Public Relations Consultant & Travel Contributing Editor

Use the right knife for the job

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to use the right knife for the job. I suppose it is obvious to use the tool designed for its purpose – it is pretty impossible to fillet a fish with a carving knife, for example, so I shouldn’t have been that surprised that my regular mountain-climbing shoes (ancient New Balances) were getting soaked despite me dodging the water and walking up the mountain like a bandy-legged crab.

I do have amphibious shoes (excellent Columbia Power Drains) but in the cold weather I don’t want to walk with wet feet so I headed back to Columbia to see if they had a shoe I could walk through the water in and keep my feet dry.

The Taulas Ridge boot is waterproof and has tread that sticks to the rocks and stops stones from shifting underfoot.
The Taulas Ridge boot is waterproof and has tread that sticks to the rocks and stops stones from shifting underfoot.

Actually, I scored big time. Not only did I get a boot (think 4 x 4 for your feet) that has Columbia’s OutDry Technology but the Taulas Ridge (R1699) also has the best tread I have ever experienced. I’ve got used to feeling the small rocks shift and slip under my feet on the mountain, especially after heavy rain which washes away the top soil, but these boots grip in a way that any anxiety I had previously about slipping is totally cured.

As a boot it also grips my ankle in a way that gives me forward/ back ease of movement but not side to side. I really like that as it prevents sprains. What I don’t like is it is a mission to get into and out of them. Columbia would do very well to increase the size of the loop at the back of the boot so that you can use two fingers to pull the boot on. I also love the chili colour which happens to match my Columbia rain jacket.

While shopping for the shoes I noticed their new range of cammo gear. I never thought I’d be the kind of person to want to wear camouflage but theirs, a mossy, woodlands scene, is so attractive I love it. But, best part of this stealth gear is that it is designed to be silent. The swish-swash sound my rain jacket makes when I walk irritates me so much I think next month I’ll get myself a cammo rain jacket – just in time for summer!

When JP walks on the mountain with me he still has to avoid the puddles – I just walk, proudly, straight through them. Let’s see how long it takes before he gets himself waterproof shoes…

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