Yes, I've entered a new phase in my life. Since 2000 or so, I've worn only Double-H brand strap-and-buckle-and-zip boots, these puppies:
Well, one can no longer buy these in men's sizes. The pair I've been wearing is now a few years old, and considering that I wear them every day of the year, while working on cars, cutting down trees, crawling across asphalt shingles, and so forth, that's a pretty good record. But the straps are falling off, the zippers are failing, and they're generally beat to hell. I've continued wearing them only because I haven't found anything I like better. I mean, geez, you can't even get the traditional Dr. Martens tall, black boots any more - what I wore for several years before the Double-H items. They looked like these, only taller:
Well, a local store (Vanderbilt's for you locals) was having a boot sale after Thanksgiving, and though they carry both the Doc and Double-H, they had nothing I liked from those brands. But, hark! They did have another pair that I found sufficiently good-looking and comfy to boot (ba-da-boom). And I think they look like the boots that people wore on the Battlestar Galactica:
They're side-zip, like the Double-Hs, which means I can lace them to where I want, double-knot, and they're ready to pull on and off (especially handy in airports). But they cost half as much, weigh a couple hundred pounds less, are much more flexy, and - here's what prompted me to write this - offer complete traction in the snow and ice. Hooray new boots!
Which means I can enjoy the snow again. Life is good. If only the parking brake worked on the Saab - thereby enabling irresponsible cornering - life would be perfect.