It used to be that you’d stomp off the slopes, shed your heavy boots, and get into a pair of apres-ski boots. I kind of loved these things, moon boots, big hairy lace up mukluks, more recently, Uggs (which I can not get behind, I’m sorry). Now there’s something called a “recovery” shoe that fits the same bill.
I’m not big on jargon and I’ll leave the sports theory to the physical therapists and sports “experts.” What I do like is warm feet. I pack slippers when I’m going on a road trip — there’s always room in the car for more shoes, am I right? And if I’m going to a cold weather destination, I make sure I’ve got something nice for my feet for indoors, not just for stomping around in the snow.
Sole makes these funny looking shoes, the Exhale, that they market as a “recovery” shoe. I got a pair a while back, and I’ll be honest, I did not like them. They weren’t super comfortable and come on, they’re funny looking, right?
Thing is, it was summer. I was wearing them around the house a little, and they were hard, and too much shoe for August. But when the temperatures started to drop, I dragged them out from under the bed and now I wear them All The Time.
Because they have a full hard sole, they’re fine for wearing outdoors — they’re great for running errands and stomping around while you load your gear into the car for that snowshoeing outing. They’re fine for the long walk to the hotel lobby to get coffee or to perch on the wifi near the fireplace, and they’re totally suitable for winter flights. Even with a wardrobe as questionable as mine, they don’t make a great substitute for winter footwear, but for those transit times, for hanging around the condo you’ve rented at the beach during the off season, they’re great.
Keen makes a similarly styled shoe/slipper/recovery model, the Howser (Wool). There’s a nylon one too, that has the more water resistant fabric. Either one fits the bill of a hybrid slipper/shoe that you can wear while scampering about the chalet in your post slopes lounge wear.
I got a pair of the Howser (Wool) for the husband and he loves them. They’re super toasty (I tried them) and they also have the hard sole that makes them suitable for wearing while you’re putting the skis on the roof of the car. (Note the fantasy winter life I am making up for us!) The wool version doesn’t have the collapsible heel cup the the nylon version (and the Sole Exhale) has, but they’re still plenty easy to get in and out of and they’re a nice to have extra for your winter wardrobe.
The Howser (Wool) goes for $65.00, the Exhale for $75.00. I didn’t want to like them and yet, I’m wearing mine right now.