Winter is tough on clothes and there is no article of clothing that takes more of a beating than your shoes. With dress shoes, you can at least cover them up with overshoes. However, if you take your typical casual shoe out into the elements, you’re really throwing them to the wolves. The summer and fall, at least for me, has been spent wearing sneakers, boat shoes, loafers, suede chukkah boots and the like. All of these shoes would be very quickly destroyed by the snow, salt and sand that accompanies the winters in Canada (and other northern climes). Not only that, but your feet are going to be absolutely freezing in a pair of adidas Sambas and you’ll be sliding all over the place in a pair of chukka boots.
What then? Well, I’ve got some good news, gentlemen. One of the coolest shoes for guys at the moment is the nordic style boot. Nordic boots look fantastically vintage (especially when they sport bright red or orange laces), they look even better when they get beat up a bit, they’re typically waterproof and featured thick leather and lining that’ll keep your feet warm. Plus, they often feature treaded soles that prevent slippage on ice, a design feature that no doubt arises from their icy, nordic heritage.
Now that I’ve got your attention (and your wallet open), there are a number of options. On the high-end are beautiful boots from french luxury outdoor company Moncler (above on the left), which are available at http://www.moncler.it/. But, given that these ring in at about $800, they’re probably an unrealistic splurge for most guys, especially since they’re really only wearable in winter and fall and early spring. Which brings me to two cheaper alternatives: the Timberland Newmarket Nordic Hiker (above on the right) and, the fantastic new Nordic boots from Roots (picture at the top of the post). The Timberlands will set you back $120 on their website here, while the Roots boots are $198 and available here. In my opinion the Timberlands lack the euro flair of the Roots version – and, buying from Roots supports a Canadian company. Best of all, Roots has everything in store and online at 25% off this weekend, so your new boots will only set you back $150. Think of that $150 as an investment in keeping your other shoes in good shape, your feet warm and your butt from getting bruised after a spill on the ice. Just make sure you don’t grab the last pair of size 10s before I can get my hands on a pair.