The Hunt for Rain Boots
While many Americans are still in full pandemic panic, some of us Floridians know another major disaster could be looming around the bend: HURRICANE SEASON
Florida Hurricane Season
It officially starts on June 1st. For us, that means the afternoon thunderstorms kick-off and from time to time we will be hunkering down in fear of lost electricity, flooding, falling trees and just general shoreline destruction.
Here in Jacksonville, we have both the coast and St. Johns River flooding to worry about.
Would red shoes be the answer?
Protecting Plants & Feets
As someone who doesn’t own land – no beach condo or house for me to stress about – hurricane panic doesn’t usually hit too hard. I hope a tree doesn’t wreck my car, then just hold out for hopefully a few days off of work. Well, usually I look forward to that. With the quarantine, I’ll take driving out in stormy weather as a nice change of pace. The cabin fever is real.
My way of prepping is to make sure my outdoor plants aren’t in danger of being tumbled by gusts of wind and making sure I have the proper summer footwear. Hurricane season positively demands new rain boots.
RIP My Old Sloggers
They go by a lot of names; wellies, sloggers, dickersons, gumshoes, overshoes, galoshes and rainboots. Depending on where you are from and whether these boots are stand-alones or slipped over other shoes, these shoes can look a bit different.
Basically, all of these serve a similar purpose. These boots protect your feet when you go squishing through the mud or trapse right into a big ol’ street puddle.
I used to have some very adequate rainboots. I bought the basic black mudding boots they sell at Walmart when I was preparing to go to Redneck Yacht Club. The boots served me well through four-wheeling rides and battling the rainy campsite for one fun-filled weekend.
The boots last for many years. I discovered that I could wear them during the Florida rainy season and even make a little bit of a fashion statement. They would tide me over as we transitioned into fall boot season, and I wore them until they got holes and water seeped in.
On a Boot Hunt
I threw out those boots a few months ago, and it was time to replace them. I started to get excited about shiny new rain boots. I was motivated by dreams of Paddington Bear and past trips to Target with lines of polka dot and ruby red boots standing tall in the the shoe section. So, I headed out on foot to find my new pair.
Target. DSW. Walmart. Dick’s Sporting Goods. Shoe Carnival. Academy Sports and Outdoors. My husband Michael accompanied me on a day long mission of searching for some new boots. The only ones I found had probs. There were men’s boots, clunky black and green boots, rain booties that stopped at the ankle, tall boots with no room for my calves, and basically just a very slim selection overall.
Michael told me not to settle. He told me to keep looking. This boot drought couldn’t last forever.
The ones with tiny polka dots are better
To the Mattresses (or the Internet)
I took my boot hunt online. Maybe it just wasn’t the right season. Certainly things my be different up North. But the Florida skies weren’t friendly, and I knew those hurricane rain clouds were only weeks away.
I googled. I amazoned. I poshmarked. I facebook marketplaced. Anon and alas, my search was fruitless. Thing is, my calves are not slim. The standard boot size just might suffocate my muscle-bulked and rather short legs. I also didn’t want just any boot. They HAD to be cute.
Forget the fact that size was a problem. There was also a major style issue to solve.
Poll: Yellow Vs Polka Dot
In the midst of these days of shopping (I really need a day job again!), I decided to kill some time by polling my friends to help me choose between classic yellow rain boots and rainbow polka dot black boots. I grabbed some screenshots and asked the Facebookees.
First, I heard a lot about polka dots. Do the polka. Choose dots. It seemed nearly unanimous. Then someone responded with the ol’ Porque no los dos? And I thought, yes, Jesse, in a perfect world I would have ALL the shoes. But it was my birthday, and my mom promised me a single pair so I HAD to make the right choice.
The winds shifted.
I started getting some classic yellow votes. Expect for my friend Michelle’s husband. He stated that Michelle was the only one who could pull off polka dots. And, outrage upon outrage, someone even suggested YELLOW POLKA DOTS. This was turning into a true Lizzy Maguire level fashion emergency.
RAINBOOT FASHION POLL
The results were in . . . the public demanded boots the color of sunshine to don on rainy days. Paddington Bear was winning.
Rainbow Polka Dot Boots: 10 Votes
Classic Yellow Wellies: 17 Votes
*3 votes for both excluded
Upon looking for a photo of Paddington, I discovered that this fuzzy bear also wore some pretty splendid RED BOOTS. Not another choice! Maybe what I really needed was some sassy red boots. I have yellow heels already. Maybe I’d missed my ruby red calling this whole time….
Waiting for My New Boots
I finally made a decision.
I finally choose one magical pair. I put in my very first ever Zappos order. It didn’t quite break the bank. But I will tell you corona times are slowing my shoe delivery down!
I will tell you everything about the size, style, brand, fit – oh, AND COLOR! – I chose whenever they finally arrive.
The suspense is killing me.
In reading about this fashion emergency, you may have discovered my slight shoe obsession. Want MORE? You can get frequent updates on my shoenanigans by following me on Instagram at @CouplesWearingShoes
Is the suspense killing you? Here is the resolution to my birthday rainboot journey!
Day after day I checked my email. I thought Zappos would be super fast. Weren’t they shoe gods? But COVID slows everything down. No one was knocking on my apartment door to alert me of a package. I hadn’t gotten a shipping notice in my email. And the skies seemed to be getting some afternoon greyness. Would my boots ever arrive?
Special Delivery from Zappos!
Behold, on Sunday, May 24th there was an abrupt knock at my door, followed by the clunk of a big ol’ cardboard box banging my doorstep. Falling from the Memorial Weekend skies, was a boot birthday present just for me.
Wishing the Yellow Wellies Fit
I eagerly shoved my dainty toes and plump calves into the yellow shoe caverns. Only to find, to my great dismay, that these lovely yellow Kamik Jennifer Mustard yellow boots were too small for my curvy calves.
I could blame my recent belly growth on my pregnancy, but not this. Good ol’ genetics sent me on trip to the UPS store to return the ill-fated Zappos purchase. Anon and Alas.
Back to the Mattresses (the Mall)
I went on another trapse through the Avenues Mall. Surely I could find some remaining scrap of rainboot sales in the one of the department stores that were opening back up. There was Belk, JCPenney, and finally Dilliard’s.
Checking out Dilliards. Dilliard’s was where I finally hit pay dirt.
The Winner . . . RED BOOTS, RED!
After all the humming and hawing, and ouch-these-don’t-fit, I found the winners. It meant I had to go foraging on foot back to the mall, but at least this meant I could try on the shoes.
There were no back-up sizes in the back of the store, but miracle of miracles I found this gorgeous pair of please-notice-me boots on display.
Now it’s slightly embarrassing to admit this, but instead of my normal 7.5 shoe size, I ended up opting for a 10! Fortunately the shoes have real wool at the bottom and kind of suction to your foot, so trudging around with an extra inch of toe room won’t be so bad. Plus these will look stellar with my Burberry khaki rain jacket.
“Rules: No drinking, Uggs or flip-flops, of course, I prefer ladies in heels and always bring a coat.”
-The Lady from Bolthouse
Confession: I Now Own Uggs
Once I put these on I was truly feeling myself. The shoes were also Uggs. I have never owned Uggs. Especially not a new pair! Plus, these were on sale, and cost $67.00 – just a $3 less than my Zappos attempt. (I did get 10% off because there was no Uggs shoe box to be found in the store). I actually really would of liked to feed my shoe obsession with a giant new box, but I was happy enough to just own a pair of Uggs.
Red Uggs Win! Despite the onboarding advice of the Bolthouse Employee on The Hills, I will rock these shoes anywhere.
And, then, it like a written invitation to wear my rainboots falling right from the Florida sky. The very next day it rained.