In the Swims
“If it keeps on rainin’, the levee’s gonna break”. Led Zeppelin’s re-working of Memphis Minnie’s warning of imminent disaster has been much in my mind of late. England may be a green and pleasant land, but it’s also very wet. So I have been delighted by an unlikely addition to my winter wardrobe – a pair of galoshes by the Norwegian brand Swims.
A galoshe is an overshoe, in this case a rubber one, which protects nice, expensive footwear from the horrors of a British winter,
The Swims slip over your shoes very easily. I accept that they look a bit odd, but once you get over this minor distraction, you realise that they are a great invention. They are available in a large range of colours. I just happen to like green. It must be my Irish antecedents.
The patterned sole offers some useful grip on a wet or icy surface.
You can laugh at puddles in your Swims, which retail for about £55 (a damn sight cheaper than new pair of shoes).
And they come with a handy carrying pack for when/if it stops raining.
Funnily enough, galoshes (or galoches) are not a new invention. I am proud to be a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers, a City of London Livery Company with strong links to the footwear business (pattens were platforms worn beneath shoes or boots in medieval times to lift the footwear out of the mud). Our company embraced “the ancient mystery of galochemakers” as far back as the 1400s. A good idea is indeed timeless.
My thanks go to Paul Smallpage, Swims UK agent in the north, for bringing these fine products to my attention.
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