Cold feet are a fact of winter, as reliable as dark mornings and rainy Decembers. The shoes you wear the rest of the year round – kicks that let the chill in and low-rise shoes that let the rain in – don’t cut it in the worst of the weather. You need some winter boots and not just one pair, preferably two or three.
This is footwear originally designed for timber yards, hiking trails and the trenches of war; so you can be confident it will get you through a slightly frosty commute. In style, too, because the best winter boots are as good looking as they are practical.
Fashion has a thing for technical clothing of all kinds right now (hiking style and workwear are trends that won’t quit), but it’s always been happy to appropriate boots – from soldiers, mountaineers, riders and blue-collar workers. Those boots have the attributes all boots should have: durability, practicality, comfort and weatherproofing.
Have you been spending your weekends training for a forthcoming trip up Kilimanjaro? If the answer’s no, then you can be forgiven for overlooking the humble hiking boot as a viable footwear option. But only just.
Regardless of your outdoorsy aspirations (or lack thereof), hardy hiking boots have established themselves as foul-weather footwear essentials over the past few years – especially among sharp men who prize a shoe’s ability to face down all manner of meteorological nasties in style.
I’m no expert in adventure sports, so I’ll leave recommending boots for seriously tough terrain to the professionals. WhatI can do, though, is suggest designs that are ideal for navigating city streets, heavy dog walking sessions and the occasional trip to a countryside pub.
You need a pair that offers untold levels of comfort, ankle support and other orthopaedic box-ticking features such as full-leather linings and cushioned footbeds. Although you could sack that off and get a beautiful but hardly practical suede pair from a high-fashion designer that hasn’t seen a mountain in their lives.
Team them with other tough-as-old-boots menswear staples like raw denim, corduroy, twill or flannel shirts and cable knit jumpers. You could also pair them with a classic wax jacket and fleece to lean fully into the outdoors trend. Or be bold and use them as a striking counterpoint to tailoring – just not for your next job interview.
My Hiking Boot Picks
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