Winter Boots Survival Guide | Stop Salt & Water Boot Damage In Wet Snowy Weather
Guide to winter boots
As youll discover when that first winter storm catches out your loafer-shod feet, summers footwear isnt suited to wet weather. Suede stains. Leather leaks. And your commute ends in a squelch through the office as the receptionist looks daggers at your carpet-ruining footprints.
For the sake of style and your toes, dropping mercury demands a footwear rethink. Whether its office-ready brogues or hiking boots that work as well in town as up a mountain, box up those driving shoes and make space for these winter-ready wardrobe upgrades.
The original wet-weather footwear, brogues holes were originally designed to ensure water could get back out after sodden bog crossings. Modern takes are sealed and the shoemakers aim is now to ensure the rain never gets in at all. Swap leather soles for rubber, says Grenson owner Tim Little. Most of the water that you get in a shoe is going to come through the sole. Which not only equals damp feet all day, it also makes the leather flake off as it rubs on the pavement.
Commando soles the thick-treaded rubber you get on army boots offer a more modern, rugged shape, says Loake managing director Andrew Loake. Theyll also last longer and keep you upright even in Arctic conditions. Theyre more suited to your selvedge than your suit though, so in more traditional offices opt for a Dainite sole; thinner rubber with subtle nodules on the base for grip. The profile looks like leather, says Little. You can hardly tell its rubber at all. Your dry socks will ensure youre not fooled, though.
Loake Wolf brogue, £265, loake.co.uk
Chelsea boots may put you in mind of skinny-suited mods and high-shine Italian calf leather, but workwear iterations can work whether youre on a building site or in a board meeting. Seek out something crafted from a single piece of leather. Theyve only got one seam, at the back, says Little. Unlike daintier Chelsea boots, that means theres no entry point for rainwater where the sole joins the upper.
Waxy leathers better than glossy, Little adds. Its more rainproof and will take on character as it gets wet and dries, rather than just dulling. Again, chunky rubber on the bottom works better dressed down. But because your trousers fall over the elasticated cuff even boots like RM Williams, originally designed for workers in the outback, can be office-friendly if you opt for a Dainite sole.
Grenson Logan Chelsea boot, £210, grenson.co.uk
There are two types of motorcycle boots; ones that look like you could drag them along tarmac with barely a scratch and ones which resemble riding boots with a couple of buckles attached. Find the former. You want something quite bulbous and rugged, says Little. As though youd be protected if you crashed. Clarks hook-up with biker brand Norton features reinforced toe panels; handy whether youre changing gears or drop your folio on your foot.
If youre not actually straddling a chopper, avoid anything else from the Hells Angels wardrobe. That means no biker jackets or accordion-panelled trousers. It just looks try-hard, says Little. Like you want people to think you ride a motorbike even though youre on the tube.
Clarks x Norton brass leather boots, £200, clarks.co.uk
Unless youre planning on tackling the Matterhorn, heritage is a better bet than Gortex and zips. Wearing a modern pair of mountain boots around town looks geeky, says Little.
Better is something in faded leather with heritage laces and D-rings, says Clarks global trends analyst Dan Hasby-Oliver. Try Oliver Sweeneys gargano boot, which is inspired by a '50s original. Theyre not for the office, though. Instead, you want an outfit thats equally rugged. Wear them with a bomber jacket and rolled up jeans, says Hasby-Oliver. A flash of thick wool sock will give a nod to the mountains without you needing to accessorise with an ice pick.
Oliver Sweeney navy burgundy hiking boot, £349, oliversweeney.com
Trainer hybrid boots
Forget flyknits. When you want the comfort of your kicks but fancy striding through puddles, rather than tip-toeing around them, you want a hybrid that blends your hikers wool and leather uppers with comfortable athletic soles.
The key is function. Something like the Dan from near-unpronounceable brand ohw? (pictured) takes heritage mountain boots as its starting point but, realising that youre probably more likely to be tackling pavements than peaks, bolts on a white, speckled sole with concrete-hugging grip. Which makes them adaptable enough to wear them with everything from tailored joggers to rugged corduroy.
Video: How to Buy Winter Boots
Ohw x Off The Hook Footwear
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