A better-late-than-never roundup of foul weather boots

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The upside to the fact that I’m only just now—several snowstorms into winter—doing this post is that many of these boots are marked down, so in a way I did you a favor waiting this long, right? If you’re into a Nanook of the North kind of a look, you could do much worse than these, from Sorel. They’re almost sold out in the black, but I like this colorway too.

This boot is from a newish (I believe) brand called  Voile Rouge, and I think they are just a delight. But if that’s entirely too much color for you, it also comes in black.

I love the funky rock star vibe of these Moon Boots.

For those of you who require height at all times, I like this pair.

I love the idea of classic Red Wings—so tomboy cool.  Also, check out all the other cool colors they come in.

Hiking boots are a pretty big trend at the moment, and I like how comparatively streamlined these are.

These platform Doc Martens are lined in faux fur and look deeply cozy.

This sneaker-ish pair wouldn’t be great on days when it has snowed multiple inches, but are perfect for when the snow’s been cleaned up but the sidewalks are still icy.

The bright red laces on this pair of Uggs make me happy.

A wedge boot that looks nicely worn-in.

I think this pair from Moncler looks quite understatedly luxe.

And finally: the wallabee-ish look of these appeals, in a preppy-ish kind of a way.

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31 Thoughts on A better-late-than-never roundup of foul weather boots
    Mamavalveeta03
    9 Feb 2021
    1:47pm

    I’m still looking, so I find this post quite timely. I’m interested in something I can wear to hike the trails during cold, slushy weather, so Sorels seem to fit the bill. They have messed with their sizing lately, tho, so it makes it tough to find just the right pair. And at size 11, I can’t just “size up.”

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      Rae
      9 Feb 2021
      10:06pm

      I can highly recommend these Lowa winter hiking boots. They have great traction, great ankle support, and are toasty warm and waterproof. I also think they are pretty cute and they aren’t too heavy.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        10 Feb 2021
        11:31am

        Thanks, Rae! I’ll check them out!

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      Heather
      9 Feb 2021
      4:25pm

      My winter hiking boots are the Salomon X Ultra 3 Goretex; they’re great. https://www.rei.com/product/122163/salomon-x-ultra-3-mid-gtx-hiking-boots-womens
      If the snow is super deep, you can always add gaiters (something like these: https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/193659/outdoor-research-crocodile-gaiters-womens).

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        Mamavalveeta03
        10 Feb 2021
        11:33am

        Oh, excellent! We don’t often get deep snow here, so I don’t think it’d be an issue. Thanks, Heather!

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      Kay
      9 Feb 2021
      3:27pm

      Merrell just did a release with Unlikely Hikers of the Zion boot. It is available in many sizes and might fit the bill for what you’re looking for. https://www.merrell.com/US/en/zion-mid-waterproof-x-unlikely-hikers/47257W.html

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        Mamavalveeta03
        10 Feb 2021
        11:35am

        Funky cute! Thank you, Kay! What helpful readers you’ve got, Kim!

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    Clatie
    9 Feb 2021
    11:33am

    My daughter is going to college in Pittsburgh next fall (she and I are both native SoCalifornians) so I would love some foul weather footwear advice. I know she’ll need some boots like the ones shown here, but what else? Rain boots? Or do you really only need one type for rain and snow? She runs kind of cold (poor thing complains about being cold here, she has no idea what true bone-chilling cold feels like), so I’m also curious about cold weather socks. Any recommendations would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks!

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      Karen
      9 Feb 2021
      12:46pm

      As a someone for the northeast now living in Pittsburgh, i can tell you that we don’t get a lot of snow but when we do get it, we don’t do a great job of cleaning it up…and we do get a lot of wet…so #1 water proof boots and/or water proof sneakers…there is nothing worse than wet feet. The sorrel sneaker(ish) pair, or something like it, would probably get her thru the majority of the winter. And then maybe a taller shaft boot like the 1st sorel for the true snow days. I will say that we seem to be having a snowy winter this year, but we had almost no snow last year.

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        Clatie
        9 Feb 2021
        12:47pm

        THANK YOU!!!

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          Heather
          9 Feb 2021
          4:27pm

          Definitely look for wool socks – Smartwool, Darn Tough, and Farm to Feet are good brands. Cotton socks are worthless in the cold.

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            Clatie
            10 Feb 2021
            12:10pm

            THANK YOU!!!

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      HickfromStyx
      9 Feb 2021
      12:05pm

      As a seasoned northerner, I can tell you that extreme cold and wet don’t often happen at the same time. She might want to buy two different pairs of boots. The warmest snow boots are often heavy. I take my heavy boots in the car trunk when I’m driving around on winter errands, and wear the lighter ones into stores. I still need the heavy ones, in case the car breaks down. I also need them for walking the dog. Short answer: two pairs. The best boots are the ones she will wear. They only keep you warm if you wear them.

      Pittsburgh does not get the cold we get, so if she’s not doing a lot of outdoor activities, she might not need heavy and lighter boots.

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        Clatie
        9 Feb 2021
        12:47pm

        THANK YOU!!

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    Mae
    9 Feb 2021
    12:23pm

    Kim, at least six years ago (I was still working) you recommended black Nike high-top boots lined in fleece that I bought and have worn constantly November thru April ever since. I live at 8,400 feet in the Rocky Mountains, and I’ve worn the treads off those boots, but they are still perfect. I wore them on a 5-mile walk with a friend just the other day. So, thank you!!!!

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      Elisa
      9 Feb 2021
      7:54pm

      I got those too!

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      Kim France
      9 Feb 2021
      12:39pm

      Yes, I had those too! They were great.

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        Carrie P
        9 Feb 2021
        1:51pm

        Me too! Thanks Kim! I bought them for my sis and niece as well!

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    Gail Graves
    9 Feb 2021
    7:27am

    I don’t know if anyone else had this problem, but the last entry of yours that I’ve had was the jumpsuit one. I googled you just now and the current entries came up. Weird glitch!

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      cw
      9 Feb 2021
      8:28am

      This happens to me sometimes, Gail. I have to retype in the website to refresh.

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    cw
    9 Feb 2021
    8:27am

    I am LOVING those pink/red Voile Rouge. So don’t need, soooooo want!! Sidenote: The grey flannel Sorel’s you posted about maybe two seasons ago I purchased and still wear and STILL get compliments every time I venture outside with them on. Super comfortable and give me some height. Love them!!

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    Ceejay
    9 Feb 2021
    9:46am

    Curious about the Nanook of the North reference as I call one of my favorite coats my Nanook coat. A quick search showed lots of comments about a racist documentary from the 1920’s which is where the term comes from … I am going to delete that term from now on. Amazing how casual racism creeps in -I was completely unaware. Just have to keep educating myself and recognizing my privilege.

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      EMM
      9 Feb 2021
      10:03am

      Hi Ceejay—There are actually two movies, “Nanook of the North” (1922) and “of the North,” made much more recently. The first is a widely well regarded film that sparked controversy only for blending staged action with regular documentary footage. The latter movie was the one accused of racism. It looks like it’s some kind of collage movie.

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      Heather
      9 Feb 2021
      10:45am

      The original is not without its issues, however. The central character, Nanook, is primitivized and compared with animals; his wife is weirdly sexualized. The filmmaker, Robert Flaherty, has an equally problematic film from Samoa (Moana) — they’re very much like ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’ but with people instead of zebras or whatever. Both films are arguably racist and certainly colonialist/imperialist and primitivist/eroticist. (A friend from grad school wrote her dissertation partially on Flaherty; hence my roundabout knowledge of his work.) In any case, one can reference Nanook himself and his dressing style without being racist; that’s not in itself glorifying Flaherty’s problematic film.

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        ceeJay
        10 Feb 2021
        8:07am

        Thanks for the clarification!

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        EMM
        9 Feb 2021
        1:37pm

        Thanks for that info, Heather. Very interesting. I love this blog and its knowledgable women and wish we could all meet in real life.

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        Kim France
        9 Feb 2021
        11:26am

        Thanks for making that distinction, Heather.

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        Viajera
        9 Feb 2021
        12:39pm

        I haven’t seen either film and thus don’t have an opinion. I will say though that we humans are doomed to make errors, and yet I think people should still get credit for going someplace new and meeting someone new, and creating a record (I hope he asked for permission first though!) Especially with language barriers, it’s more or less inevitable that things will go awry. We are lucky that these days it is so much easier to get both sides of the story. What an interesting discussion. Now I want to see that movie.

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          Viajera
          9 Feb 2021
          12:54pm

          It’s going to be on TCM, just past midnight on Mar 17, or early on the 18th, depending where you are. (I sometimes think their schedule can be different, even besides the time zones, so best to check ahead. I haven’t made a study of it though. Love me some TCM…)

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            Viajera
            9 Feb 2021
            12:57pm

            And I can already tell from the still that he had mad styling. Is this horrible to say? Maybe but it is also true – one of the many amazing things about the Nat Geo mags was seeing people who live on $1 or $2 a day who still dress way better than I ever will. (I need to re-subscribe.) Yes I am superficial. Yes it is a great magazine. Yes, wherever we go, we take ourselves with us. (And … yes, Buckaroo Banzai was just on telly the other day.) Okay now I am stopping.

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    Caroline
    9 Feb 2021
    10:41am

    I saw Nanook of the north in middle school. I don’t recall it being racist.
    I do however remember the hunters eating seal eyes as a special treat! That’s very captivating for a 6th grade audience.
    Also, I had those exact redwing boots in the 90’s. They were fabulous!
    Now I kind of want them again. I can wear them when I’m walking my dog in her new Carhartt. 🙂

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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