The Sole of a New Machine
September 6, 2010 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Minimalist footwear for Chicago winter and running in said winter?

I run in Vibram Five Fingers and normally wear either moccasins or a pair of Sambas that I've removed the stiff plastic insole and arch support from. None of this is gonna cut it here in Chicago for too much longer.

I'm not married to the Five Fingers and I know there are less ninja-esque options, but which are good ones? It'd be especially good if some combination of special socks or something will let me use them year round.

And for daily wear when things get nasty? I can take the arch support out of pretty much anything, I guess, but a flexible sole would be great. Mukluks? Space age material? What? Gotta be waterproof.
posted by cmoj to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did you try your five fingers last winter at all? I was running in snow and ice last year without too much problem. My feet would go a little numb, but were fine after I stopped and warmed them back up :)
posted by ShootTheMoon at 8:50 AM on September 6, 2010

I was in Texas last winter and didn't have them yet. What about the wet?
posted by cmoj at 8:56 AM on September 6, 2010

Do you have this pair? A neoprene upper would probably be warm enough, even in Chicago. I don't hate the Nike Frees, but every new model seems less "free" than the one before, so I wouldn't actually run in them if I could avoid it.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:46 AM on September 6, 2010

Not Chicago, but I ran through last winter in the southeast with the Flows mentioned above and a pair of Injinji toe socks. The coldest weather I was ran in was perhaps 30 F, but at that temp I had zero problems with cold feet. I didn't try wearing them in the wet, falling back to a pair of Nike Skylons on rainy days.
posted by kovacs at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2010

I have the classics, though they're getting due for replacement anyway. I used to run in Frees, but even the older model is no longer "free" enough for me.
posted by cmoj at 10:49 AM on September 6, 2010

For commuting back and forth to work (featuring haphazardly-plowed parking lots), I have two types of snow footwear: a "commuter" boot (a lot like this only in a women's version) that goes on over my regular shoes, and a pair of Columbia hiking boots. Which one I wear depends on what I'm doing that day, what the snow is like and/or if I have a free hand to carry work shoes. The hiking boots aren't lined, so I wear various combinations of socks depending on my needs. I did spray the boots with a waterproofing spray when I first got them (should probably do it again before this winter).

For staying outside (standing around at the bus stop, sledding, general winter outdoorsy stuff), I have a pair of zip-up rubbery material boots with a fake fur lining that keep my toesies toasty.

Something mid-rise like these would probably be fine, unless you plan to be outside in deeper snow - shoveling, sledding, etc. - then you might want something higher.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:49 AM on September 6, 2010

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