The saga of … rain boots

Though I’ve lived in Seattle basically my whole life, and own a couple pairs of waterproof shoes (of the hiking variety), I was surprised to realize a few months ago that I’ve never actually owned a pair of rain boots. So I made it a quest to find my first pair. As I began shopping around, I made some discoveries..

A lot of the fun/funky boots are waaay too big at the top for my non-existent calves. I knew that I’d only occasionally be wearing them with pants tucked in (which would still not fill up the calf areas completely), so I also needed to find a pair that wouldn’t bulge out awkwardly from underneath jeans. My quest got sent into high gear when I first received a $20 gift certificate to Nordstrom (a side bonus of having a Nordstrom Visa as my main credit card), and then a $40 certificate. For some reason, I got it in my head that I needed to look into buying a pair of boots by Hunter, a British company who I believe first designed the original wellington style of rain boot. Their tall boots are pretty high, so I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about the calf issue as much, and though they have a $115 price tag, I knew I’d be taking a $60-chunk out of my final price. A few days before Christmas, I was out to lunch with some friends from work, when Ben mentioned he wanted to make a quick stop at Nordstrom to buy a present for his wife. I happened to have my gift certificates with me, and knew that the Nordstrom by work has a bigger shoe section than the one by where I live (but it’s not convenient for me to go there in general), so I was like “I’m a-comin’ too!”

Once we got to Nordy’s, I made a beeline for the Hunter display in the women’s shoe area. While I was waiting for a sales person to come help me out, I heard two other Nordy’s workers discussing the special Jimmy Choo-branded Hunter boot that was on display. I overheard one of them say something about it being “so cute,” and “they’re $250.” When someone finally came over to me to help me out, I told him I usually wear an 8.5, but since Hunters only come in whole sizes — as do a lot of rain boots, it seems — he went off to get a 7 and an 8. I first tried on the 8, which was way too big. Then he pulled out the size 7, which was the Jimmy Choo-branded boot. He said, “We don’t have the boot in the original style in a 7, so I brought out this one.” I suavely said, “Oh, uh, those are the really expensive ones, right?” He said, “They’re $250.” I was feeling a bit stupid from my first remark, so I just mumbled, “Oh, well, they’re a bit out of my price range.” They turned out to be too small anyway, and neither pair was very comfortable, so I crossed Hunter off my list. As a side note.. turns out those Hunter by Jimmy Choo boots are actually $395!!

So…I then wandered around looking at the various other rain boots. My eye was caught by a pair by Kamik. I liked that they had a bit of shape to them in the foot area, and looked both functional and fashionable. I tried them on, and bonus: They were super comfortable, and fit just right. They even have a thin Polartec lining for some added warmth, and, interestingly, they’re made by a Canadian company, in Canada! http://kamik.com/.

I initially bought a shiny black boot with a bright red foldover thing at the top of the boot (made of a sweater material). After I got them home, I decided that I didn’t like the bright red color, as it was a little too attention-getting. I went online, and happily discovered that the boots also came in the same shiny-black shade without the red foldover. And then, bonus upon bonus, I read the fine print on Nordstrom’s Web site and found out that they do price matching, and then, I found the Kamik boots in my size, in stock, in Altrec.com, for $25 cheaper! I immediately went back to Nordstom, exchanged the boots (and made use of their price-match policy) and in the end, taking into account the $60 in rewards certificates, got the boots nearly for free! I never knew Nordstrom did price matching, and it turns out they do on all their products. Details here.

Anyway, I wore my new kicks over jeans for the first time earlier this week, on a day when it was raining pretty much non stop. As I walked to my bus stop, I stepped around puddles as usual, and then went, “Wait a minute!” and started walking through them instead, since I had no hems to worry about soaking (or leather/canvas to worry about dirtying). Puddle stomping is so much fun! Of course, only really skinny girls with no hips can carry off the whole jeans-into-boots look, but I’m going to force myself to tuck ’em in once in a while anyway, and try to feel less self-conscious about it. I also may invest in another, more fun pair of rain boots down the road. I live in Seattle, after all!

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3 Responses to “The saga of … rain boots”

  1. OMG! You are so silly! I have a pair of awesome green ones I got from Chubby and Tubby for under $20 when I needed them for tidepooling. I still can't believe people are paying through the nose for a pair of rubber boots that are not that comfortable in the first place. I guess I fail as a hip girl!

  2. You would think they'd be easy and cheap, but not necessarily.. As I wear them all day, they need to be comfortable. And not so big up top that they stick out under my jeans, or become buckets for the rain with my jeans tucked in. Plus, the Nordstrom rewards certificates meant I had to buy them at Nordstrom, so my selection was limited (and mid- to high-end!) ;o)

  3. Er, easy TO FIND, I mean.

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