Fill your boots

Mukluks and cowboys and thigh-highs, oh, my.

If there is one redeeming factor to winter, it is wearing boots. Is there anything that is so practical and utilitarian, yet so stylish at the same time?

And, fortunately for fashionistas, it seems every possible conceivable format of boots is on trend right now. As evidence, high end designers like Gucci and Prada are making expensive incarnations of combat boots, snow boots, chelseas, and western.

You can wear whatever kind of boots best suit your needs this season without fear of looking out of place. Just don’t buy the knock-offs — purchase the original makes that defined each style.

Investing in any of these classics will guarantee a lifetime of beautiful wear.

Combat boots - Every shoe company on the planet makes some form of these thick-soled, lace-up boots. Especially these days as combat boots are the No. 1 trend for 2019. But the classic always has been and always will be Doc Martens.

Chelsea - These round-toed ankle boots pull on with elastic panelled sides, and are done to perfection by Blundstone.

Cowboy - This style is hundreds of years old, but I think no one currently makes western-style boots better than the Frye Company. Their classic Harness style will see you through winter, while motorcycling, and to the Calgary Stampede.

Snow boots - Boots with rubber bottoms and leather uppers, and lined with shearling are all the rage these days. And for good reason, they are best at keeping your toes warm and dry no matter how wet and cold it is outside. The quintessential snow boot brand has always been Sorels.

Mukluks - These fur and suede moccasin-style boots have been worn by Indigenous North Americans for centuries, and are today still faithfully made the traditional way by the Manitobah company.

Uggs - This Australian version of mukluks became hugely popular in the 1990s among the surfing crowd for their toasty comfort both indoors and outdoors. Their popularity is enduring and best represented by the Ugg brand.

Hikers - It’s hard to say who makes the quintessential hiking boots. Colorado boots were the rage in the 1970s and 80s, distinctive with their natural suede uppers and red laces. Today, visit MEC to find which brand best suit your needs. Merrell, Salomon, Columbia and Timberland are popular makes.

Rubber - For puddle-proof wear in spring and fall, U.K. brand Hunter makes the classic rubber wellington boots.

Over-the-knee - Tall boots protect your whole calf from the elements, so are great with skirts and culottes. However, they can get bulky if crafted in fully-lined leather with zipper openings. So Stuart Weitzman designed the 50/50 boot with a leather front panel and elasticized back panel to pull snug onto any size of calf.

Ankle booties - Ankle-high boots, with or without a heel, have become a wardrobe staple thanks to their ability to be dressed up or down. They look great with everything from suits to jeans to boho dresses. Their rise in popularity can be traced to Rag and Bone’s Harrow boot.

Stiletto - Though not practical in the snow, does anyone do heels better than Jimmy Choo?

One-of-a-kind - Looking for something unique? You can’t get more creative footwear than Vancouver-based designer John Fluevog’s fantastical designs.

Many of these brands are available locally at SoftMocs, Hollywood Shoes, and the Downtown Shoe Store. Footwear is one of those things definitely worth trying on before purchasing.

Then, once you know your sizing in a certain brand, you can search for more deals online. 

As Nancy Sinatra sings, these boots were made for walking, so enjoy winter treks in yours.


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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