When it comes to cars, you’ve probably heard of “crossover” vehicles. These are roadsters which do quite well for a multitude of purposes. They aren’t built for hardcore off-roading, but they’ll do fine on snowy roads before the snowplows clear the highways. They aren’t quite mini-vans for hauling families around town or on longer road trips but they aren’t family sedans either.

I needed a pair of “crossover” boots. A pair I can put on in the morning and will keep my feet warm, comfortable and protected on those days when my activities take me from home, to office, to running errands, to my boat. I chose a pair of Baffin’s Eastern model of men’s boots..          

Since 1979, the Baffin “footwear” company has been keeping feet warm and comfortable across Canada and the rest of the world. If you are looking for some hardcore footwear for a variety of outdoor activities and over a wide range of temperatures, you’d do well to check them out at Many of their boots are built for extreme conditions and activities, but Baffin puts just as much quality in their less demanding footwear.

The Easterns are rated “northern” on the Baffin insulation index, which means they are lightly insulated, not something you’d want to wear all day outdoors on the coldest days. For those, choose something Tundra, Arctic or Polar Rated. “Northern” is perfect for fall and early spring outdoor activities, though I wear mine all winter when I’m only going to be outdoors for short periods. They have an aggressive tread pattern to give traction on sloppy sidewalks. At 7.5 inches tall, they aren’t for deep snow, but are great for sloppy conditions. They are crossovers!  Easterns are both waterproof and breathable to keep my feet dry as I hike across wet marina parking lots or when checking out the action at the fish cleaning station.

Available in brown leather or black, they are perfect for wearing to meetings, trips to the dentist or just on those days when you know your feet might face a variety of unscheduled activities. They are easy on and off, thanks to the stretchy panels over the ankle area and convenient pull loop at the back. The stretchy ankle material also keeps these slip-ons from feeling as though they are also slip offs.

If you are looking for an all-purpose – light duty, but rugged pair of crossover boots/shoes give the Easterns a look. They are widely available at online sources as well select retail outlets. 

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