Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Best Post-Climbing Footwear Ever is More Awesome than You Think

They aren't soled with sticky stealth or otherwise rock-tastic rubber. They dont snug tight with laces or velcro. There's no aggressive down-turned camber. These are straight up classic western boots with a modern twist of style and color. I spent the big bucks last fall on a pair of Ariat Boots hoping to find ideal jeans/skirt/dress footwear. What I ended up with were beautiful purple Showbabys with round Fatbaby toes followed shortly thereafter by Sara's hot-as-hell pink Rodeobaby Rockers. Now... 2 pairs of cowboy boots might seem like a lot for one Little Green House and you're probably wondering what this has to do with climbing so here's the secret: These are THE ultimate post-climbing shoe option. And with two climbing girls in the house we each need a pair, of course.

After a good day on Silent Running, Darrington, WA
These boots are some of the most comfortable, supportive footwear I have ever worn. That they are shiny, sassy, versatile and PURPLE and PINK! is bonus. Well, so what, you say, they're cute but why are these the best post-climbing footwear? Honestly, I prefer flipflops. And my goal is to wear them May through November. Most years I don't make it that far and some mid-summer days in Washington just aren't that warm. But when barefoot just isn't an option, these boots provide a fully covered flipflop feel, but with more support and a style that looks better with a kickass skirt on the way in to the B&G for a G&T.

I have a narrow foot from the mid to the heel, but a wider ball and when I step my arch turns to mush which makes my feet tire out fairly quickly without good support. The width of the round toe Showbabys fits my foot best, but the more classic toe of the Rodeobaby's is also comfortable for all day.

Both pairs of boots are built with Advanced Torque Stability Technology (aka ATS(r)) which is a fancy schmancy way of saying the footbeds of these boots are constructed to provide support and help with better posture. All things I need, especially after a long day in not so comfortable rock shoes. Ariat claims this type of construction also helps reduce fatigue, which I'd support - I can wear them all day without getting achy.

The no-slip rubber soles feel secure and stable on slippery rock at trailheads (or on frosty grass fields while walking Maile the Great). I've come unprepared to hike at the spur of the moment and ended up halfway uphill doing just fine on loose dirt and rock with these boots.

The leather has maintained a well-kept, undistressed look with a little shoe polish help despite the dusty, dirty, muddy conditions I've put them through. They've also been comfortable post-climb in Nevada's foot-swelling desert heat, the City of Rocks in June, and in Washington, well, anytime. I wear them after climbing, all-day at work and they even dressed up my brown wrap dress just fine last year at the AAC's annual "black tie" dinner. Could I ask for a better pair of boots? No.

Yes, I'll be getting a new pair his winter. 3 pairs of boots, excessive? Borderline but some fanaticism is worth it. Y'all git yer own pair now, ya hear?


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