|Earthkeepers Apley Boot, $285, Timberland (Timberland.com)
As the cold weather settles in, your winter boots become more than just an accessory, they become a necessity. Thankfully, women of winter no longer have to sacrifice style to stay in step as they trudge through heaps of snow and navigate icy sidewalks.
The best winter boot is one that offers a combination of both fashion and function, says Anna Trappe, marketing manager for Ecco Shoes Canada. “I think it’s crucial to deliver the right mix,” she says, “No one wants to wear a bulky, ugly boot, which might be waterproof and warm, but looks so bad that you won’t wear it in public.” While it’s always nice to flaunt a cute pair of kicks, Trappe does advise against choosing your winter footwear based on aesthetic alone.
“You won’t get anything out of just buying for the fashion purpose,” she says, noting Canadians have to be particularly picky when it comes to boot purchases. “With extreme winter temperatures, you need to ensure your feet are protected from snow, ice and rough surfaces. Otherwise, it will cause long-time damage to the skin, muscles and bones.”
On the hunt for a new pair of boots? Trappe says a great winter boot needs to have extra support around the ankle and the lining should be extra warm (think wool or specialized textile). Furthermore, the insole should be made out of wool or felt, and the outsole needs to be made of a material that will remain flexible when faced with freezing temperatures, so that it doesn’t lose grip on snow and ice. On the fashion front, Trappe says natural hues like warm grays, camel tones and browns are big for boots this year. If you prefer something with a little more colour, opt for a mix of saffron colored leather or laces mixed with accents in marine blue.
Make a statement as you strut through the snow! Just because a good winter boot needs to have a lot of practical and technical features, Trappe says you shouldn’t have to compromise on style. “There are tons of great boots out there, which offer both.”