The other day I was taking the subway here in Toronto, and I found myself looking at passengers’ feet. I used to work in a chiropodists’ clinic, and foot health is something I came to take very seriously. I saw lots of people in heels, boots, sneakers, and even sandals in the middle of a snowstorm and I felt pretty bad for them. What made me the most upset, though, was seeing obvious tourists shuffling around in the sandals and socks, and in Chuck Taylors that would have been more appropriate for April at the earliest. My partner suggested I write up a brief guide to what to look for in winter shoes for bringing out to Canada, so here it is.
I don’t know if you’ve ever spent time in any Canadian cities during the winter months, but if you haven’t, I promise you that winters and water go hand in hand. Whether you’re trekking through a foot of snow to get to your car, or walking along the sidewalks of Davenport here in Toronto, you’re going to come into contact with some serious moisture. Having waterproof, or at the very least, water-resistant shoes is crucial for maneuvering the Canadian landscape. Good winter boots are almost always waterproof, but if you can’t afford those or can’t wear them for whatever reason, make sure to at least spray close-toed shoes with waterproofing spray.
You know that stereotype about Canadian winters being brutally cold? It’s not always true for us, but it is probably true for you, especially if you’re visiting from a much more temperate location. If you can find boots with linings that keep warmth in, definitely bring those with you; if not, leave your sandals at home and make sure to pack a pair of shoes with thick enough lining that your toes won’t immediately freeze.
I almost slipped and fell on my butt last week because the sidewalks hadn’t been salted, and I immediately regretted not wearing shoes with good traction. Ice is dangerous and if you’ve never walked across it, it’s even more important for you to make sure you have shoes with grip. If your shoes are pretty smooth on the bottom, you can always by ice grips to tie to your shoes on Amazon!