Feature image from Hudson
I’ll be the first to admit: I am a shoe fiend. My parents liked to call me Imelda Marcos, and I never seem to run out of occasions for a new pair of footwear. So, naturally, finding a new pair of cold weather boots is not a job I take lightly.
As far as winter footwear is concerned you have two choices: fashion or function. The two occasionally cross paths, but from my experience, a pair of boots will lean more to one direction. That doesn’t mean your choices are look cute and freeze or stay dry and sacrificing lookin’ winsome. Lovely human, you’ve got options.
Heeled, flat, tall or ankle length, the co-parents of the modern boots came from a place of function and protection. In the beginning boots were made to protect the wearer from the elements, then eventually evolved into occupationally specific footwear (function)/fashion footwear (style). Luckily, these days most of us require both practicality alongside style, and companies are listening. With traditional working brands such as Dr. Martens & Frye holding a large portion of the market on durable but good-looking boots, there are many mid-range options/styles regardless of your climate/budget.
This is a shortlist for inexpensive to mid-range boots that aesthetically pleasing & durable. There are many, many more options than these, but it’s a good place to start.
- Red Wings
- Dr. Martens
- Steve Madden
- Shellys London
But Lyd, now that I’ve got them… how do I wear my boots? Here’s a mini “how to wear ’em” encylopedia!
A steadfast choice — classic, chic and timeless. They are super easy to style (they go with everything) and easy to put on.
Lace Up Boots
I’m smitten with the look of lace up boots — a harkening to spending evenings at the skating rink in hockey skates. Although laces may be cumbersome or difficult to do up, there are many “laced” options with side zippers, which means these are much easier to get on than they look!
Knee or Tall Boot
Depending on how cold your climate is, these might just be necessity. But a sound option doesn’t have to be drab – have fun with hem lengths in tall boots.
Perhaps the most frivolous of the bunch, these are my personal favourite! Fun loving and hardly practical, these are less of an investment and more of an exercise in treatin’ yoself. Cut-outs, bright colors or interesting heels; anything eye-catching and/or innovative is the name of the game.
Tips and Tricks
Befriend a cobbler. Resole, polish, take care of your boots! If you treat them with love, they will love you right back.
Use non-aerosol weather resistant sprays, or if you are looking for non-chemical solution, beewax works as a protectant as well.
If you can save for a $100 pair versus $30, do it. You’ll end up replacing the $30 many times over, so keep cost per wear in mind with your selections. I have learned this lesson more times than I would like to admit…
Choose natural materials over synthetics! Wools, cottons and leathers wear better than PVC and other synthetics. You will get longer wear + more mileage from boots with made from natural materials. Not to mention leather ages so beautifully…
Each winter I fall in love — with a new (or old) pair of boots in my wardrobe. I’d love to hear which boots get you through the blustery winter months!