Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Continuing the Pimpage!

I now feel the overwhelming need to tell you how much Steger Mukluks RAWK! If you don't know what mukluks are, they're like moccasins, only they come in ankle-high, calf-high or knee-high. For all I know, they come in other highs that I'm not aware of. Mine have lasted something like 15-16 years which goes on the RAWK list.

Once again, things may have changed in 15 years, but mine have a felt insert and the sole is rubberized, but otherwise, its just me and dead elk hide. I love the elk I wear. Really. As I've said, I bought them in anticipation of spending the winter in Northern Minnesota shooting Iron Will. For you Philistines who haven't seen it, Iron Will is a Disney picture about a kid who enters an endurance dogsled race in the opening days of WWI. Its a good movie. Really.

Most of the crew ordered footwear from some clueless company in Northern California. They were called "moon boots". These folks were 5" above the ice and walked as if they had concrete on their feet. The fell a lot. I had mukluks and I could feel the world under me.

So, on Day 8 of shooting, we moved to the set we created on Munger Landing in Duluth. We were there because of a closed down section of railroad track where we could create a little town and station. (If you watch the movie, pay close attention to the piles of hay bales in most scenes that block the view of "Gina's Coffee Emporium" and other similar stuff. Trust me, we hid a lotta shit behind hay.)

Half way through the morning, we're about to overcome all of our PROBLEMS WITH WINTER and get our first shot of the day. I notice an old pickup truck driving out onto the frozen lake that's in the background of our shot. (O.K. its not a lake, its the St. Louis River, but its frozen.) They're headed toward an ice-fishing hut that the director has deemed acceptable for 1914, but the rusty 1975 pickup truck is definitely not O.K.)

So, I, Mr. Location Manager Extraordinaire hop on the nearest snowmobile to go intercept the locals and ask them to move the truck out of our shot. I get about 30 yds. out onto the ice when I notice I'm shooting rooster tails of water. Apparently, rivers don't freeze in a uniform fashion. The ice is thinner where the current is stronger. Next thing I know I'm up to my thighs in water. This is bad. I managed to coax the snowmobile back onto solid ice, but now, I'm soaked.

I figured going fast and getting the whole thing over with was the advisable course. Very soon, I discovered that I couldn't move from the thighs down. Frozen solid. And legs were freezing cold down to my knees. But the neat thing (and getting back to the subject), was, that even though my mukluks were wet through to my socks and even though they'd frozen to the consistency of steel, my feet were still warm.

This is an unsolicited testimonial to how ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL Steger Mukluks are and there is no expectation whatsoever that Patty Steger might want to grace me with a new pair.


Tania said...

Mukuks are awesome, aren't they? One of my friends was given a 1940s vintage pair from an old boss of ours. They are caribou and felt. She says that her feet are toasty warm at -60 F in boots made before her mom was born*.

I have a picture I'm uploading from last weekend that will demonstrate what you could have experienced with the snowmachine. Let's just say our friend Casey was a very lucky fella. Though I've always wanted to try out water skipping on a snowmachine.

*Only about 2 years before her mom was born, but it sounds more impressive that way, you know!

Tania said...

Mukluks! I left out the 'l'. Here's the tragedy that could have befallen you (thank goodness it didn't!)

FireCat takes a swim in the Chena

MWT said...

Heheh... I suspect a new pair of mukluks is pretty far out of the "publicity trinket" range. ;)

MWT said...

Mukluks here! :)

I just spent a huge amount of time browsing around their site (with my doggie in my lap, I might add). Next time I need to replace my shoes, I'm so there. Moccasins FTW. :D

vince said...

We loves our mukluks, don't we, precious. Yes we does.

Nathan, I know Patty. You might be able to talk her into a pair. Try the sympathy angle - poor guy who can't get Dominos to deliver pizza to him and all. If that doesn't work, then try the "I'm semi-famous and I'll generate much free publicity" route.

By the way, every few years someone in this area dies from going through the ice with a snowmobile/four wheeler. We're all glad you didn't.

Tania, water skipping in a snowmobile is fun. In the summer. I'm glad your friend is safe. And feel free to tune in.

Random Michelle K said...


Stupid question. How do they feel?

My stupid feet are uncomfortable in many/most shoes. Even in brands that are almost always comfortable, I still have to try on every pair of shoes I buy, because I really dislike the podiatrist in my health plan, and don't want to visit him again.

Thus I have never in my entire life bought a pair of shoes without trying them on. How does one factor this in?

I really would like to know, because the past two years I've been unable to find winter boots that were comfortable, and although my Timberline boots are comfortable and have good traction, they're only ankle boots.

So advice? Suggestions?

Nathan said...

The only drawback is that they really don't offer any support. If you look at the site, there's some info about buying larger sizes to accommodate orthotics.
That being said, they feel like wearing a pair of slippers.

Totally comfortable. The sole is thick enough that you don't feel like rocks and gravel are poking at the bottoms of you feet, but on the other hand, you can really feel the terrain. They're best in snow, but I've definitely worn them when its just freakin' cold out. I really liked having the knee-high version, because only the deepest snow gets inside.

Jim Wright said...

Michelle, Muks are have a lot of give to them, the felt liners adapt to pretty much any foot shape, as long as you've got roughly the right size on. I'd think you'd be ok with them.

I've got a couple pair around here, but I usually wear my -100 Sorrel PAKs which I like better. The PAKs are waterproof and have a more rigid sole which allows me to attach my pitons or ice grippers. The Muks aren't waterproof (even though they will keep your feet warm if wet), but the Muks are a good deal lighter.

Moon Boots? Snork! Remember those? They'd keep your feet warm, but it was like walking with inflated marshmallows on your feet.

Bunny Boots, now there's the shit. Ain't nothing warmer. And they're high fashion around here. I'll bet Tania's got a pair.

Jim Wright said...

Oops, yeah, what Nathan said. I forget things like that - Muks got no arch support, at all. So if you need that, well they may not be for you.

Random Michelle K said...

Hmm... arch support isn't my problem--the backs of my heels give me difficultly, as to shoes without padding. Because I do not descend from a line of people who walked barefoot. I descend from a line of people who wore sturdy shoes, because Eastern Europe is not an exceptionally warm place.

I think I'll have to pass on buying without trying on though.

Just to be safe.

But things could always be worse. My brother has size 14 EEE feet. He *has* to order all his shoes.

Tania said...

Bunny boots. Yup. I have a pair, John has three pair.

John climbs poles in the winter with his. I usually wear my Baffin Expedition boots when we go out to the woods, because I find them more comfortable.

Jim Wright said...

Yeah, same here. I use Baffins if I'm out in the extreme cold sitting still for a while. The military issued me two pair and I've still got both sets. The Baffins are more comfortable and lighter than the Sorrels, and damn sure more so than the Bunny boots. Better in deep snow too.