Ever since we called out Rossignol's yard sale of a sophomore season of their Après Ski Booties, we've been on the hunt for something similar: sneakerized, stylish, lightweight, slip-on boots that pair with Makers and Riders' M1Z jeans, and that can be worn for everything from après ski to winter bike commuting.
Is that too much to ask?
Five months later we're thrilled to report that a superior replacement has been found: The North Face Nuptse Booties.
They're a little lighter, warmer, cheaper, more waterproof, and more stylish than the Rossignol version. (The only downside: they're just a little harder to get on.)
Our most gushing post of 2021 was about Rossignol's Après Ski Booties, in our view a near-perfect sneakerized boot to stylishly get around during Minneapolis's 5 months of winter.
Rossignol and its retailers ran out of these fast but promised us "...we will have them again next season with some new colorways," and when they didn't immediately drop last month with the rest of their winter gear, a customer service rep asked us for patience and added they are "super stoked on them."
But the biggest problem is the boots being renamed Podium Shoes, from Après Ski Booties.
The former implies training, competing, standing, and listening to three awful national anthems, while the latter suggests sitting in front of a fire with a drink in hand and a firmly-established head buzz, sharing stories and laughs. (Note: the latter is better.)
We're hoping for a reboot in 2023. Meanwhile, this collection is best visually summed up by a gif of an iconic clip from our childhoods.
Hey thanks for the tip on the Rossignol boots. Pretty dope. And you nailed the size. Any jacket & bib/pant recommendations? —Adam
A: You're welcome on the boots. Glad you got them before they sold out (in black). We're looking forward to loading up on lifetimes' supplies next fall when Rossignol says they'll be reloaded. (Yep, they're that good.)
As for a jacket/pants recommendation, why not more Rossignol? Last week at our annual ski summit — this year at Sun Valley — we discovered the Rossignol concept store and learned there are three others at Aspen, Park City, and NYC.
That works for us.
While browsing, for pants we really liked the Palmeres, a "style that mimics five-pocket jeans." $350. No, they're not our beloved Naked & Famous Snow Pant Denim, but those are all long gone, even on eBay.
For the jacket, the standout was the Hiver. $550. It's packed full of "traceably-sourced" down, has a detachable hood, pass pocket, and subtle tricolor branding. Magnifique!
As you would expect, Rossignol fits slightly small. Go up one size.
We've been looking for something like this since we grew out of Moon Boots 30 years ago, and Rossignol has nailed it with these lightweight, sporty, sneakerized après ski booties.
For those of us in Climate/Cocktail Zone 6, they fill the stylish foul-weather footwear chasm that exists between 6" of snow — when we pull out the Sorel Pacs — and a mere dusting. In fact, we like these so much they're an instant MBHOF candidate, paired here with current MBHOF member, the Makers and Riders M1Z jeans.
This is our outdoor uniform for the next 6 months (including après ski).
NB: These run really small. Order at least 1 size up, and if you're borderline, 1.5.
UPDATE 12/23/2021: Days after this post Rossignol went out of stock on most sizes (and there weren't a lot of options at other retailers). We emailed customer service and over a month later got a response: "We will not be receiving more of the Après Ski boot for this season, but will have them again next season with some new colorways." We'll post about these again when they become available, right after we purchase lifetime supplies.
2 parts Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 part sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula or Dolin Rouge)
1/4 part Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Shake or swirl lightly, garnish with a lemon twist.