This winter, I’m making a resolution that I should have long made: I’m putting down the Ugg. I have to admit that I’ve never found the Ugg to be Ugg-ly, but have found them cute since the beginning. I’ve faithfully loved my beloved Uggs through 6 winters now, beginning in College, and have gone through 2 pairs. One Sand, one Chestnut pair, have survived through the various cold weather conditions: the 26.9 inch New York City snow blizzard of 1996, the snow slopes of Vail, Colorado, and the assorted various flurries and gray-slate melty slush puddles that are all over NYC sidewalks in Winter.
My Australian friends were appalled that Americans like me wore their Uggs everywhere, because they wear them specifically for beaches and after surfing, since they wick away moisture and water. I’ve loved them for their pillowy comfiness (is there anything softer than that sheepswool?) Unfortunately, there are 2 big problems with using the Ugg as a winter snow boot. 1. The boots aren’t exactly waterproof, so occasionally, my toes wound up ice cold after accidentally stepping into a snow bank. 2. As they weren’t designed for snow, the sidewalk salt and snow ruin the soft sheepskin.
This winter, I’m determined to find other cute, cold weather boots and I’ve found my top picks below:
1. Hunter Wellington Boot ($115) – A rainy day staple of mine, I love these because they keep my feet completely dry despite how deep the puddles and the showers get. They are a little on the expensive side for wellies, but these are wellies with a chic factor having been seen on Angelina Jolie in Mrs. and Mrs. Smith, and on Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss. I considered these my best footwear investment ever on a muddy night at the All Points West concert last summer, following a period of heavy rainfall. As people slipped and slid all over the toxic fields of Jersey, and some even took off their flip flops to wade barefoot, I was thankful that my feet remained clean and untouched in my sturdy Hunters. Because they don’t have any insulation, to keep your toes warm for Winter, I recommend wearing thick socks or investing in these Hunter Fleece socks.
2. Tory Burch Flat Shearling Boots ($295) – Leave it to Tory Burch, designer of all things functional and stylish for the modern woman, to design a stylish shearling boot for her first footwear collection. The shape may appear somewhat Ugg inspired, but with none of the rounded edges and boxy calves. This is a streamlined, calf boot, made out of nubuck with shearling lined edges, and a shearling lining. It’s the perfect boot for the urban city warrior, and would look great worn with warm weather tights, and a sweater dress.
3. Cole Haan Air Juno Boot ($298) – My favorite out of all of the cold weather picks, I love the sophisticated look of these lace up flat boots. Although the lace up detail is utterly Victorian vintage inspired, the suede upper sheepskin, flexible rubber lug sole, and Nike Air technology is completely modern. I have a pair of heels with Nike Air technology that I love for their comfort, and these boots would definitely keep my feet warm with its ribbed wool and a fully padded leather sock lining.
4. MICHAEL Michael Kors Niagra Boot ($193) – For shearling boots with a bit of height, try this latest version of the suede boots from Michael Kors. Michael Kors always slightly updates his version of the warm winter boots every year, and this year’s version contains more visible outer shearling detail, and lower lace detailing. Although the boots have a 2 1/2 inch heels, it is a wedge heel, so it is still comfortable and won’t put too much pressure on the balls of your feet. This would be a great apres-ski option out west this winter if you still want to look chic and stylish.
5. North Face Alana Boot ($134.95) – One parts ribbed sock/legwarmer and one parts boot, this shoe takes the best of both elements to construct a casual and comfy boot. With a rounded sueded toe and a ribbed cuff top, I like the stylish laces up the back. It has a slight 1 1/4 inch wedge heel, along with a rubber lug sole for traction through the snow. Made out of leather and suede, the boot comes in 3 colors, such as brown, taupe, and black.