Dress right for your Michigan winter


Skip cabin fever this winter by enjoying the great outdoors. As the Norwegians say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

“A good base is the most important part of staying warm,” said Mike Lounds, owner of Trailblazers. His store specializes in clothes and gear for an active lifestyle.

You’ll need three clothing layers, the first of which is the base. It nshould be something that traps warmth, but also wicks away moisture. Avoid pure cotton — experts recommend polyester, merino wool and silk.

The second layer is your heavy layer, so a fleece half-zip, a wool sweater, down vest or sweatshirt would work.

The outside layer has to be waterproof and cover the rest of your exposed skin. Pair a parka with a scarf, hat and gloves. If you don’t need finger mobility too much, switch up gloves for mittens, which will keep your fingers warmer.

And don’t forget about your feet.

“Honestly, just as important as having the right shoe is the right sock,” said Lance Graham, manager of Rice’s Shoe Store.

When it comes to regulating temperature, Graham has seen socks make just as much of a difference as thermal boots.

The staff at Rice’s can help you find the right fit for both. 

“Life is too short for tight shoes,” Graham said.

If you need more advice, you’ll find it from the experts at Rice’s and Trailblazers. Helping you be comfortable is their business. That’s one of the advantages of shopping small.

Another is quality curation. Lounds says he has the right stuff at Trailblazers, from Patagonia to Under Armour. It’s clothing that is cozy enough for your snowshoe hike, but looks good enough to wear in your everyday life.

Rice’s Shoe Store (62 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek) is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Trailblazers (111 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall) is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Stock up on layers and you’ll be ready to have fun in “snow” time.

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