Looking cute can be tough in harsh winter climates. Functionality isn’t often associated with chicness, especially when snow and ice are the only things between you and your favorite pair of stilettos.

Finding fashionable clothing and outerwear is easy – think Moncler, Parajumpers, Club Monaco, etc. Stylish winter footwear, on the other hand, is like finding a good Louis Vuitton knockoff; it’s next to impossible. Refusing to adhere to a non-chic state of mind is the first step. Now that you recognize the problem, the second step is finding a solution.

Your winter footwear needs will vary depending on where you live. Mild and wet winters in British Columbia call for waterproof insulated boots, whereas Toronto winters, home of the “Polar Vortex,” require something much heavier and durable.

Below are a list of brands and shoe styles to consider for your fashion needs this winter:

For a Harsh Winter (New York, Toronto, Montreal…)

harsh winter

Purchasing an insulated, waterproof boot with good traction is the key to survival. (And I mean survival quite literally!) Black ice and slush are the perfect recipe for slips and falls. Finding a boot with deep indentations will allow for better traction.

For the tomboy gal, check out Converse’s waterproof leather styles and Sorel (one). Sorel began as a strictly winter boot line in Kitchner, Ontario, Canada. They offer many styles, textures and colors. If style is your top priority, opt for an English equestrian inspired tall boot.

Brands like Michael Kors (two) and Pajar (three) also offer sophistication and durability, perfect for both shoveling your drive way and wearing to the office.

Style tip: Be sure to purchase leather and suede sprays to protect against salt stains.

For a Moderate Winter (Seattle, London, Nashville…)

moderate winter shoes

Moderate cities or “little-to-no snow at all” cities, as I like to call them, may experience flurries and rain. Ice is not in their weather vernacular. In this case, purchasing an all-weather boot that can be worn during winter, fall and spring is ideal and most cost-effective.

Selecting a boot that has an insulated sock option accommodates varying temperatures. Gucci (one) and Burberry (two) have each designed a rubber boot with their signature pattern and are perfect to pair with jeans. Hunter (three) offers a traditional tall rubber boot in a variety of colors to fit your every mood. A quilted over the knee black boot is timeless and when paired with a trench coat, is an ode to English elegance.

For a Mild Winter (Southern California and beyond…)

mild winter shoes

If you live where the sun is always shining and the ocean breeze is the only cold front you experience, then consider yourself lucky. The perfect shoe for mild (aka: Californian) winters is the Converse Chuck Taylor High Top Leather Boot (one). This shoe has the aesthetic of a sneaker and all the characteristics of a boot. The leather is engineered to keep feet warm and dry, and the rubber soles provide excellent traction.

The SoCal style is more laid-back and this shoe compliments any ensemble.

Style tip: Add flirtation to a silk dress with a sneaker and top with a moto jacket.

For a “chic meets street” look, also check out Keds Midtown Zip Bootie (two) in black suede. It’s also water and stain resistant, and has a cushioned insole.

Style tip: Shop your favorite sneaker brand’s website for weatherproof and waterproof style. You’ll be more likely to find shoes that suit your needs and compliment your wardrobe.

Images via Beth Cath




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