Nothing rings in winter like the sound of commuters crashing to the ground; victims of smooth-soled shoes on frosty pavements. You’d think that, after years of contending with icy slopes and slippery steps, we’d have wised up our wardrobes for the colder seasons. But no — despite the bruises, some of us still don’t get it.
So consider this your early warning. The weather may be balmy now but biting, bitter weather will be sweeping the country in no time, so it’s time to pull up your socks and pull on some boots — and we mean kicks with treads serious enough to deal with the ice-covered commuter routes we all walk. From a pair of Crockett & Jones’ capable, fashionable Chelsea boots to Loro Piana’s surprisingly practical suede offerings, these are the best men’s boots to lace up this winter.
For the formality-conscious commuter: Church’s Wootton Calf Leather Lace-Up Boots
Now, if you’re a staunch member of the brogue brigade, or wince at the thought of parting ways with your Oxfords, we feel your pain. But trust us; it’s nothing compared to the sting you’ll feel when you fall down on black ice in front of your co-workers. And, if you learn to shop savvy, you can find a pair of sartorially-sound boots that are smart enough for the office and solid enough for the snowy weather.
Church’s are the ideal compromise. These lace-up Wootton Derby boots are crafted from calf leather, and have a Goodyear construction with storm welt to keep your feet protected from the elements. The rubber sole will see you safely across any ice — and the handy pull-on tabs will guarantee you get them on as quickly as your existing work shoes.
Church’s Wootton Calf Leather Lace-Up Boots
For a chunky spin on a classic: Crockett & Jones Chelsea XI Boots
If you were worried about sacrificing style for safety, Crockett & Jones has you well and truly covered. The Chelsea boot should be a stalwart of your wardrobe already, but this neat spin on the summery shoe sees it fitted with chunky soles for winter.
Cleated and oversized, these soles will take almost anything you can throw at them; slush, ice, snow, you name it. What’s more, it’s a Vibram sole; a hardy brand named after founder and keen 1930s alpine mountain climber Vitale Bramani. And, if Signor Bramani could tackle cliffs and peaks in his shoes — we’re pretty sure these boots will see you through a Great British winter.
Crockett & Jones Chelsea XI Boots
For industrial quality and eye-catching style: Cheaney Masham R Derby Boots
If you’ve got a penchant for industrial style, Cheaney has some of the best boots for you. These Masham styles are based on a Derby boot, but with a towering ankle and Dainite rubber sole for superior comfort. They (safely) walk the line between casual and smart, and have been crafted using Chromexcel leather to ensure their uppers never fade or wear.
It’s a leather that has undergone at least 89 separate production processes, and contains protective greases and oils that are infused into the hide in such a way that they shift and re-stain with every wear. It’ll soon give your boots a vintage, worn-in aesthetic — perfect for a rustic, bundled up winter look.
Cheaney Masham R Derby Boots
For the urban adventurer: Edward Green Kentmere Adventurer’s Boots
Every man should own a classic field boot. Thoroughly functional — and just as fashionable — the design is traditional for a reason; it has stood the test of time and trampled across every terrain you could dream of. Edward Green’s take on the style, the Kentmere, is perfect for any cold weather — in Britain and beyond.
It has been constructed with a storm welt on a sturdy ridgeway sole, and crafted using Delapré — a supple, waxed leather from the Rhine valley that the brand promises will age handsomely. But the main attraction for us is that signature strap — double buckled and suitably striking for even the tamest urban adventure.
Edward Green Kentmere Adventurer’s Boots
For a touch of frosty flair: Loro Piana Icer Cashmere-Lined Suede Boots
We know, we know. Suede is usually a no-go when the snow starts falling. But Loro Piana are no usual brand. These Icer Walk cashmere-lined boots are not only water-repellent, but also stain resistant; developed specially to protect from any unwelcome, inclement weather.
And, while the dark blue hue is a nice touch, it’s the soles that swing it for us. They’re non-slip, contrast-coloured and ready to tackle even the slickest city street. Even if you do turn an ankle on a spot of black ice, the comfortable triple-padded collars will likely keep you protected, too.
Loro Piana Icer Cashmere-Lined Suede Boots