Winter is coming, winter is coming! Are you ready? Depending on where you live, autumn and winter can mean very different things for your wardrobe. In Chicago, I learned that “winter shoes” meant thick, rubber, rainboots. Growing up with Pacific Northwest fall seasons meant “waterproof your brains out.” California means “closed-toe wedges and boots” and New England is often “DON’T GO OUTSIDE.”
We received a question on our Facebook page from reader, Laura, today asking about our PacNW experience in the icky seasons. Jen and I were both born & raised in Seattle and have mastered the oft rainy days without sacrificing our personal style.
Ladies! I need some fashion advice: I’m new to Seattle, haven’t gone through the rainy season yet and I need tips on the best most versatile shoe for city walking. Any ideas?
First of all: WELCOME TO SEATTLE! Let’s get drunk together!
Secondly, we are constantly full of amazing ideas. And lucky for you, the ones we have about your question are all completely legal!
So, as far as non-horrible-looking, city-walking shoes that will keep hypothermia out of your system… We have a few suggestions, styles, and secrets to share with you! Check ’em out.
1. Invest in Waterproofing
“Invest” – ha! A bottle of waterproofing spray can not only save you hundreds on water-fearing shoes, but it only costs about $15, max! Giving your shoes a quick spray can make your most comfortable boots into water-treading machines. Definitely do a bit of research into the correct waterproofing spray or cream – there is definitely a lot of information accompanying this process!
2. Wellies are not a Choice – They’re a Lifestyle
Seriously! These boots are some of the only things I know I can leave the house in and feel comfortable when it’s pouring buckets. Not to mention, now that the fashion industry has caught wind of this very necessary and logical clothing item’s popularity, there are all kinds of adorable and precious styles to choose from.
Steve Madden Roads Boots | $59.95
Don’t these totally remind you of Frye Engineer Boots? Instead, though, these are made from, well, rubber and have a sweet, red, exposed zipper in the back. So cute. So badass.
Timberland Welfleet Boots | $63.99
Super basic, but the laces give it a nice twist on the unique.
Sorel Tivoli Rain Boots | $44.50
Sorel is an extremely reputable brand, and the bright red on these is rocking my entire life. They’re officially on my wishlist.
3. Closed-Toe Flats = Friends 4 Life
Once the rainy season hit… two weeks ago… I looked at my shoe rack and gasped in horror – I only have one pair of closed-toe flats. I live on a hill – the steepest in Seattle – so despite my adorable, shearling lined heels and their ability to cheer up anydrizzly day, 3.5″ heels on a slippery slope is a recipe for disaster.
*Bonus points for more foot coverage than normal flats! The higher the vamp, the better.
I, personally, am a huge fan of Wanted shoes (seen in the very first photo of this post). Affordable, vegan, and such a huge array of styles. Their flats are particularly comfortable, and easily insole-d for comfy walking. My favorite pair are the Tripolis, which come in black or cognac (mine!) and cost $59.99. I wear them nearly every day!
Wanted Pinn Boots | $69.99
These Pinn boots have weaseled their way into my heart, as well! I’m a sucker for a buckle or three (obviously).
Wanted also has an unbelievable oxford selection – all for under $60! All of my Wanted shoes seem to be pretty water-resistant, but snag an $8 bottle of waterproofing spray and get yourself some extra insurance!
4. Invest in Socks, Baby
Not only can socks keep your feet warm, but depending on the style of sock being rocked (did you like that?), they can also make your shoes/boots fit better as well as provide an insole-like support, making long city walks super comfortable.
I am a huge, huge, huge argyle sock fan. I have at least three pairs, and will probably have 900 by the time I’m dead. These Argyle Knee-Highs ($9) are a must-have for me, but you can easily find them for about $3 at TJ Maxx or Marshalls.
This next one is, by far, the most comfy, the most versatile, and the most badass:
These Super Ms run you $12 and are worth every penny, as they are 50 inches long. When I lived in Chicago, I used to wear these under jeans, under skirts, with dresses, under trousers… They went with me everywhere. Totally justifies the price.
These are Kushyfoot Rib Knit Tights (3 for $26.97), and they are the most comfortable tights you may ever own. The bottom of each pair of Kushyfoots have this gorgeous, squishy, massage-y panel that feels extra good when you’re walking around the city. Bonus points for combining these with some over-the-knee socks!