The plexus of great design consists of great problem solving; a hat to cover, a coat to insulate, gloves to protect, and shoes for all of the above. With winter the elements propose numerous sartorial challenges that fast fashion often fails to meet. Unlike other winter-wear pieces the shoe is uncompromising; it needs to be strong enough to handle the weather and the weathering of time and travel. Aesthetics hold a small flame to durability, and yet the allure of flashy footwear often prevails function. While the price point of an H&M boot might seem practical in the short run, this winter is looking to be a marathon. Shoes that are both practical and fashionable are an investment worth staking in and, with online shoe retailers like Zappos.com, it is easier than ever to find the right boot beyond the department store.
Work: The all-weather boot may be something of fashion lore, but the perfect work boot is as innumerable as it is varied. A sturdy boot needn’t depend on a steel toe or a larger than life heel, but it does depend on comfort and overall construction.
Like with all boots the quality and treatment of leather and the type of stitching is crucial, find a boot with a slip resistant outsole and a padded insole for maximum traction and comfort.
City: The chukka is the quintessential city boot; made of nubuck or suede at ankle length it is casual and refined and comes in a variety of colors. To beat the weather this season opt for treated suede. Nubuck is a thicker leather for harsher climates that will wear great with time. For a chukka alternative with better durability choose mid-length boots like the Rockport Wing Boot. If you purchase an untreated suede boot make sure to spray it with a waterproof treatment like the Ugg Water and Stain Repellent for Sheepskin and Suede.
Outdoors: Whether for hiking or for the next big blizzard choose a boot with a high shaft and multi-directional traction lugs. A boot with great traction is key to traversing the winter terrain. Keep the elements at bay with waterproof leather and insulated nylon fabrics.For wetter climates in city or outdoors choose a tough wellie like the Cole Haan Air Scout Rain boot. A high shaft will protect from the environment while keeping feet dry and warm.
Where to find in the 303?
Cole Haan in the Cherry Creek mall carries a variety of muli-purpose boots from the Air Colton Winter Chukka (featured) to long shafted oxfords like the Air Harrison Boot pictured above. Cole Haan also carries water repellent sprays for untreated suede boots.