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I need a new pair of boots

Hello! My fiance and I live in a home near the mountains. It's great, except for the driveway, which is about 1/4 of a mile long and very steep. We live in North East TN, in the southern-most part of the Appalachian moutains, so we often get snow in December and February. There have been several times in the past when the snow wasn't very deep, but because of the angle of our driveway, we cannot drive our cars up to the house, forcing us to leave the cars at the bottom and hike up. Until last winter, I had never lived in an area of the country that received regular snow, so I was not well equipped. I would like to be much better prepared this coming year! 

We also have a problem with ice. Our driveway doesn't get very much sunlight, so even when the snow melts during the day, when the temperature drops at night it becomes solid sheets of ice over our paved driveway. I need something waterproof, that will come above my ankles, and with some SERIOUS slip resistance. I currently have a pair of Keens Targhee ii Waterproof mid-rise, which I find allows too much water into the shoe, and the soles are easily caked with powdery snow so it's easy to loose traction. Great for summer hikes, not for snowy hikes!

Any advice on boots or any other winter gear (like snow pants, jackets, etc.) would be very appreciated!

1 Reply

@sarahbethhill your driveway sounds like an adventure in itself! Here are a couple of thoughts and I'm guessing others will weigh in as well:

  • Adding a traction device to your boots can really help with traction! The rubber on most boots isn't really capable of preventing slipping on ice, so most folks need to add something with actual "spike-y-ness" for icy conditions (similar to the chains you would add to a car tire for snowy/icy roads)
  • In terms of a hiking boot, fit matters so much that it's hard to recommend specific models without seeing your actual foot! If possible, coming into a store for an Boot Fit appointment would be ideal. As you look at options, you might consider a full leather boot for increased warmth and water protection - definitely make sure any boot you pick says that it's waterproof!
  • Other winter gear: layers! Base layers, insulated layer in the middle, waterproof shell on the outside - here's a helpful article on layering. Also, insulated mittens/gloves. And if it's super cold, hand and foot warmers can help!

Good luck! Hope this helps!

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