Best Foot Forward

I think I have already made my general dislike of winter pretty apparent, but I am going to add one more thing to the list. Winter wreacks havoc on my shoe wardrobe. Suddenly all my adorable ballet flats and patterned summer shoes are unwearable, unless I want to lose my toes to slushy frost bite (which I do not). But, on the flip (flop) side, I won't want to spend the whole entire cold season in snow boots. What is a girl to do?

Well, here are a few ideas for building up a winter shoe wardrobe that will keep you warm and stylish.

Warm on the Outside

Every girl needs at least one pair of warm but stylish winter boots that work just as well for walking around in a Winter Wonderland just as well as they do at the office. Leather boots are always a safe bet. Just be sure to treat them with a weather-proofing product to keep them safe in rain or shine. Knee-high boots will give your legs an extra level of warmth. Pair knee-high boots with some heavy tights and you won't even know it's winter!
It's also worth investing in a pair of boots you can tuck your jeans into. You'll be hitting a major trend for this winter, and you'll be keeping the hem of your pants dry on wet, slushy days. No matter how stylish your shoes are, no one will notice if the bottom of your pants is dripping wet.

If your needs are a little more casual, go for a cheaper fix with a pair of Uggs, or a similar style. It doesn't matter if they wear out by the end of the cold season (and they probably will). Chuck them when warm weather comes back and just get another pair next winter. Also, keep your eyes peeled for shoes with faux fur. It's not just boots that come with trimming anymore. Faux fur trimming can be found on all kinds of styles, including mules and clogs.

Rain boots are also a good addition to any winter shoe wardrobe. Rain boots are perfect for navigating slush puddles on wet, winter days. Rain boots are also a perfect chance to be bold! Go for bright colors and fun patterns.

Stylish on the Inside

One way to keep wearing non-industrial shoes even once winter hits is to leave a pair of nice, dressy shoes at the office, or take them with you wherever you are going. Whether a party or a friend's house, you can usually make a quick change out of your snowboots into something more stylish and festive.

For indoor winter shoes, choose rich fabrics and textures that will add some spice to your feet (in a good way) and keep your toes warm. Suede, velvet and velour are a good place to start. Also look for shoes in colors that match the season, such as deep plum, chocolate, crimson and gold. And for formal holiday footwear, try shoes with rhinestones, metal buckles and other accents. The weather might be drab, but your shoes don't have to be.

Best Foot Forward

Here are some other things to keep in mind.

Heed the heel: Thicker, wider heels less than two inches tall are usually best for winter boots and shoes. Anything higher can be treacherous when walking across slippery surfaces.

Leave a little wiggle room: When trying on boots and other winter shoes, be sure to account for the fact that you'll be wearing thicker socks or tights throughout the winter. Bringing a pair of winter socks with you ensures you'll go home with the right fit.

Stick to leather: This is a little gross, but your feet sweat a lot more in the winter because they are wrapped up in warm socks and shoes. Leather absorbs better than any other material. (Told you. Gross. But also useful.)

Insulate: Soaked feet are in immediate danger of frostbite in super-cold temperatures, so make sure you are wearing insulated, water-proof boots and shoes that keep your feet warm and dry.

Have a little sole: For all your winter footwear, it is critical to pay attention to the sole. Textured, rubber soles work the best because the grip will help you avoid slips and falls. Also a word to the wise from painful personal experience: if your friend falls and you laugh, you will fall before you know it. It's a universal law. So watch out!

Do you enjoy Walking in a Winter Wonderland?
Tell us about your favorite snowy season shoes.


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