stylish with my bright pink rain coat over my bright blue puffer jacket – but at least my footwear will make up for it!
But what about number three?
To be fair, number three appears to be an issue for anyone contemplating the cold. Mittens are great, but don’t always cut it when your fingers fall off because they are exposed, and the neat screen sensitive pad gloves always seem far to thin to be of any real use. I have a theory however, and I am going to go with the layering idea, the gloves that I can use with my phone screen as the first layer, and then mittens over top – will let you know how that goes!
*NB: In the end, price won out over complete vanity, the “wheat” coloured boots that they are so famous for, were $80AUD more than the blue ones I proceeded to purchase – and lets be honest, I don’t really have the street cred to pull that sort of look off anyways 😛