What You Should Know Before Buying Winter Boots

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Are you looking for a new pair of winter boots for your next outing? Whether you’ll be hiking in the backcountry or spending a day on the slopes, your winter boots need to keep you warm, comfortable and protected, without sacrificing your mobility. In order to choose the right pair of winter boots for your activity, you need to understand the basics of their construction. Read on to learn about the anatomy of winter boots, and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at Shopping Blitz.

The Basics of Winter Boot Construction

Upper

The upper is the soft area above the midsole and is typically made of materials like genuine leather, rubber, suede or synthetics. Synthetic rubber is naturally 100% waterproof, and many genuine leathers are waterproof as well. The upper is built around a mold called a last which shapes the boot’s materials.

Lining

The lining can be made of up one or more fabrics, such as fleece, sheepskin, fur, or synthetic materials, and offers warmth, comfort and support. Many boots from quality brands incorporate heat-seeking technologies into their lining, which are designed to trap and retain warmth, plus keep feet dry. For instance, the Women’s Columbia Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Boots feature Columbia’s famous Omni-Heat reflective lining to retain heat, as well as Omni-Tech to repel water and moisture.

Some boots may offer removable lining, which allows you to customize your degree of warmth. With a removable liner, you can switch out a thermal liner for an all-weather liner to better suit the conditions.

Midsole

An EVA or polyurethane midsole provides support, durability, warmth, and shock absorption. Thicker midsoles provide more warmth because your foot is farther from the ground.

Outsole

The outsole is a critical part of your winter boot and makes the boot suitable for wet, muddy and snowy terrains. Many winter boots have rubber outsoles because rubber is naturally waterproof and slip-resistant. Always refer to the thickness and deepness of the outsole when shopping for winter boots. Many boots, such as the Women’s Pajar Snowcap 2 Boots and Men’s Salomon Snowtrip Ts Waterproof Boot, feature spikes or lugs for extra grip and slip-resistance when hiking technical terrains.

Toe Box

The toe box provides a layer of protection for your toes and is typically covered with a layer of insulation for additional warmth and comfort.

Now that you have a better understanding of the anatomy of winter boots, you can choose a boot that satisfies your activity and the weather conditions. To buy winter shoes and clothes online, shop our unrivaled selection of winter gear at ShoppingBlitz.com!

Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: Hikers & Snowboarders

holiday gift guide

On the first installment of our two-part Holiday Gift Guide series, we shared some awesome holiday gift ideas for dancers and yogis. For Part 2, we will be providing great gifts for hikers and snowboarders/skiers. These gifts are also suitable for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy similar activities, such as camping, climbing and snowshoeing.

Top Gifts for Hikers

Women’s Fjallraven Keb Trousers

Women's Fjallraven Keb Trousers

The women’s Keb Trouser is suited for advanced trekkers who hike trails that require climbing. The optimized fit and carefully planned details of this technically advanced trekking trouser provides alpine hikers with the protection and mobility they need to tackle difficult trails. The Keb features a pre-shaped rear and knees with extra strong seams. Durable G-1000 Eco, a hardwearing and versatile fabric, is present on the rear, knees, front of the legs and on the inside bottom of the legs and reinforced with a double layer of fabric to protect it from wear from hiking boots. The placement of the inseams and an extra piece of fabric in the crotch minimize the risk of rubbing. Other great features include a zippered ventilation opening to release excess heat, secure leg and hand pockets, and a strap adjustment for attaching hiking boots. Retails for $199.95.

Men’s Fjallraven Eco-Trail Jacket

Men's Fjallraven Eco-Trail Jacket

The men’s Eco-Trail is a must-have jacket for outdoor adventurers. The Eco-Trail is a lightweight, durable, windproof and waterproof 3-layer shell that provides the protection and functionality you need on fast alpine treks. Fjallraven understands that low weight and packability are just as important as protection and functionality, which is why the Eco-Trail Jacket features a slim cut designed to follow your body movements, as well as ventilation under the sleeves. Retails for $399.95.

Camelbak All Clear UV Purifier Bottle

Camelbak All Clear UV Purifier Bottle

The Camelbak All Clear UV Purifier Bottle provides hikers with clean water, wherever they go. Using proven UV technology, this purifier bottle effectively neutralizes microbiological contaminants to EPA standards and has a built-in LCD for confirming results. With this two-in-one water bottle and purification system, hikers can turn any tap or clear natural water source into safe and portable drinking water in just 60 seconds. Since the All Clear is both a water bottle and purification system, hikers can hydrate right on the spot, right after treating it, or carry it with them. Retails for $98.95.

Click here to shop all hiking gear.

Top Gifts for Snowboarders/Skiers

Polarmax Quattro Fleece Zip Mock Shirt

Polarmax Quattro Fleece Zip Mock Shirt

Polarmax is a leading outdoor brand that makes moisture-wicking, anti-microbial baselayers, like the Quattro Fleece Zip Mock Shirt. Available for men and women, the Quattro Fleece is the perfect baselayer for cold-weather sports like snowboarding and skiing. The Quattro Fleece is made with Acclimate Dry performance fleece using a brush micro-fleece to keep you soft and cozy, while keeping the body dry and warm in extreme winter conditions. Men’s retails for $54.95. Women’s retails for $54.95.

Men’s Columbia Ridge 2 Run II Pants

Men's Columbia Ridge 2 Run II Pants

The Columbia Ridge 2 Run II Pants are a waterproof, breathable snow pant that keeps the body warm and dry during winter activities. These pants feature a fully seam-sealed Omni-Tech exterior for waterproofing and breathability, plus Omni-Heat thermal reflecting lining to maintain warmth and comfort. These great features, along with the leg venting, an internal leg gaiter, a reinforced cuff guard, and articulated knees, make these pants ideal for intense aerobic cold-weather activities. Retails for $120.00.

Women’s Columbia Lay ‘D’ Down Winter Jacket

Women's Columbia Lay 'D' Down Winter Jacket

The Columbia Lay ‘D’ Down Winter Jacket combines Omni-Shield advanced repellency and Omni-heat thermal reflective with 500 fill power insulation to bring you the ultimate winter jacket. This breathable, windproof and waterproof jacket will keep you warm, dry and comfortable on the slopes, without hindering your movements. Other awesome features include the underarm venting, removable and adjustable storm hood, drawcord adjustable hem, waterproof zip-closed pockets, and media and google pocket. Retails for $230.00.

Shop all snowboard and ski apparel here.

These wonderful gifts are perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. Visit us online at ShoppingBlitz.com to browse these great products and shop for clothes online from the world’s leading outdoor brands.

5 Ways to Go Sledding without a Sled

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Many areas across the country are expected to experience yet another snowy winter, which means there will be plenty of time for sledding. If you find yourself without a conventional sled when a big snowfall comes, don’t fret. You can glide down the mountain in one of these items you have at home:

  1. Inflatable Pool Toys: Have you ever gone tubing at a ski resort? Similar to actual tubing, you can use your inflatable pool tubes and rafts to slide down the mountain. While pool tubes and rafts work best, you can even use your inflatable pool ride-on toys, such as an inflatable ride-on whale.
  1. Trash Can Lid: Trash can lids also make for great impromptu sleds. Just be sure to clean it before you use it!
  1. Baby Pool: Do you have an old baby pool in the garage that the kids have grown out of? Transform it into the ultimate sled. If you turn it inside out so that the smooth side is facing the snow, it works wonderfully. And, due to its larger size, the whole family can fit inside and sled down the hill together.
  1. Garbage Bag: Due to their slippery nature, garbage bags are perfect for sledding. Place your legs and behind inside a large heavy-duty garbage bag at the top of the hill, and then enjoy the ride!
  1. Cardboard: Have a cardboard box lying around? Large pieces of cardboard work well as sleds. Bend up the front of the cardboard to keep it from getting stuck on soft snow.

Warning: When using these items as sleds, be careful. These items may be more difficult to steer and maneuver than real sleds, so use them with caution.

Another important part of sledding is keeping warm, comfortable and protected. At ShoppingBlitz.com, we offer a wide range of cold weather gear perfect for sledding on a snow day, including Polarmax, Turtle Fur, Stormy Kromer and Columbia Sportswear. With base layer apparel, insulated jackets, and moisture-resistant gloves and hats from these top brands, you can enjoy your time on the mountain for longer. Visit us online to shop shoes and clothes from these leading brands, as well as many others, today!

 

How to Layer Your Clothes Like a Pro

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With winter just about a month away, it won’t be long before you can enjoy fun cold weather activities like skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. When it comes to these activities, knowing how to layer your clothing is key to both your comfort and protection from the elements.

Every layer has a specific function. The base layer controls moisture; the mid layer adds an extra layer of warmth without adding bulk; the insulating layer shields you from the cold; and the outer layer protects you from wind and rain. The great thing about layering is you can easily make adjustments as needed, depending on changes in the weather and your level of activity.

Base Layer

base layerThe base layer is the layer of clothing that touches your skin. This layer wicks moisture from your skin to help regulate your body temperature. Base layer apparel should be made of merino wool, synthetic fabrics, polyester or silk. These materials wick away moisture from the skin, rather than absorbing it. Moisture-wicking clothing keeps you dry when you sweat, and dries fast in rainy or snowy conditions.

The weight of your base layer will be based on your activity and the weather conditions. A leading brand of base layer apparel is Polarmax. All Polarmax products are moisture-wicking and anti-microbial and will keep you comfortable and dry. For your upper body, choose the Confetti Zip Mock Shirt or Quattro Fleece Zip Mock Shirt, and the Quattro Fleece Tights or Double Base Layer Pants for your legs.

Mid Layer

Next is the mid layer, which is worn directly over the base layer. The mid layer offers extra warmth without adding extra bulk. A mid layer could be a nylon or polyester long-sleeved shirt, merino wool pullover or fleece vest. A good mid layer is the Woolover Quarter-Zip Jacket or Wool Ida Outfitter Vest from Stormy Kromer.

Insulating Layer

The insulating layer should be worn over the mid layer in very cold conditions. Heavier than the base and mid layers, the insulating layer could be a heavy wool sweater or fleece jacket. In extremely cold conditions, a down vest or down jacket would make a good insulating layer. Some brands like Columbia Sportswear offer shell jackets that have a removable zip-in fleece jacket for extra insulation.

Outer Layer
Last, but not least, is the outer layer. This layer is the most important if you are facing cold, wet and windy conditions. Your outer layer jacket, pants and gloves should be waterproof or water-resistant. Look for apparel that features industry leading waterproof/breathable technology, such as Mountain Hardware’s Dry.Q or Columbia’s Omni-Tech. Don’t forget to shield your head and face from the cold with a facemask or hat from Turtle Fur.

Find everything you need for your cold winter activities at ShoppingBltiz.com. Visit us online today to shop cold weather clothes online.

Hats Off To You!

Shopping Hat Promotion

Don’t you just hate when you order to much stuff and then you have to give away freebies? Yeah us either! As the season ends we find ourselves with more hats than we know what to do with. So we decided to give them out to our awesome customers.

While supplies last get a free hat of your choosing out of those pictured here. All you have to do is spend $100 or more on our website.  Easy right? Choose from exquisitely well-made newsboys from Woolrich and an assortment of styles from Scala Collezione. What’s better than free?

No Boot Shortage at Shopping Blitz

For most Americans this winter will go down in history. Before one storm can be cleared away another one lies in its wake, enter apropos nicknames like Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse. No matter what you call it, it sucks and supplies normally fully in stock are dwindling. One such staple is the all-important winter boot.

winter 1978(image courtesy of The Daily Beast)

According to the New York Times as reported by Jezebel.com, “We are completely short, completely out of stock at this point,” said Brian Rosener, the manager of the Eastern Mountain Sports store at Broadway and 76th Street who has worked at the store on and off for 15 years. “This is the most thorough sell-through that I’ve seen.” Rosener also added “It’s been a tough winter to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve gotten very good at apologizing and finding other stores to get the products in.” The thought of all those East Coasters slogging through the rest of the winter without the proper footwear makes us sad. Luckily here at Shopping Blitz we are well stocked to keep feet warm and dry. winter boots

1. Teva Jordanelle Waterproof Boots

2. Helly Hansen Snowcutter 2 Winter Boots

3. Teva Lenawee Waterproof Winter Boots

4. Rocky Blizzardstalker Steel Toe Boots

5. Patagonia Snow Drifter Waterproof Boots

6. UGG Australia Hamric Waterproof Boots

 

 

Winter Camping Essentials

Winter has officially arrived with a bang and with low enough temperatures to make the hardiest folks shiver. Instead of cowering next to the heater and praying for spring (my personal plan of attack) its best to meet the season head on! One of the best ways to beat the cold is to embrace it with activities that keep your endorphins pumping. One of our favorites is winter camping. Who doesn’t love a good campfire and a chance to commune with nature? You may think that once the temperature drops so does camping season. Not so!

wonter camping

Winter camping is truly an art. The key to enjoying and getting the most out of the experience is preparation, the right gear and the right ratio of caution and adventure. First tip is never go it alone. Solo camping can be cathartic in warmer months but a buddy is a must on a frigid expedition. Always keep an eye on the weather. While often unpredictable, it helps to have an idea of what you are getting into. Make sure to pack an all-weather radio to keep your group in the loop. As well, be aware of avalanche danger. Weather can be fickle and despite the best laid preparations, atmospheric changes can affect weather predictions. Check out Avalanche.org for tips and education.

winer vibes

 

They key to staying warm and getting the most comfort out of your trip is layering! When dressing for extreme temperatures its good to remember the three W’s: a wicking layer or base layer which consists of thin material made to keep moisture from the skin; a warm layer to keep the heat in and a waterproof layer to keep you dry. Another important component is versatility in clothing. Nothing you put on your body should be a hindrance, only a protection. Any clothing you pack needs to allow for variations in conditions. Other key essentials are weather-appropriate sleeping bags and tents, without which the jig is up. Accessories such as hand warmers, neck gaiters, cozy socks and protective gloves should never be overlooked.

winter camping essentials

 

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