With the bitter frost starting to set in, selecting the correct shoes to invest in is a matter of high importance, sartorially speaking – this means looking for footwear that’s not only timeless and stylish, but, more importantly, can keep up with the cruel change of the climes. Curating a dependable collection, however, needn’t be a weighty task, as you can easily get through the season with a handful of pairs that’ll cover you in most situations during the cold months, from festive celebrations to rural walks.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best boots for you to consider – there are recommendations for the party season, ones that can be worn every day, and robust, rugged variants that can hold their own against extreme weather conditions – and to help hone this list, we’ve drawn upon the fine expertise of Cheaney, the storied label that’s been producing lovingly crafted footwear since 1886.
For the designs that’ll have you putting your best foot forward until spring, lace-up with our edit below…
The day-to-day boot
The first thing to ask yourself when picking the right boot is what you’d like to use them for. If, like many, you prefer to keep things open-ended and are after something with versatility and adaptability, all the while being able to protect your feet from the elements, we’d first nudge you towards the ‘Jarrow’, a casual day-to-day choice. Notably, it’s produced in black Chromexcel leather, a material whose packed fibres not only guarantee the ability to withstand the stresses of daily wear, but also pick up a beautiful tonal change over the years. Minimal embellishment and a round toecap (which doesn’t have the dressed-up feel of a more pointed tip) offer maximum versatility, too.
If after something with a bit more detail, consider the ‘Tweed’, which has the open lace system of a Derby, the punched detailing of a brogue, and will pair well with either an ensemble of off-duty denim jeans and a merino jumper, or chinos and a button-down. Moreover, both pairs, as is the case with all Cheaney boots, are made with a Goodyear welt construction, a footwear-making method widely thought of as the most reliable and finest in the world. “We want all of our boots to be practical, first and foremost – looking good is a by-product,” says Alex Pardey, store manager of Cheaney in Covent Garden.
The smart-casual boot
With the festive party-going season about to hit full swing, the chances are that you’ll also be in need of some elevated, refined boots with minimal design details in order to mix and match with various outfits, depending on the occasion and mood. The Chelsea boot, notably, hits a fine line between dressy and casual – the ‘Godfrey’, for example, is made from calf leather, which offers a premium look, and its flowing, single-cut appearance creates an elegant aesthetic (just make sure your suit trousers are made in a similar shade and feature a minimal break).
Chukka boots, alternatively, have a softer, more relaxed edge thanks to minimum constraints – they usually feature a low ankle and only two or three eyelets, and any sharpness is avoided in favour of a rounder silhouette. The ‘Jackie’ is one of Cheaney’s most iconic designs, and its supple-suede material gives off a down-home quality suitable for intimate get-togethers, whether visiting family or friends.
The rural-escape boot
With the colder months synonymous with crisp countryside strolls, you’ll also likely want something to help battle dirt, mud and rain. Luckily, since its founding, Cheaney has been a countrywear specialist, and its calling card has long been sturdy, hardy boots that’ll help you navigate tricky terrains in a stylish manner.
For a well-made pair that’ll last the decades, it’s widely accepted that those with rubber soles are best, as they offer high-levels of durability, waterproofing and grip. Within the Cheaney range, however, there are further variants from which to choose, each one with differing aesthetic and practical features. Notably, a ‘Commando’ sole, which features on the burgundy-leather ‘Pennine’ , is said to offer the best grip for traversing muddy ground, due to its large surface area; centre-star medallions that provide traction; and shock-absorbing properties. A ‘Gum Lite’ sole is ideal for uphill walks; and the ‘Brit Grip’ takes on all the similar benefits of a ‘Commando’, but stands out for its Union Jack pattern, as seen on the ‘Ingleborough’, whose rural aesthetic is perfect for taking to the Pennines.
Want more from Cheaney? See the brand’s new versatile range of winter-friendly footwear (and what to wear with them)…
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