From snowstorms to spring skiing to desert campfires, this boot is a cozy slipper with a knack for adventure.
By Brandon Mathis
In 2011, Julie Adams was in pain. If only she could pull her ski boots off and give her feet a break without moping around the ski lodge in wet socks.
Fast-forward to a few prototypes later and Adams had an idea: a lightweight, packable bootie to carry in her backpack, keep her feet toasty warm and provide comfort and relief from her ski boots. Denver-based Pakems was born.
We tried what Adams created. After a cold – and we mean cold – day climbing in the San Juan Mountains, we couldn’t wait to pull off our boots. We weren’t even sure if our big toes were still there, not only because it was so cold but also because comfort often isn’t a design priority – no matter how expensive they are.
We slipped into a pair of Pakems Vail men’s model and that’s all it took. Of course anything was better than rigid climbing boots, but that’s the point. Pakems let you get comfortable fast because they have a soft upper material but a flexible rubber sole.
A foam, patterned foot bed sort of massages your feet. They are lined with insulation, so they’re warm. They have a drawstring pull-cord for tightening (which we have never used) and a secret stash pocket for credit cards, keys and cash.
They are also waterproof. Sloshing around in melting snow and muck has proved no match.
We were impressed. They even come with a little tote bag so that you can stash them in your pack.
What is remarkable is they are great for getting you to and from the car after the slopes or for roaming around the lodge, but they are even better to wear around town in all conditions. These boots are perfect for zombie market runs or other play-first, be-responsible-later errands, and are a godsend for playing fetch with the dog in spring backyards. Plus, while it is early, it is safe to say we have found our go-to footwear for chilly-trailer life trips.
Pakems are an outdoor slipper – like a house shoe with crampons – so don’t let that comfort fool you. Pack them up to take them with you. You’ll be glad you did.
Available in four men’s models, six women’s models and two kid’s models.