Because I'd thrown my beloved Bass shoes (purchased with Cara at a shoe warehouse in NJ prior to attending my very first Rhinebeck) in the trash last spring after three wonderful, faithful years of service, I was in need of a new winter shoe this year.
I am probably the exact opposite of Immelda Marcos in that I have, at any one time, hardly more than a half-dozen pairs of shoes -- that includes boots, sandals, dress shoes, tennies (what else is there?). My shoes are very personal and very important!!
You wouldn't think it would be so hard, but in an entire warehouse full of shoes, this pair of Merrells emerged as the only real contenders. There were plenty of others that I liked on the shelf, but not on my foot, or they looked great but the fit was totally off (there are many brands of really great shoes that are just never gonna work for me... Born, I'm talking to you), or they just weren't practical for winter in Wisconsin.
I had very real doubts about these... sure, that lining is soft and it looks nice and warm, but would it hold up, would it get yucky, would it STINK after a while? I'll admit, I was a little creeped out about it. The insole is both removable and washable, though, so that helped. And boy oh boy, are these babies warm -- sometimes TOO warm.
I waited for it this morning when my alarm went off... "It feels like -32."
Guess what I'm wearing!