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Isn’t it about time you make some space in your personal wardrobe for some stylish winter boots? With so many exciting styles to choose from, you may be tempted to expand your range of winter wear even more than you initially thought. From fur-lined boots, to sheepskin pull-on boots, moon boots, wedge boots, snow boots, rain boots, and everything in between, winter footwear definitely puts both feet forward. Whether you’re looking for boots that prioritise aesthetics for urban landscapes with minimal snow, or high-performance, heavy-duty boots that can get you through all types of stormy conditions – with so many different styles, designs, and features, chances are high that you’ll be able to find exactly what you are looking for. 

What makes winter boots so special? Well, for starters, winter boots are made with materials, specifications, and styles that are specially designed for the colder months. This means insulation, waterproofing, sturdy soles with good tread and aesthetics to match. The cold season invites fashion enthusiasts to heat up their styles with creative winter footwear. So, whether fuzzy, furry, woolly, quilted or completely smooth, your ideal pair of winter boots is waiting just around the corner.

Winter Boots - Trends and Styles

If you happen to be living in an urban environment, you might just opt for a pair of high heeled, knee-high boots as your choice of winter boots. While these kinds of haute couture pieces are certainly very stylish, they might not be the most effective at keeping your feet toasty and dry. Boots that prioritise aesthetics tend to be lacking in the materials and insulation that more high-performance footwear can provide. Luckily, there are many incredibly stylish boots that are also high-performance, so you don’t have to choose between looks and functionality. Like with any kind of shoe, it can be a good idea to consider aesthetics, comfort, insulation and support. This way, you will not only be sure to have a fantastic looking outfit, but you will also have happy feet and will ultimately be much more comfortable than in ill-fitting or slippery footwear. Of course, it goes without saying that sustainability and cruelty-free options are also factors to prioritise. 

So, while structure and functionality is very important to consider, let’s first jump right into the fun part – some talk about winter boot style. Winter is a great time to experiment with different kinds of cold-weather designs, with woolly, fluffy, and furry accents along with pom-poms, quilting, shine, sparkle or any other winter-inspired trends. There are also Mukluks, moccasin boots, moon boots, and snow boots. With their extra padding and sturdier soles, winter boots tend to be a bit bigger and thicker than autumn boots, for example. It makes sense that as we add layers, our footwear will match in terms of both functionality as well as style. While we may wear sandals and shorts in summer – or even go barefoot – in winter we cover up much more to stay protected from the elements. This translates into an excellent opportunity to be creative with wintry fashions. While in many cultures dark tones are the winter go-to colours, why not brighten up the darkness with whites? You might want to try going with an all-white get-up, accessorised with a white pom beanie and matching faux-fur trimmed, lace-up boots with pom-poms at the ends of the laces.

Keeping Warm with Insulation 

Now let’s discuss technical specifications, like insulation and waterproofing. When it comes to functionality in winter boots, the very first thing to think about is warmth. Making sure that your feet stay toasty when temperatures are dropping outside is important so that you can stay comfortable, and prevent conditions like frostbite when conditions are extreme. A boot’s liners, layers, and materials make up the insulation, which retains heat and keeps out the cold. Generally, thicker boots are better insulated, but modern high-performance materials can have highly insulating properties without being too bulky. This is where cost factors in, since these special high-tech fabrics also tend to be more expensive.

Pac boots are soft liners designed to fit inside winter boots to act as an insulative layer. For example, the classic winter boots made by Sorel have this removable inner lining. With some styles you can swap the inner lining with a different type, depending on the weather. This mix-and-match feature with the linings is a creative way to make the boot much more versatile. It is also effective at keeping the boots fresh and clean, since the removable linings can be washed separately from the outer boot. One common type of non-removable lining is Thinsulate, which is a synthetic material that regulates thermal insulation. You may have seen this type of fabric in winter boots designed for more urban environments, as well as hiking boots and even hats and gloves. PrimaLoft is another common type of thermal insulation used in winter boots. This modern fabric was created as a synthetic alternative to goose down, and prized for its insulative as well as water-repelling properties.

Staying Dry

Making sure that your feet don’t get wet on rainy days, or while walking through puddles, slush, or melting snow, is another important condition to consider when looking at what kind of winter boots to purchase. Of course, good old wellies do the trick nicely in rainy weather. Lined wellies might also be a good option if you live in an urban area that doesn’t get too cold. Otherwise, more classic winter boots are a safer bet when temperatures really drop. 

Many winter boots have undergone a waterproofing treatment or are made with water-repellent fabrics. It is also important to note that water-resistant boots are only designed to keep your feet dry in a light rain or drizzle, but will not hold up in a deluge. One excellent waterproof material is GORE-TEX®, which was originally designed as a water-repellant alternative to leather. It is an impermeable material made of Teflon that also allows for breathability. If you have boots that are not already rainproof, or if the waterproofing treatment has aged, another option can be to apply a Polyurethane (PU) coating to make it completely watertight.

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