The Pacific Northwest is one of the wettest places in the world. We may get a lot of rain, but we are so used to it not being too hot or cold that we tend to dress far too casually. During a rainstorm it is not uncommon to see people sitting outside on uncovered coffee shop patios having their coffee as if it is warm and balmy out. I wear shorts and flip-flops year-round and do not own an umbrella. At the beginning of the year I heard about a stylish new waterproof brand of sneakers. I was equally intrigued and skeptical. Ask me about any waterproofing treatment for clothing, and I’ve tried it with disappointing results. I love Lululemon, but otherwise before VESSIs, I’ve been resigned to a PNW wardrobe that is defiantly casual and secretly uncomfortable.
Slushy Winter Crash Course
I got my VESSI waterproof sneakers in January 2019. It was snowing at the time. PNW snow is so messy… We don’t get the dry powdery snow that winter dreams are made of, we get relentless mucky slush. The snow here is messier and wetter than our famous rain! For the rest of America and Canada who make fun of the PNW for “whining about such wimpy snow,” I don’t think ya’ll realize that our snow is not the same beast! It is slippery, slushy and wet as all get out. I could not believe how well my VESSI performed in our slush-snow. Miles was pretty surprised that I took him our regularly to local hikes during the snow storms we had in the PNW this February and March.
This winter I was able to do my typical “flip-flop routine” (aka throw on something casual and go hiking and grocery shopping in the same outing) and Miles and I both stayed comfortable and dry. Miles’ jacket is the Extreme Warmer by Hurtta in size 35.
Hail, the real pleasure of the PNW! Growing up in Oregon we had hail storms so bad that school would be cancelled! It is slippery and messy. VESSIs held up so well to hail, that it wasn’t even a consideration when deciding whether or not to walk to our favorite city spots.
The Messy Beach & SAND
Miles and I love the beach. We go and watch the sunset whenever possible. This year I’ve been going for more impromptu after-work short beach excursions because my feet stay so clean. It is so freeing to be able to spend time with Miles outside and not worry about extracting tons of sand from my shoes when I get home. Even living in paradise it is easy to get stuck in the grind and not enjoy the scenery often enough. Really the ones that suffer the most from this are our dogs.
Waterproof Shoes & Hot Weather
A lot of people have asked me if waterproof sneakers are hot or muggy when it is warm out. My VESSIs are breathable, silky and comfy with no socks even in warm weather. How did VESSI accomplish this? I have no idea! I just know that this year, I am wearing my VESSIs when I would normally wear flip-flops and I’ve been tripping a lot less! Plus let’s not even mention how I used to drive wearing flip flops a lot, with a stick-shift car…
Spring Birding Trip
Every spring since my parents moved out East, I have made it a tradition to visit them during the famous Bird Festival at Point Pelee (see all my posts about it here). People from all around the world travel out to attend this hiker’s dream! This is a 3-week period where hundreds of colorful, rare and lyrical song birds arrive in North America after their winter holidays. I love photographing the birds (this year’s bird photos to come!), but most of all, relish the excuse of a vacation to spend hours outside with Miles in nature.
This year there was more rain than usual. Many of the trails were flooded. Birders such as myself who come every year get out every single day during the festival to walk the trails, hoping to spot the rarest songbirds. This year, most of the serious birders spent the full warm days wearing bulky and stuffy rain boots. I wore normal spring clothing and my stylish VESSIs. At first, I was disregarded despite my big camera and lens… There was NO way, I am sure they thought, that I would be getting around the wet and technical trails! After a few days of comparing bird spottings with fellow nerds, the other birders started asking what sorcery was going on with my stylish, minimal, clean and DRY shoes!
It is the little things that truly make a difference in our lives with our dogs.
As a dog trainer, I believe that the littlest changes are the ones that really add up and make lasting changes in people’s lives with their dogs. One of the biggest struggles all dog owners face is finding the energy and time to get outside everyday with our dogs, rain or shine. So often all-weather gear isn’t comfortable or easy. Even for a person like me that is as outdoors-obsessed and as dog-centric as I am, getting out is something I tend to avoid if outfitting is inconvenient or fussy. Yep, I am a PNW cliché: lazy clothing or nothing! Having shoes that are comfy and easy for any weather has made a huge difference for me! I cannot thank VESSI enough for magically creating a breathable, comfortable, WATERPROOF sneaker.
- I asked VESSI for a pair to test, no strings attached. I am glad I did, because my PNW skeptism would’ve cost me the chance to discover what a game changer these shoes are. I am not being paid to recommend them — I truly love love love these shoes and hope all dog people can get them.
- VESSI website USA // VESSI Canada website
- I wear a women’s size 9 in VESSI. VESSIs don’t come in half sizes. If you are between sizes, I recommend sizing up a little, kind of how you’d size running shoes. In fancy shoes, I tend to wear an 8, in normal casual shoes I am usually an 8.5, and in running shoes, I am a 9. So for VESSIs, running shoe sizes apply: 9’s are perfect for me.
- Wait time? Don’t let it deter you. VESSI is a brand-new, small company and there are often waits for their shoes. It is worth it!
- Coupon code MILESANDEMMA for 10% off