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Sarge

Warm boots ??

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@Sarge I ain't no spring chicken no more myself. And I sure can't tell you how to keep your feet warm as I live down here in Charlotte and we don't see nearly the cold you fellows do. But when I was young I was Superman ! I did whatever it took to get the job done, and that youthful ignorance or inexperience, whatever, has caught up with me. I'm only 54, but I have had to realize I have to regulate my outdoor activities especially in the winter. I use wool socks against my feet, to wick the moisture away, then cotton to absorb it. If enough time and conditions are applied, then I don't think there is a sure cure that would allow even a healthy young man to stay out in the conditions y'all have up there. I would say listen to your body, use your brain, and keep yourself healthy as possible. Maybe remove snow for 30-60 minutes at the most then go inside and warm up. If you don't hang around, whose gonna tell us dummies how to work on our Wheel Horses ? Oh,yeah...now you know you can't do without your toes. Heck your feet have to get you there before your hands can grab it. A doctor told me once that it would be practically impossible to walk with no toes. (Smashed toe episode)

But anyway, just do what you can. Or there's plenty of room down here, and you're always welcome. We get about 2" of snow every 4-5 years. Whatever you decide, take care of yourself.

Tim.

Screenshot_20171230-150713.png.c188ec20a86bfca5173f96647057015f.png

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In your neck of the woods - I'd be running around naked . The winds here is what drives folks to move south - I'm starting to consider it . Northern Illinois is brutal , more like Montana or the Dakotas and I've worked with guys from up there that couldn't stand it here - said it wasn't that cold at home , lol . Living in a wide open rural area with the winds is no fun and we have the windmills here to prove it - this range area sits on a high knoll that spans from Wyoming down into southern Indiana . Wind farms around here are springing up as fast as we can build them . Today - high of 6*F , 20-25mph winds and chills to around '35*F . Tonight , -15*F and a bit less wind - only 10mph but still chills at -30*F . Yesterday's boot hunting trip there were countless big rigs and cars sitting along Interstate 80 , froze up and waiting to be towed . Not much luck with boots , most I can't even get them on and the stores don't carry squat for a selection anymore - they are putting spring stuff out already . Been hunting around now for 2 months - no luck . Almost pulled the trigger on a pair from Cabela's this morning but the design of them is like too many others and too hard to jam my sore feet into - that doesn't work . Really bummed about Sorel going to China - their large pac boots are easy on/off and you can stack socks/warmers in them and let the felt insulation absorb the moisture - used those for years but their quality went to crap and not paying $150 to support China - I'm tired of that game . Thinking more towards the hand made Canadian Mukluks - they aren't cheap but at least they are proven and comfortable .

 

I'm only 53 - young really but age doesn't factor in as much as mileage/wear . Worst part is having Raynaud's - my orthopedic surgeon noticed it at an appointment to check up on the dual knee injuries last time - both hands had dead white and gray fingers - I had waited in the lobby for 45 minutes before the appointment and it came from a cold steering wheel in the car . He warned not to let them get to that point - but there is little to no warning - once it happens it gets a bit worse each time and can take several hours for them to come back , same with the toes . Raynaud's is believed to be arterial and nerve damage and seems to affect those that work with vibrating tools but it also seems somewhat random and can hit almost anyone . Eventually , if it gets bad enough the digits have to be removed due to gangrene - no solution or medication for it yet and it seems little is really known about it . My regular doc had never even heard of it , nor had I until the ortho brought it up - wondered for years what was causing random fingers/toes to turn white and hurt like nothing I've ever felt ...duh .

 

I've started turning down a lot of work that I can't do anymore - pretty much don't go out in the winter unless it's at one of the plants and an inside gig , no more highway jobs in cold weather as I have no real choice . I just need something that can work for at least 4hrs on the tractor - by that time I'm ready for a break anyway . Really need to find a store with stuff in stock - I have to try them on as most designs require jamming your foot into them - not gonna happen . Need to go out today and finish up some areas I didn't do Friday night before the temps really dropped out , not sure I'll get it done until Wednesday afternoon - high of 12*F .

 

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Ohio&state=IL&site=DVN&textField1=41.5569&textField2=-89.4595

That forecast is always off by at least 5* - we are more out in the open and rural here , plus a higher elevation .

 

Sarge

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@Sarge.  Do you all have a REI store up there? In case you didn't know they are an outdoor recreation store. A lot of mountain climbers and serious outdoor enthusiasts ( you know, people who relax by doing things that may be fatal, i.g., Mount Everest, sky diving for example ) buy their equipment there.

P.S. You mentioned Sorel so I guess either you already know about REI, or you all have comparable stores up there. Good luck my friend.

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Yeah - I've checked just about every store online and even directly to different boot makers , very few have a wide opening so I can get them on besides the pac boot styles from makers like Sorel  . There are no REI stores near here but I've used them as an info source on various gloves and such in the past . I need something that opens up very wide without restriction - almost the same as the shoe's size itself . Due to the disease , they cannot pull the sock tighter than a very loose fit as it will instantly hurt badly . Even my daily work wellington style Double H boots are getting hard to get into in warm weather - unless they are very soft and well oiled I can't get them on and those will only fit with lightweight socks for summer . The lace up version I have from Double H is easier but I still have to be careful how they go on - any tightness in the sock or bunching immediately starts shutting off the circulation - even in temps around 50*F . I need to get with a Doc and get busy with some treatment - been reading up on it more and there are some new treatments out which I wasn't aware of until today .

 

https://www.raynauds.org/

 

I did some research on Raynaud's specific boots and reviews from others that have this problem - found some interesting results and some new products . Painfully expensive , but better than the alternative -

https://www.raynauds.org/2017/09/13/digitsoles/

 

https://www.digitsole.com/

 

$199 Euro , but I may just try them anyway . Problem is - I still need better/bigger boots . The old Rocky's are sized right to my feet - that was a mistake back then but they worked fine at the time , now they don't and are starting to crack anyway but at 11yrs old I guess that's expected . I've tried on several pairs of their newer styles - almost all of them have the same problem , they do not open up wide enough to even get them on . It seems to be a trend to either save material costs or something like that on anything but a straight shaft pac boot style . I don't mind a sloppy fit - that is something I'm just going to have to live with from here on out as tight shoes will not be allowed with this condition . Plowing the other night they held up for almost 3hrs before the pain started - all the toes were already white and I didn't even realize it , again . I think a better and bigger pair of boots and some really good socks might be the first route to take , then I can get a pair of the Digitsoles later and add those if needed .

 

-19*F this morning when I got up - even my long coated German Shepherd didn't want to be out for more than a few minutes ...hope this breaks soon .

 

Sarge

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@Sarge I hear ya...I just checked the thermometer...21° , which I know is warmer than up there, but got dog, it's still cold out there. We're supposed to get down in the teens at night before it breaks. Which IS COLD for us.

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-21*F this morning - need to run into town but I'm definitely waiting until well after lunch .

 

Just ordered a pair of Baffin Eiger boots , two sizes larger so I can use the wool socks and under liners - hoping for a better outcome than lately . Evidently the last time I plowed one toe got too cold - skin is falling off again , lovely ....

 

Where is spring at ?

 

Sarge

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Well....

 

The Baffin Eiger boots showed up Friday. I tried to put them on and even with the laces completely out I could not get even the better foot into one - they are super tight in the upper section and even down inside the toe box. In work boots I normally wear a 10 - these were 12's and my wife could barely get her foot into one with no socks, when she did get it on she said her toes bottomed out in the front and it was worse if she stood up. So, those went back into the box and waiting on UPS to pick them up. At least through Amazon they have free pickup/returns and it's already filed for a refund. 

 

Headed out yesterday to another nearby small city area that has a better Farm N Fleet store - they had a decent selection but nothing that really fit the bill and most were built pretty cheaply. I did pick up a few pairs of the better grade Wigwam socks that were on sale/clearance and got a tip to check out a Dunham's sporting goods store nearby in a small mall - score !!!

 

Found a pair of Rocky Blizzard Stalker 1200gr Thinsulate Ultra in a nice, roomy size 11 - they fit great even with a pair of the heavier wool socks and the thin base liners. I'm amazed at how much room there is in these things despite their size - far better than the size 12 Baffins. They were on sale for $139 and limited stock but I just got lucky I guess. Put them on after supper and sat around for an hour in the house to intentionally get my feet too hot and sweaty - then, went out and spent an hour and a half outside feeding the birds and playing with the Shepherd. Not even a hint of cold feet, even after spending 30 minutes standing stock still tossing the dog's toy for him, I'm pretty impressed so far. Most boots, if you're feet sweat even a little bit from getting too warm will freeze your toes quickly once out in the cold - it was -8 below zero and they worked great despite the wind. Hands didn't like it despite two pair of gloves and I'd had enough for the day anyway. We're getting a small mixed condition storm today/tonight so there might be some cleanup to do tomorrow - this whole next week is suppose to warm up quite a bit with mid-week being forecast above 40*F, go figure....lol. I'm sure we'll have plenty of super cold weather again this month - in Illinois if you live through January you're good to go, generally speaking although we've had some odd cold snaps clear into the end of March, time will tell. 

 

I'll try to report back after some more outside work to judge how they hold up over the long term - just so glad to finally find something that actually fits properly!

 

Sarge

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That's great to hear Sarge, I'm so glad this story had a happy ending!  Stay warm!

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Sarge said:

Well....

 

The Baffin Eiger boots showed up Friday. I tried to put them on and even with the laces completely out I could not get even the better foot into one - they are super tight in the upper section and even down inside the toe box. In work boots I normally wear a 10 - these were 12's and my wife could barely get her foot into one with no socks, when she did get it on she said her toes bottomed out in the front and it was worse if she stood up. So, those went back into the box and waiting on UPS to pick them up. At least through Amazon they have free pickup/returns and it's already filed for a refund. 

 

Headed out yesterday to another nearby small city area that has a better Farm N Fleet store - they had a decent selection but nothing that really fit the bill and most were built pretty cheaply. I did pick up a few pairs of the better grade Wigwam socks that were on sale/clearance and got a tip to check out a Dunham's sporting goods store nearby in a small mall - score !!!

 

Found a pair of Rocky Blizzard Stalker 1200gr Thinsulate Ultra in a nice, roomy size 11 - they fit great even with a pair of the heavier wool socks and the thin base liners. I'm amazed at how much room there is in these things despite their size - far better than the size 12 Baffins. They were on sale for $139 and limited stock but I just got lucky I guess. Put them on after supper and sat around for an hour in the house to intentionally get my feet too hot and sweaty - then, went out and spent an hour and a half outside feeding the birds and playing with the Shepherd. Not even a hint of cold feet, even after spending 30 minutes standing stock still tossing the dog's toy for him, I'm pretty impressed so far. Most boots, if you're feet sweat even a little bit from getting too warm will freeze your toes quickly once out in the cold - it was -8 below zero and they worked great despite the wind. Hands didn't like it despite two pair of gloves and I'd had enough for the day anyway. We're getting a small mixed condition storm today/tonight so there might be some cleanup to do tomorrow - this whole next week is suppose to warm up quite a bit with mid-week being forecast above 40*F, go figure....lol. I'm sure we'll have plenty of super cold weather again this month - in Illinois if you live through January you're good to go, generally speaking although we've had some odd cold snaps clear into the end of March, time will tell. 

 

I'll try to report back after some more outside work to judge how they hold up over the long term - just so glad to finally find something that actually fits properly!

 

Sarge

 

 Even though I have no problems at all with cold feet, i have quite a problem with ankle pain due to the after effects of chemo. One i finally found a pair of boots that my feet felt good in, i bought another.  Money might be tight, but manufacturers often change product lines and that perfect boot you are now enjoying might not be there next year. Now that you know what size and style you like, maybe you can prowl the internet and catch them on sale.

 

 

 We did not have a lot of toys growing up, but my parents bought good things that would last as they are usually cheaper in the long run. $90.00 for farm shoes that would only last a year when our family income was $4000.00 was justified by the fact that we had to walk the fields and hoe eighty acres of soybeans by hand. i thank my parents that my feet are still as good as they are even at age 65.

 

  I would also be checking into whether or not you could get some re-training to make sure that your job does not cause a permanent disability. You have been tough and hard working and provided for your family and you do not want that same job taking away from your body the ability to continue on that path. I don't know if your union provides resources for re-training, but your state employment/unemployment service might have a way to do it.

 

 God Bless you

Edited by ohiofarmer
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I can't keep my hands and feet warm when I'm outside in cold weather. When I was in the army I was left on guard duty for 4 hrs. in a blizzard. I was suppose to be relieved at 2 hrs. but the sergeant of the guard over slept. When he brought another guard to relieve me I said take me to the hospital, I have frost bite. Sure enough I did. I have had trouble keeping hands and feet warm since then. I've tried several brands of boots but I just can't stay out very long in cold weather.

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Same problem here - two of us got caught with a cold snap in October on a 1-day job doing traffic control for an emergency guardrail job. Contractor stuck both of us at the top of the hills on both ends of the job with radios to communicate - both of us got frostbite. I even got the inspector to let me have my truck sitting there to warm my feet and hands once in awhile - it did help but the damage was done, now I basically can't take any cold weather jobs for even a day. Our Union does have some re-training, but generally being a Journeyman Laborer you're expected to be able to handle everything within the scope of our work - it's a lot more than anyone would believe. We do go off a skills list and recently my BA and I have removed a lot of stuff that I cannot do any longer due to injuries and just general issues from wearing out my joints. Our work is highly physical - no way around that and we generally let the older ones take the easier stuff - but in recent years even that has gone away due to competition for what little work is left out there.

 

I'm going to argue the Politics with anyone - but the campaign of the last 25yrs against Unions has not just hurt us a lot - it hurts every worker out there. People believe the misinformation that Politicians are using to repay their election sponsors - that's the simple truth. What people don't understand is how we fight for everyone's rights as a worker - most times its things that don't even affect us. Right To Work and other tactics have done nothing but drive wages down for the workers - it saves the taxpayers nothing and in the long term costs more money, not to mention eroding safety standards at the same time. This is the ugliest within Heavy Highway work - the contracts are not cheaper for the work performed - the only difference is the Contractor's profit margins. These workers are risking their lives on a daily basis - yet their wages are generally 40% lower for the same work and there is little industry accountability for how they are treated - it's disgusting. When I got hurt on the job in '06 my Union helped us a lot to survive the game that insurance companies play with injured workers - we have fought against that practice for over 50yrs and frankly are losing the battle now. Even here in Illinois they have changed the Work Comp laws to benefit the insurance companies and left injured workers no recourse to get the help they deserve - you're basically at their mercy and could face a lifelong battle of deep poverty. That one injury event cost us our credit - that hurts a lot more than you think since now even auto insurance companies use your credit score for your rates - for my age and perfect driving record I pay some ridiculous prices for my coverage. Anyway , enough with the rant and back to the boots...

 

Hope I can get out more and actually enjoy working outside again at least for a short time. Last few years between the injuries and frostbite plus the Raynaud's it's become a really painful experience to plow snow or do anything in cold weather. These boots and good quality wool blend socks are working pretty good so far - time will tell and I'm sure we will have some brutally cold days here in the Plains soon. Kind of figures, I found some good boots that will work and now Wednesday the temps are supposed to be nearly 45*, welcome to Illinois...lol.

 

Sarge

 

 

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