If you spend your winters in Los Angeles, Miami, or Dallas, this article isn’t for you. If you’ve ever been camping, hunting or ice fishing in sub-zero temperatures, you know that one of your biggest obstacles is keeping your feet warm and dry. I have been in the Adirondacks in the winter when it was -30 Fahrenheit, and as my nostrils were turning to ice, my feet felt like they were in the warm toasty sand of some beach in the Bahamas.
I was wearing a pair of genuine military surplus boots. Permit me to tell you these boots are not a fashion statement.In fact, some people (my wife included) would call them ugly. But these boots are the darn warmest option on the market today. I don’t know about you, but I for one trust the US military when it comes to quality, durability, and overall lifetime of their gear. The boots we are discussing are the Genuine US Military Issue Extreme Cold Vapor Barrier Boots or more commonly known in the military community as the Mickey Mouse boots.
The humorous moniker evokes an image of some cartoon characters with M-16s running around in the snow. But in fact, the nickname was bestowed on these boots to connote its big bulky appearance. Initially designed for US troops fighting in Korea, the Mickeys are made of oil resistant rubber sandwiched in-between layers of warm wool to create a vacuum seal insulating your feet like a thermos insulates coffee.
There are a few versions of mickeys on the market. The original and most popular are the black boots (rated to -20 degrees Fahrenheit). It's most notable feature, is a pressure release valve which is useful in an unpressurized aircraft to prevent your boots from exploding from the vacuum pressure (Phew).
Other versions include the bunny boots which are white (rated to -60 degrees Fahrenheit) and pair of black mickeys without the valve (not meant for unpressurized air travel). The white bunny boots are still issued to troops in sub-zero climates around the world. I personally haven’t been to -60 kind of places, but if you do, then the bunnies are yours.
So, if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive option for your arctic escapades, look no further than the mickey mouse boots and its ilk. One problem you may have is switching back to your boat shoes when you get back. You can get a pair of your very own by clicking HERE