10 winter boots for men that won't drag down your winter look
Options you can dress up or down, and winterized sneakers for those who can't quit them at any time
When the biting cold of Canadian winter hits us and the streets are lined with slush, we will be faced with a choice when putting boots on our feet: stay warm and dry, or look good. Choose style over warmth, and you are bound to find yourself standing at the bus stop with the cold of the concrete seeping through your boots, leaving your toes feeling like rows of ice cubes by the tail end of your commute. Choose warmth over style, and your clunky steps are pronounced by a chorus of thuds as you walk into work, as you reassure yourself with the mantra, 'I may look ridiculous, but I'd rather be warm'.
Neither of those scenarios need be the case. There are lots of decent options out there that are warm, waterproof and keep the compromises on style to a minimum — if you are obsessive about your search, you will find that there are designs across the spectrum, that can go with anything from a suit to jeans, and that get this difficult balance right. To save you the trouble, we've done that search, and rounded up ten options that cover the gamut on style, and price range too (from $115 to $420, with the average being $200).
They look like boots, but better
If you do like the look of a classic, lace up boot, this pick from Geox will appeal, they can be dressed up and dressed down. Salomon has a boot with the feel of a fur-lined and waterproof sneaker, but has a design that still looks like you're wearing a boot (without looking like the boot is wearing you). If wearing a suit is a must, the Bili from Canadian brand Pajar is waterproof, lined with sheepskin and guaranteed in temperatures as cold as -40 C.
Clintfordb ABX Man, $270, Geox
Utility Winter CS WP, $200, Salomon
Bili, $420, Pajar
Staying on brand in your boots
The good news is that you don't have to abandon the brand you love just to ward off the sting of the early stages of frost-bite. For lovers of Dr. Martens, they have winterized a couple of offerings that still maintain why people like wearing their docs — they even have fur-lined options. This pair from Timberlands is lined, waterproof and maintains the look of the version of the classic Tim's boot that '90s hip hop made iconic. For fans of Clarks, they have managed to communicate key elements from the look of their desert boot in a form that works for winter. If you've always secretly wanted the cozy feel of Uggs but could never get behind the look, their Olivert boot is waterproof and good for -20 C and won't have you looking like a meme.
Fur-Lined Leonore Wyoming Chelsea, $200, Dr. Martens
Icon 6 Warm Lined, $210, Timberland from Brown's
Batcombe Alp Gore-Tex, $220, Clarks
Olivert, $210, UGG
You can wear sneakers in the winter if you really want to
One of the most painful parts of the winter for sneaker-lovers is having to wear boots. But the Nike Lunar Force is water-repellent and built for the cold; while they are not going to keep you completely warm on our coldest days, you will be warmer and drier than stubbornly sticking with your sneakers. North Face also has the Back-to-Berkeley, which is a bit more weather ready in that it is insulated and waterproof. It also comes in a range of colours, so you might want more than one pair to mix-and-match with outfits. The Liftop from Columbia is more in the vein of the hiking boot designed for city living, but is a decent compromise for those of us who dread the idea of having to pull boots out storage.
Lunar Force 1 '18, $230, NIke from Bricks and Bonds
Back-to-Berkeley, $170, North Face
Liftop III, $116, Columbia from Mark's Work Warehouse
Chris Penrose is a writer and conversation producer. Follow him @watrvision.