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Re: RC: keeping feet warm & dry in rain?
My vote goes to Sorels. I bought mine in Alaska about 15 years ago, they
were guaranteed down to 40 below. It DID get that cold in Fairbanks
sometimes, but I wasn't riding up there, just walking, which keeps your feet
warmer than riding, with your feet suspended in the stirrups, sometimes with
a lot of pressure across the middle of your foot, which tends to slow
circulation in your toes and make them colder.
My sorels are about a size too big, which means I can put on extra socks if I
need to, without making the boots tight. If they feel tight, your feet will
get cold faster. I look real clunky in them, as I already have size 11 feet,
but my feet stay warm. I have had no problem using these with my easy ride
stirrups, have even used them with standard English or Western stirrups, but
if you put your toe in too far, they will get stuck. Luckily, I don't lace
mine very tight, and they would pull off if there was a problem.
The most important thing is to buy the boots at least a half size to a size
bigger than your regular boot. For me, the Ariat Extremes did not keep my
feet warm, just like gloves with Thinsulate don't really do it.
As far as socks, most Alaskans know you start with a pair of thinner socks
that have a wicking material, like Thorlo's, then put a pair of wool socks
over them, as wool keeps it's insulating power even when wet. And my sorels
are rubber lowers with leather uppers. I use Mink oil on all my boots to
keep them water proof. I have to put it on every month or so, as we have
abrasive soil that kind of wears it off. There may be better treatments,
like a silicone spray, but the mink oil also conditions the leather.
If your out riding and your feet start to get cold, get off and walk or jog
for a little bit BEFORE they get too cold, the added circulation will keep
We ride til the ground freezes, then it's too hard on the horses' feet. If
you have softer footing, no reason you couldn't ride most of the winter.
Have fun, jeri
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