With weather turning colder, and my imminent move to the wilds of Vermont, my thoughts have turned to winter boots. It is always a decision that has to put functionality first, over style, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer for your comfort. Classic brands abound, so here are my top picks based on those that have been producing boots since before I was born. Their longevity speaks volumes about the quality of these boots, over the fashion trends that can dictate a product's success.
L.L.Bean, "Bean Boots"
'Introduced in 1912 for walking the wet, muddy Maine woods, these boots have been appreciated for their superior functionality for over 90 years. Today, gardeners and hunters alike write us to say L.L.Bean Boots® are still their favorite shoes for wet weather'-via L.L.Bean
These are the luxe version of the classic Bean Boot, Shearling lined for ultimate warmth. As with all of their products, these boots come with a lifetime guarantee. This was the notice posted by L.L.Bean on the wall of his Freeport, Maine store.
Tecnica Moon Boot is ubiquitous with the fashion of the 70s. Not exactly known for it's beauty, but surely cosey! Uniquely, these boots come in small, medium, large etc, not in specific shoes sizes, and have no distinct left or right feet. Guess that makes them super easy to throw on in the dark! They kind of make me think of marshmallows for your feet!
Ugghhh...Uggs! I have a love/hate relationship with these sheepskin boots. No doubt they are amazingly comfortable (not sure about waterproof), but EVERYONE has them. Sometimes I play a game where I count how many people walking past on the street are wearing them. Usually that count reaches double digits before I have walked a block, at any time of the year. In Britain there is a social-class connotation to these boots, meaning that you are probably a Boarding School attending, rugby loving, horse riding, middle class Daddy's Girl if you wear them. Either that, or the velour tracksuit bottoms, tucked into Uggs a la Paris Hilton-type. Anyway despite that, I have been attracted to the practical benefits of the Ugg and secretly sneaked on a pair last year. Toasty!
I could NOT do the Classic Ugg, the shapeless doughy, flat footed kind like these (left). Even in this gorgeous violet colour. I COULD do the Knightsbridge (right), with it's more structured design, sturdy sole and zip up back. Now that is much better.
Far from being a brand designed for cold weather wearing, UGG® Australia has it's roots in the surfing community of Australia when it's founder Brian Smith brought his design over to California in 1978. My Stepmother actually bought her first pair in the early 80s when they were a new apres beach accessory for those chilly Cape evenings.
So which to choose?