WINTER weather always make me feel boot challenged. Neither my beloved Dries Van Noten knee-length taupe-green leather boots with an angled heel nor my favorite Rag & Bone ankle boots are a match for snow/ice-covered sidewalks. Nor do my other random pairs of boots hold up well in the elements. But, this season, it looks as if we would-be boot buyers have plenty of choices for combating cold and wet.
For example, there’s a slew of lace-up styles in attractive colors with contrasting shoe laces. They’re lined with faux fur, fleece or genuine shearling with lug soles providing sure-footed traction from brands like Sorel, L.L. Bean, Timberland and Bogner. Ugg has a new zippered mini that looks like a puffy down coat on a ridged sole. Laces not your thing? Slip-ons from Doc Martens and Aquatalia offer style as well as practical, winter-ready soles. Just want to hang out at home or make a quick run to the nearby grocery store? Laidback London’s got a moccasin-like bootie for that. Remember Moon Boots? Yup, you can find them, too—the ones inspired by the moon landing—in Crayola colors with padded insulation and also in ankle versions in suede or with metallic or animal prints.
Here, take a peek at our picks:
LEFT: Come in from the cold to snuggle your feet in these comfy Laidback London Naira Boots ($190, Anthropologie). Inspired by traditional moccasins, these fluffy sheepskin-lined boots with hand-stitched details also have a lightweight yet sturdy sole, enough so to wear them to run out of the house on an errand.
CENTER: In the late ’80s, I went hiking in the Italian Alps with a group of Milanese, including two women who wore the latest-fashion skiwear, lots of dangly jewelry and whose feet were encased in nylon-and-foam-insulated Moon Boots. Weren’t those supposed to be for après sport not during? Despite the occasion, I remember feeling totally underdressed. In any event, Moon Boots have been making a comeback, some with design tweaks, such as these ankle-length Mars Shearling Boots ($456, Moon Boot) in suede and protective sheepskin and light with a flexible sneaker-like sole. The wraparound laces make sure the fit you get is snug.
RIGHT: Boot label Montelliana makes luxurious hiking footwear, like these splurge-y Marlena Boots ($585, Shopbop), with a dyed hair calf upper and shearling lining. BTW, love those red shoelaces. But you don’t have to tackle tough terrain to wear them. Amortize the price by making them your favorite everyday booties to pair with jeans or leggings.
LEFT: You can’t come up with a better combination of practical and good-looking than Sorel’s Caribou Waterproof Boot ($169.95, Backcountry). Sealed seams and waterproof nubuck leather mean dry feet while a felt inner boot and a fleece cuff guarantee warm ones.
CENTER: For anyone who likes boots with some lift, Voile Blanche’s Loden 003 Boots ($310, Shopbop) with chunky heel provides a nice boost. Contrast panels leather, suede and shearling panels give them an interesting edge.
ABOVE RIGHT: Ugg boots keep on getting reinvented. Take this Ugg Ridge Mini ($159.95, Zappos) that looks like a puffer jacket in the form of a shoe. Waterproof and wool-lined, it’s supposed to keep your feet dry and warm in temps as low as 0 degrees F.
BELOW RIGHT: You don’t have to give up wearing sneakers this winter, thanks to a shoe hybrid like Ugg’s Aika Sneaker Boots ($120, Anthropologie). The top part of the shoe looks like a hiking boot and the bottom part —a sporty rubber sole—offers the comfort of a sneaker. Best for winter days on the milder side and early spring.
LEFT: These charming Timberland Premium Waterproof 6-inch Boots with Liberty Fabric ($99.99) with a sure-footed lug sole and laces made of recycled plastic are sold out online. For availability at a store near you, go to the Timberland website.
CENTER: Jacquie 2 (reduced to $90 from $150, Zappos) combat-style ankle boots from Sam Edelman come with a center zipper for easy on-and-off. A faux shearling cuff and faux-fur lining will keep your toes toasty.
RIGHT: L.L. Bean’s Rangely Waterproof Pac Boots ($139) put a spin on the classic snow boot with upper panels and lining in fleece, along with PrimaLoft insulation to keep feet warm, dry and comfortable in cold winter conditions.
LEFT: I’ve been pining over Aquatalia boots for a while. They’re spendy, but I could convince myself to spring for this sleek taupe suede Kyla ($475) with an inside zipper and shearling lining on a lug sole. (It’s also available in black and navy.) Note to self: It’s weatherproof, not waterproof.
CENTER: Bogner is best known for its elegant, fashion-conscious ski wear—for experts and snow bunnies alike. We like the look of these gray Copenhagen Leather Snow Boots ($429, Mytheresa) with contrasting white shearling lining and rugged ridged rubber soles. For icy conditions on city streets or around the lodge, they’ll keep you upright and your feet cozy. A similar pair, St. Anton ($479, Bogner), comes in black suede with shiny eyelet accents and matching padded lambskin collar.
ABOVE RIGHT: Vasque boots are made for hiking, yes, but I wear my 15+-year-old pair in snowy conditions in the city, and they provide all the traction I need, plus keep my feet from getting wet, thanks to Gore-Tex. An updated version of mine, this Talus XT GTX Waterproof Hiking Boot ($209.99) is sporty- and spiffy-looking, and will take me into spring when, who knows, I may even take a hike.
BELOW RIGHT: You can’t go wrong with a pair of faux-fur lined, slip-on Dr. Martens Leonore Sherpa Chelsea Boots ($160, Shopbop).
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