In an update to the "find a pair of boots that fit my feet and my legs" saga, I am happy to report ... success! I walked into a Marshall's on a hunch, and there -- there, as under an angelic spotlight, with lo the heavenly choir singing, was a pair of over-the-ankle boots with a sturdy tread, a side-zip closure and functional laces. Frabjous day, they were in my size. Calloo callay, they were half off the MSRP. I bought them immediately, and I am wearing them now to break them in -- I don't even really need my braces, although they will fit inside if I rejigger the laces first. I am really, really pleased by this. I love my Converse tennies, but they're not exactly suited for foul-weather walking. These, however, will be fabulous. Glee!