Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shoes for Winter Weather: My Boot Collection

My winter boot collection at college.

This winter Mother Nature is giving the Eastern United States the worst of winter to deal with—blizzards and subfreezing temperatures. Choosing the right footwear in winter is an important task. Having cold wet feet or slipping because your shoes lack traction are some of the consequences of poor footwear choices. I am pulling on my own experiences as a college student in the winter wonderland known as upstate New York’s Finger Lakes, and research to help you have the appropriate footwear.

For snow:

My Lands' End snow boots. The red color helps make them a little more interesting.

In the snow, you need a designated snow boot, one that is designed for both warmth and wet conditions. Although they may not be the most fashionable of boots, they will keep your feet warm and dry and have the traction to handle the slippery conditions.

In light snow, around an inch, you may be able to wear sneakers with good traction (Clark, n.d.). Any more snow and you’ll need a boot that comes a few inches above your ankles. If you tuck your jeans or pants in, this will help you keep the bottom of your pants dry and help to prevent rips and tears.

Rains boots are not for snow. Although they will keep your feet dry, most lack insulation, so they offer no protection from the cold (Stimperta, n.d).

Make sure the soles are flat. High-heels are dangerous in snow no matter how good you are at walking in them. Demi Moore was spotted falling in stilettos at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah

For cold:

My faux Ugg boots. Brown and black to go with everything.

If you crave warmth and there is limited snow where you are walking, Uggs or any sheep-skin boot are perfect. Uggs will keep feet warm in up to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Ugg-type boots are great for their warmth and comfort. However, they are not water proof and can become stained from mud and water (Stimpertb, n.d.). Products can be used to protect Uggs, for instructions click HERE. Nevertheless, the soles on Ugg-type boots usually lack good traction, making them moiré suitable for walking on flatter surfaces or in cities.

I realize Uggs are quite controversial. For more on the controversy, click HERE.

Other fashion type boots may also be worn when the ground is dry provided they give you the needed warmth. I have a pair of Easy Spirit boots with a faux fur trim that are great when it’s cold. They are more fashionable than my faux Uggs, but still have some insulation to keep me warm.

My faux-fur lined Easy Spirit Boots

For slush and mud:

A picture of rain boots I used to own. Unfortunately, my rain boots didn't fit in my packed car for the trip back to to school, so I am using an old picture

When the snow begins to melt a new footwear problem emerges. I find many more fashionable snow boots leak in large puddles. Thus, in slush rain boots are perfect. These completely waterproof boots will keep your feet dry. Wear heavy socks or get rain boot liners to keep your feet warm. Luckily, the melting snow signifies warmer weather for a day or so. Rain boots are also good for mud because their smooth rubber outers are easily cleaned.

For nicer winter weather:

Nine West short leather boots that I am saving for nicer weather

Pleather boots that I'll wear in more wintry weather

For those few winter days when the weather warms up and the snow and slush has disappeared, more fashionable boots are ready to appear. Although materials like leather and pleather are waterproof, they are often lack the insulation and traction for snow. Also, they are more prone to being damaged and stained. Thus, they are best for the better winter days.

My short leather boots are a recent addition, so I do not want to risk damaging them. I am saving them for better weather.

My pleather boots cost about $20 so I am willing to wear them in some minor snow, slush, and mud.

Hope you found my advice helpful.

What shoes to you wear in winter weather? What are you tips and suggestions?

Related Posts:

Other Post You May Enjoy:

Clark, C. (n.d.). What type of shoes should be worn for snow?. eHow. Retrieved January 26, 2011 from

Stimperta, D. (n.d.). What makes a boot a snow boot. Retrieved January 27, 2011 from

Stimpertb, D. (n.d.). Ugg boots. Retrieved January 27, 2011 from


  1. The cottons or wool inside the boots will keep your feet warm. Pointed heels are not comfortable especially when you're walking on snow.