Cold feet are a fact of winter, as reliable as dark mornings and drunken decembers. The shoes you wear the rest of the year – perforated sneakers that let in coolness and low-rise shoes that let in the rain – don’t cut them in the worst weather conditions. You need winter boots, not just one pair, preferably two or three.
These are shoes originally designed for lumber yards, hiking trails and war trenches; so you can be sure that this will give you a slightly icy ride. With style too, because the best winter boots are as beautiful as they are practical.
Fashion has a soft spot for technical clothing of all kinds right now (hiking style and workwear are trends that don’t stop), but he’s always been happy to appropriate boots – soldiers, mountaineers, horse riders and blue collar workers. These boots have the attributes that all boots should have: durability, practicality, comfort and weather resistance.
And despite those chunky soles and ruthless leathers, winter boots are some of the most versatile shoes you can buy. Invest in the right pair and they will last for decades if you take care of them as much as they do. So, better foot forward. Find the style that best suits you and the ways to wear them below.
What to look for in winter boots
Good winter boots don’t have to be cheap if you want them to last, and you should. “The fastest way to spot quality in a boot is the quality of the upper material,” says Tim Little, Creative Director and CEO of Grenson.
“A well-made boot will always be made of quality leather because no one would go to the effort of making a great, inexpensive leather boot. Quality leather always has soft folds and is usually hand polished so you can see the dark and light patina and stains. It is not always uniform.
You can also look for tanned leather, which tends to be thicker than painted leather and shouldn’t need as much weather resistance.
Goodyear stitched soles
A solid base in winter means a pair of boots that use the famous Goodyear welt technique to firmly sew the sole to the upper via a strip of leather or canvas in the shape of ribs.
“The welt seams are visible above the welt and the sole seam (through the welt) under the sole,” said James Fox, Brand Manager, Crockett & Jones. “Be careful though. If you can’t see the rest of this stitch through the sole, you might be looking at a cheaper pair of cemented boots using an imitation welt.
“A well-made boot brand has detailed information on how they make boots, where they are made and what materials they use,” says Rik Van Dijk of Red Wing. “A good shoe maker takes pride in this information.”
“What if you’re looking for a winter boot with the perfect fit and quality? Visit the boot manufacturer’s store or a specialty store. There you will find all the information and fit you need to get the perfect shoe for your feet. “
Recognizing that most of us only wear our boots at the office or pub, shoemakers in recent years have outfitted their designs with comfortable and practical soles. The combat-style soles will make you even more confident, while the contrasting white rubber soles offer a chic and relaxed hybrid style.
Likewise, shoemakers (even Dr Martens) have made efforts to come up with lighter versions of their thicker, more iconic styles with new materials offering the same wear and convenience.
The best styles of winter boots
Did you spend your weekends training for an upcoming trip to Kilimanjaro? If the answer is no, then you can be forgiven for neglecting the humble hiking shoe as a viable shoe option. But only fair.
Regardless of your outdoor aspirations (or lack thereof), rugged hiking boots have established themselves as essential footwear for inclement weather in recent years – especially among sharp men who appreciate a shoe’s ability to face all kinds of weather annoyances in style.
We are not adventure sports experts, so we will leave the shoe recommendation for very difficult terrain to the professionals. What we can do, however, is suggest designs that are ideal for navigating city streets, dog walking sessions, and the occasional trip to a country pub.
You need a pair that offers untold levels of comfort, ankle support, and other orthopedic features like leather linings and cushioned soles. (Although you can get rid of that and get a beautiful but impractical suede pair from a high fashion designer who hasn’t seen a mountain in their life.)
Pair them with other basic men’s clothing like raw denim, corduroy, twill or flannel boots and cable knit sweaters. You can also pair them with raincoats and fleece to fully integrate with the outdoorsy trend. Or be bold and use them as a stark counterpoint to personalization – but not for your next job interview.
If you’re not ready to use Bear Grylls with a pair of hiking boots, there are other more subtle ways to infuse your wintery look with outdoor influences. A sartorial hybrid, the brogues have the same reassuring weight and solid construction as hiking boots, but with all the rustic, buttoned elegance of brogues.
As a rule of thumb, you can wear your brogue boots with any outfit that you would normally wear with traditional brogues, so lace up a pair of dark brown or black leather with a thicker wool suit and elegant trouser suits. and shirt / cardigan.
However, due to their winter suitability, brogue boots also pair well with rugged and refined divide-straddling pieces, such as chunky knits, vests, waxed and quilted jackets, as well as heirloom fabrics. such as corduroy and tweed.
While the flashing of the socks isn’t necessarily frowned upon when wearing a pair of these, it’s also not an entirely natural fit with the thinness of the brogue boot. Instead, stick with pants with a clean break (i.e. that end around the upper set of lace eyelets), or roll more relaxed pants and jeans to the same point for a finish elegant.
Look for rubberized soles for more winter practicality.
Some of the best boots ever made were first designed decades ago for people to wear in factories and shipping yards. Steel toecaps may not have survived the fashion crossover, but there are plenty of other features that have: waterproof materials, padded ankles, high grip soles, and comfortable liners. Why wouldn’t you want these things for your feet when it’s cold outside?
The most iconic work boots – the Timberland Yellow Boot, Red Wing’s classic shoe – have remained almost unchanged for decades, making it surprising that they have been adopted by tribes of such diverse styles. Hip-hop artists, lumbersexuals, and work wear enthusiasts all love a work boot.
That means you can pair them with a range of casual (always casual) outfits, from joggers to jeans, trucker jackets to parkas. Look for waterproof dyed leather or nubuck and taped seams to keep puddles at bay.
Combat style boots
Like most items in a man’s wardrobe, boots have a proud history of military service. From tall lace-up shoes designed to keep the foot out of the trenches to modern tactical designs, combat boots have recorded a number of victories on the fashion front.
At this moment, they have not only won the battles, they have won the war score. The directional trend for combat pants, holsters and everything military means that there has rarely been a better time to buy this style. Not that you have to leave the house looking like a character from Call of Duty.
Watch the character of Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049. He paired tactical boots you can buy on Amazon with a trendy overcoat. Or designer Charlie Caseley-Hayford who wears his high boots with a classic fit. Streetwear fans might pair them with jeans and a bomber. Heritage clothing is an easy compromise: wool, cotton twill, generous cuts and lots of herringbone.
The Swiss Army Knife of your shoe rack, the Chelsea is by far the most versatile boot you can buy; the right pair looks just as good with a suit or tailored pants Monday through Friday as it does with a leather jacket and ripped skinny jeans for a weekend gig.
While suede Chelsea boots undeniably have something fishy about them, it’s a delicate material that’s hard to keep intact or right after a downpour. If you can’t be bothered with regular cleaning, brushing, and protective spray applications all winter long, opt for easy-to-wipe leather instead. In this case, a smooth black leather pair is much closer to the iconic original anyway.
Details to watch out for include fall-ready rubber soles and classic heel traction, a practical feature many modern iterations don’t (but should). Pay attention to your toes as well. Pointed-toe Chelsea boots, when worn with at least a suit, look a bit quirky, so keep an eye out for round-toe styles instead.
As far as we are concerned, there are few cases where wearing a pair of desert or chukka boots is not a good idea. While their mid-weight construction makes them a clear choice for spring and summer, they’re also a killer option for the winter months, along with other tickling ankle-length styles like jodhpur boots and hikers. low waist.
This mid-profile profile makes most ankle boots smart enough to wear with a turtleneck, blazer and sleek woolen pants, but not so difficult that they can’t be paired with chinos and a sweatshirt. round collar. Perfect for navigating winter months dress code dilemmas.
Leather pairs are a no-brainer for cold and humidity, providing resilience and long-lasting elegance, while suede pairs can also work if you take the time to treat them regularly with a protective spray and always check the forecast. before leaving the house.
Treat this style – especially chukkas or desert boots – as a smarter, more durable alternative to sneakers. Pair them with chinos, button-down shirts and crew-neck sweaters to create edgy and warm outfits that will easily pass the pub safety test.
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