Shoes With High Style at Low Temperatures
by brian o’connor for style + tech for men
a men’s shoe or boot that exudes cubicle chic and can endure winter weather is the holy grail of footwear. it’s not easy to find a runway-ready shoe that can withstand snow and sleet without endowing you with the style of a moose-tracker.
we all know that if you want to take the measure of a man, you have to look down: fashion starts at the feet. you build from the ground up, not from the roof down.
if you’re willing to put your best foot forward, you should track down these office-appropriate men’s boots. we asked grant harris, owner and chief style consultant for image granted — based in washington, d.c. — for some insider information on how to keep your feet looking cool without feeling frozen. here are his picks:
flx adrian chelsea boot by cole haan
the details: out of the many fine cole haan boots, this is one of the few that are constructed with waterproof leather, nike air-cushioning and rubber soles with traction.
the look: the chelsea boot provides the sleek, stylin’ hipster image. the air-cushioning and waterproofing will help you navigate over and around the hipsters stuck in the slush.
tip: “the chelsea style is good for inclement weather because it has no laces or zippers,” says harris. “therefore there are fewer points where the elements can seep through.”
make tracks to: colehaan.com
enos by donald j. pliner
the details: the enos cap-toe rubber sole, suede elastic gore side-panels and distressed feel say, “me? worry?”
the look: the boys in the boardroom will appreciate this boot’s stylish side-stitching and elegant efficiency.
tip: the enos is water-resistant, but not waterproof. “waterproof and polish them yourself as soon as you get them,” says harris. “it’s like giving the shoe a coat of armor-all against the elements. all men’s shoes and boots should be polished after every three wears.”
make tracks to: donaldjpliner.com
l.l. bean’s rugged casuals chukka boot
the details: these babies feature full-grain leather and a rubber outsole that offers enough traction to hike to any watercooler.
the look: the rugged office-casual type who likes to get his hands dirty — but doesn’t like to get his feet wet.
tip: “with its ankle protection, a chukka boot is good for the outdoors,” says harris. “and with the laces, they offer a more businesslike appearance.”
make tracks to: llbean.com
heath outside zip by frye
details: this macho men’s leather boot features a side-zipper, a squared toe and cushioned, shock-absorbing insoles that are perched above stacked leather heels.
the look: the bad-boy biker type.
tip: “if the zipper sticks in the cold, take a graphite pencil and rub it where it is stuck,” says harris, “or use some dish soap.”
make tracks to: thefryecompany.com
the nash by born
details: this full-grain leather slip-on is leather-lined and features a rubber sole with traction.
the look: the dude who’s moved on from timberlands — but doesn’t want to blow a mortgage payment on gucci.
tip: the rugged and classic-looking nash is suited for “the office to the after-party to after-hours,” says harris. “a plain toe with no embellishments is the way to go.”
make tracks to: bornshoes.com
men’s brimley by sorel
details: the insulated, waterproof leather and rubber sidewalls offer all-weather and all-terrain protection. we’re all excited!
the look: the dude who works and plays in the great outdoors.
tip: “these men’s boots are for heavy winter,” says harris, “and are good for the man whose work takes him outside, but not in the office.’’ that is, unless it’s casual friday and everyone’s going ice fishing after work … in the yukon.
make tracks to: sorel.com
brian o’connor is a print and online journalist. he is a former contributing editor at men’s fitness and executive editor at genre. he has also written for slate, san francisco weekly and the new york daily news, among other publications.