Happy New Year from Toronto. We are in the midst of a real Canadian winter here, and the arctic air moving into the province today promises wind chill values of -36C by tonight. Yes - that's cold. With the snow we had last night, then the rain that followed it, there is a slushy mess all over the streets and sidewalks. That makes driving and walking treacherous.
The solution? Salt. Not the kind you'd want on your fries, or to enhance that steak you're having for dinner - we're talking anything from liquid calcium chloride, liquid magnesium chloride, liquid salt (salt brine), and rock salt. It's brutal stuff.
I've recommended on this blog that anyone thinking about their winter wardrobe add impermeable boots to the mix - rubber and latex-rubber boots that can take the wet and ice and especially the salt that you encounter everywhere this time of year. I see lots of Bay Street types in their Italian leather shoes heading to the office in this weather and all I think is, "well those are ruined." Because the salt is going to stain them, penetrate the leather, and nothing you can do will bring them back to life as they once knew it.
So the salt months are upon us. It's there for your safety. With a little preparation, you and your shoes will do just fine.