The clocks have changed and the seasonal turn of weather is well and truly upon us. With dramatic news of recent storms in the south, it’s that time of year when fashion can take a back seat to warm bobbly jumpers, woolly socks and overcoats. While I could extol the virtues of big jumpers and novelty Christmas socks all day, it is shoes that should be the most important aspect of your winter wardrobe.
While we’ve all indulged in summer footwear, brogues look a little too work-like and flimsy pumps are just not going to cut it out in the northern wastelands of the Durham Winter, especially if you’ve given them a pounding on the dance-floor once too often. But while wellies are great for the days when you’re struggling to figure out which direction the rain is coming from, constantly looking ready for some kind of agricultural activity doesn’t really do much in the fashion stakes. Luckily, this season boots are in plentiful supply and not only look fantastic but can keep your toes toasty warm in that long walk home from Klute, so buckle up, because here is the low down boots this season.
Our entry level contender are the Chelsea style ankle boots, easy enough to slip on without messing around with laces and with a little warmer than those worn-through converses you’ve been meaning to replace. I have recently been introduced to the concept of ‘creepers;’ a sort-of ankle boot which also sports a platform sole. To my mind look like a health and safety hazard crossed with Tom Cruise height issues, but don’t let that put you off! Ankle boots themselves also have the advantage of different colours and designs that are absent in other boot categories so there is no need to fall into the shades of black and grey that can dominate the winter wardrobe. However, be careful with the suede uppers, attempting to get rid of the tide-line of damp that comes as a consequence of wearing them in a rain is a pain to be avoided. With the vogue this season favouring the strapped ankle style you can ease your transition into winter by investing in something on trend and gloriously practical.
The level up comes top in the comfort stakes. I am and will remain a staunchly against the wearing of Ugg-boots in any situation, the alternative choice of a moccasin style boot definitely trumps the afore-mentioned abominations. Historically worn by Native Americans and the pilgrim settlers, they provide the cosy and practical answer for the comfort conscious without looking like an over-grown slipper.
Next up for consideration is the biker boot; hard wearing, high or low rise and with satisfyingly chunky grips for the winter un-salted pavements. The biker boot is versatile enough to be worn on a night out, especially if coupled with the counterpart leather jacket. For the more daring, knee high boots provide the same coverage as those trusty wellingtons, but have the advantage of looking daringly like something Adam Ant would wear. Similarly the biker boot can also be replaced with Doc Martens, even higher up the scale for traversing those ice-bound roads and now in a pleasing number of versions from floral to gold glitter (for the truly committed). These boots are the sturdy but edgy members of the boot universe.
Finally, for the true acolytes to the boot cause are the hiking style boots such as those made by Timberland. With fleece lining and unbeatable waterproof qualities, these boots remain the baseline for winter footwear, a worthwhile long-term investment if ever I clapped eyes on one.
So, whether you like Cuban heels, laces, buckles, zips, knee high or ankle skimming (or going with The Village People style cowboy) boots, there is a sturdy pair out there for all intrepid students willing to brave the seasonal elements in the name of practical fashion. Are you ready boots? Start walkin’!