For the last couple of years – like clockwork – it has snowed around the same few privileged months here in the UK. Now I’ll admit, the first time it happened I was caught woefully unprepared. I’m surprised I didn’t break or fracture some poor part of me, as I went skidding and falling all over the place while trying to navigate the icy paths in a pair of knackered converse or leather soled brogues. Last year, I improved on the situation slightly by having an actual pair of boots ready for the event of a snowy emergency. However, because they were purchased in advance during the summer months, by the time the flakes arrived the soles were bare and once again I was on my arse.
So this time around – and not as early as July – I did some research and learned from my mistakes in order to have the perfect pair of dirty snow weather boots. And I thought I would share my tips with you so you can avoid all the pain I went through to get to this point.
Hopefully for the readers of this site, this should be an obvious one. Your everyday trainers and shoes just aren’t going to stand up to the kind of treatment they’ll get in the snow. Anything made of canvas will get soaked through and all your nice smart brogues and loafers will end up with snow stains halfway up the leather/suede (delete as appropriate). Neither of these are a good look guys.
What you want is a boot that goes to at least your ankle, and is constructed from some serious heavy duty leather that will handle a beating. This way you can avoid all those nasty instances of frost bite and trench foot (no, just me?) when out sledging with your mates. Or walking to the pub.
This is probably the most essential tip you’ll need for dealing with bad weather of any kind. You need to have a substantial sole.
The crepe-sole of your everyday desert boot or the slightly indented leather sole of your finest black lace-ups just aren’t going to cut it. You need to invest in a substantial lug sole – a thick rubber sole with deep indentations that improves the stability and traction of a shoe. These will allow you to stroll confidently down the streets littered with falling bodies.
Luckily, these days most designers and high street brands are catching on to the ideal of practical AND fashionable footwear, so it isn’t hard to find even the fanciest of shoe – such as a brogue or double monk strap – with a lug sole on it. What’s more, contrasting vibram soles are very much on-trend, can create a real statement and will keep you on solid footing.
Another simple principle, but one that will serve you well. These boots may only get used a couple of weeks out of the year at the most, so you’ll want something that will last you for a good four or five years.
This way, with a good lick of polish before they get tucked away, you can rest assured that if things all go to slush, you’ve got the perfect piece of footwear ready to deploy. This advice may now be bittersweet after the snow this past weekend, but you can also do what I did and pick a pair up in the sale during the warmer months. The reductions were so big in September that I managed to pick up two pairs for very different situations.
So here are a few of my favourite choices for bad weather boots (remember these are also perfect for the torrential downpours that the UK is privy to):
I actually have the ASOS green duck boot above as my heavy duty boot for dealing with slush and other such dirty weather, because the extra leather layer near the base of the shoe sheds snow and rain extremely well and eliminates the possibility of any stains. I also own a version of the Red Wing work boot that performs like a dream in falling or freshly fallen snow – all the time looking great with jeans or chinos.
Brogue boots with a big sole are another great choice for you business men out there, because once tucked under your suit trousers they look like a pair of simple and stylish brogues.
But generally guys, when the weather goes south, people’s attention to style tends to go out of the window. So as long as you stick to something simple, classic and most of all practical, you can’t go wrong. If worse comes to worse, pull on a pair of old Wellington’s, a quilted jacket and some cords and tell everyone your rocking the country chic look this winter. Problem solved.
Until next week,
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