It was on Christmas Eve, just past midnight. We were attending a two-and-a-half-hour long Latin mass. We were in freezing Poland. The outside temperature was (only) -13C, but the church was not heated.
We were standing at the back of the church, which was jam packed, with no seats left.
We were wearing a pair of goodyear welted Chukka boots from Meermin with a rubber sole. We thought it was the right choice of shoes at the time.
However, the cold was slowly penetrating through the soles. Despite our merino wool socks, it was like Death entering our body through the ice cold ground. A horrible feeling.
Fighting for life, our last resort was to raise one foot off the ground for 10 seconds, and then alternate with the other foot. You might not believe us, but not touching the floor was an actual relief.
While fighting not to freeze from the feet, we came to the conclusion that our soles were obviously too thin, but also that our boots were too tight for cold weather.
They’re the right size for the rest of the year. But having more room inside would create an insulating layer of air. Tighter-fitting coats keep you less warm than slightly boxier-fitting ones. Having a buffer layer of warm air around you is more insulating than the fabric itself. This is also why -25C without wind is more tolerable than -5C with wind, as the wind blows the hot air buffer around you.
That night, we realised we needed 1/ thicker soles and 2/ roomier winter city boots. Not that these freezing conditions are frequent where we live… But slowly freezing during the Christmas Eve service, was a frightful situation that we wouldn’t want to repeat.
Last winter, while thinking about the best winter shoes, we added a third criteria: a pair that is quick and easy to take off. We remember hating Timberland 6-inch boots for this, and our current pair of Tod’s winter boots are also a nightmare to lace up…
Thick-soled Chelsea boots it is then!
It’s funny that we suddenly discovered we needed such a pair of Chelsea, because they’re fashionable right now, and we swear we have always hated them. Especially models like these:
How fashion infects us even when we’re fighting against it
You know us.
We hate fashion.
It’s expensive (cost-per-wear wise), it’s wasteful, and it quickly becomes uncool.
So we never follow fashion, but somehow, fashion infects us like a virus, and we see our own tastes/needs evolving in the same direction as fashion.
It’s just like Andy Sachs in the Devil Wears Prada.
For years, we would always wear thinner, sleeker, more elegant soles (even in winter) and be happy with our choice.
But suddenly, this year, we found the perfect excuse (not freezing to death) to buy the current trend.
How twisted are we to both hate the current trend, and find excuses to buy it? We figured we’d share this story with you, because maybe, you’ve experienced the same dissonance inside you.
PS : You might ask what model of Chelsea boots we're planning to buy. It's going to be either: