Winter: a season of fun, family and festive cheer. On the downside, however, it’s also a time of ice-cold commutes, relentless rainfall and, as a result, freezing feet and ruined sneakers.
The canvas trainers and suede loafers that served you so well through the summer months have no place on the streets right now. They simply aren’t equipped to stave off the worst of the winter weather, making the temptation to sacrifice good looks for practicality all the more alluring.
But before you go obliterating any ounce of street cred you might have had by investing in a pair of galoshes, allow us to walk you through a few key footwear variations that combine stylishness and winter-friendly design in equal measures.
Together with Base London, a brand that knows more than a thing or two about what goes into making top-notch footwear, we’ve compiled a rundown of winter-friendly boots, shoes and sneakers to see you through every cold-weather scenario in style. Handpicked from Base London’s vast collection, these are the only winter stompers you need this year.
Big Boots For Cold Winter Walks
Unsurprisingly, winter walks in the park are a lot more enjoyable when you’re not worrying about losing a toe to frostbite. With a pair of sturdy leather boots at your disposal, this ceases to be a concern. Mud? No problem. Puddles? Easy. Cold? Not any more. They’re robust, grippy, versatile, and a good pair will look after you as long as you look after them.
There are a few things to consider before investing in a proper pair of winter boots, though. First off, the style. To get the most wear when the weather is less than tropical, you’ll want something with a thick tread and some decent height in the ankles to keep your lower legs wrapped up. Hikers or worker boots are a good place to start.
Colour-wise, black and brown are the obvious choices, offering maximum wearability. However, if you fancy something a little different, details like broguing and burnished leather can keep things interesting while maintaining versatility. Wear them with other cold-weather staples like a parka coat, heavy-gauge knitwear and a fisherman beanie for best results.
Sturdy-Soled Shoes For Cold, Wet Commutes
Thin, low-profile soles may look stylish and elegant, but you certainly won’t when you inevitably slip on a patch of ice in them and spill your morning coffee all over your clean work clothes. The solution: go commando.
Obviously, there’s nothing to be gained in this particular scenario from removing your underwear, but that’s not what we mean. We’re talking about selecting footwear with a thick, sturdy sole, capable of holding its own on those slippery winter sidewalks.
Practicality isn’t the only thing these heavy-duty workhorses have going for them. Commando-soled shoes are also trending hard at the moment in menswear, favoured for the contemporary edge they can lend to classic silhouettes like a Derby or an Oxford brogue.
When it comes to styling, bear in mind that a chunky sole gives shoes a casual feel. This considered, if you’re going to do tailoring, keep it laid-back, unstructured and seasonally appropriate. Otherwise, we’d suggest wearing them alongside similarly rugged winter favourites like heavy indigo denim, a thick flannel shirt and a chore coat.
Dapper Styles For Party Season
They don’t call December party season for nothing. In just four short weeks there are more office drinks, family get-togethers and general frivolities than in the rest of the year combined. Naturally, it can begin to take its toll, but don’t let subpar party footwear be the reason why. Leave that up to the ill-advised school-night outings and endless spending.
Party-appropriate footwear is an absolute must-have for anyone looking to give their shoe rack a winter restock. These aren’t your day-to-day Derbies or formal Oxfords. Instead, they’re shoes with character. Something that adds a touch of personality to an outfit, but that wouldn’t look out of place around the office if you had to go straight from desk to dancefloor on a Friday evening. Think loafers or monk straps.
These styles are fairly versatile, but come into their own with contemporary tailoring. Try layering a blazer over a fine-gauge roll neck, with contrasting cropped trousers below. Go for earthy autumnal shades like burnt orange and burgundy if you’re thinking colourful, or subtle neutral tones for something more low-key.
Sturdy Boots For Winter Weekends
Evenings out, last-minute Christmas shopping, Sunday strolls. Wherever your weekends take you this winter, a pair of casual boots will stomp through all of them in style. This is footwear that can be dressed up and down to cover every conceivable downtime eventuality, from impromptu dates to a weekend of life admin.
Chilled-out styles like Chelsea boots and leather chukkas work well here. They’re smart without being formal and relaxed without being sloppy. Think of them as your go-to winter all-rounders. Something you can throw on every weekend without a second thought, safe in the knowledge they’ll look the part with whatever you happen to be wearing.
Try dressing your new winter-weekend boots up with a pair of chinos, an Oxford button-down shirt and a wool overcoat. Or style things down with a nice thick flannel, a down gilet and some mid-wash denim.
When the rain is pouring and the wind is howling, it’s tempting to rule out sneakers as a viable footwear option. Don’t do that to yourself. Sneakers are still on the menu for winter. In fact, they actually make an excellent everyday shoe. You just need to be a little more savvy about how you approach them.
First off: material. Keep suede and mesh to a minimum and prioritise the more practical leather. Not only does this give your sneakers added smartness, but it also offers some protection from the elements.
Styling-wise, anything goes, but a dark, muted palette will go with anything and everything, making them the perfect does-it-all option. From dress pants and a shirt on evenings out, to sweatpants and a crewneck on afternoons in. There’s nothing a pair of these can’t do.