As Shakespeare might have said if he'd worked in fashion, "To walk or not to walk the streets in knitted snow boots covered in frolicking reindeer – that is the question."
OK, so this might not seem like the most metaphysical of dilemmas, but when a pair of Rubberduck Snowjoggers arrived in The Independent's fashion department it was precisely the issue. The fact that, upon close inspection, the boots in question were deemed "cute" and even "cosy" didn't help.
There is no arguing with that, however. Rubberduck Snowjoggers are indeed super-cute and ultra-cosy. What's more, an unswerving attachment to belle laide sandals/shoes/boots, depending on the season, is something of a guilty secret here. Birkenstocks on a dinner date? Absolutely. And with woolly socks – grey woolly socks, preferably. The Snowjoggers in question, though, are rather more attention-seeking than that. They're predominantly cornflower blue, apart from anything else.
A quick look online and the fact that these suitably ungainly designs – which come in every colour and texture from low-key black nylon to high-gloss, quilted purple, for example – are sold out everywhere comes as something of a surprise, even given the inclement weather. Pregnant Denise Van Outen is wearing Snowjoggers apparently (not good). But so too are Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and the junior Obamas (that's better although, admittedly, the latter two are, well, they're children).
In the name of investigative journalism, I road test them and, suddenly, everything becomes clear. While the rest of the world is struggling even to stay upright on the icy pavements, let alone dry, yours truly is as nimble and immune to frost-bite as the aforementioned Rudolph and his friends who, henceforward, will accompany her everywhere she goes.
Rubberduck Snowjoggers – which hail from fashionable Denmark – have a "duck tread" sole not unlike a running shoe's but with more grip, and are sheepskin-lined. Neither is the distinctly Scandinavian surface design an impediment. Everyone knows that January is not a time for glamorous dress – even the most enviably modish are more likely to be seen in a bobble hat and novelty sweater than in the latest underwear as outerwear, for example, just now. So why not big woolly boots to match?
On the pistes of west London, Snowjoggers (the cognoscenti just call them Rubberducks, incidentally) go down a (snow)storm, and they're also big in LA, according to the powers that be. That'll be given the drifting snow.
Finally, as any devotee of shoes that err on the side of gigantic knows only too well: big shoes, thin legs.
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