Winter is coming fast, and I have two freaky feet that are making it difficult to figure out how to boot up.
I have one foot that is sometimes normal and sometimes swells up to elephantine proportions
(foot and ankle). Sometimes I can keep it down but not always, and is generally worst at the end of the day when I'm heading home.
The other foot is amiss in its own way, with Something Wrong causing me intense blinding pain after a 20-ish minutes of walking. Luckily, I rediscovered Birkenstocks this summer and can walk without pain as long as I'm wearing my Birk sandals or mules (the mules keep me decently shod even when the other foot turns into a rogue elephant).
I had the painful foot last year, but I was working from home so I just sucked it up on the rare occasions I had to go out. Now I have an office job and will be going out in the snow every day, with an occasional elephant foot to manage as well.
I'm assuming I'll get Birkenstock inserts for whatever I find, but the old winter boots will in no way be able to handle Bigfoot so I need new ones. But I have no idea what I can reliably get my feet into every day!
So I need boots that:
1. Can fit Birkenstock inserts, so wide and high inside.
2. Can handle sometimes-normal, sometimes-huge feet and ankles.
3. Are real winter boots with a decent tread and warm. Decent tread that can handle ice and all flavors of snow is non-negotiable. I can compensate for thin boots with socks if I have to, but socks generally make the swelling worse (the swelling is most likely circulatory in nature, and when the foot is swollen socks exacerbate it).
Ideas? It's most likely going to start snowing within the next few weeks and I don't relish walking through it in my open-back mules!