Where to Find Chic Winter Boots

Q: Can winter boots be stylish?

Illustration by Lauren Friedman

Waterproof nubuck leather and rubber
“Caribou” boots, $130, sorel.com

A: I live outside of New York City, on top of a very long, very steep hill. One day last winter, there was an unexpected snowstorm. I had a black-tie event for work that night; there was no not going. I knew the taxi I’d be taking home would no way make it up said hill. I would be walking, in the snow, in the dark, after midnight, in a ball gown, wobbling on thin sparkly, spindly-heeled sandals. I threw myself at the mercy of the fashion department; did they have running shoes, or even slippers? Anything better than barefoot? Julia Kalachnikoff, our accessories director, rolled her eyes. “We’re Lucky—we have plenty of shoes, Jean!”
I ended up with these Sorels, which are not only the warmest, most comfortable boots ever on the face of the earth (they feel like running shoes except filled with fluffy faux fur), but they look so fantastic that anyone who sees me in them demands to know where I got them. They are not cheap, but they last forever and they balance perfectly, look-wise, between practical and glamorous. Like there’s a tiny bit of who-me-I’m-always-at-après-ski-in-Aspen, but it’s so subtle you could also wear them ice-fishing in Michigan and no one would call you out. Striding (not slipping) up the icy hill in the dark that night, holding my heels in one hand and my billowing skirt in the other, I felt very Doctor Zhivago. Nobody saw me, but still. A purchase you’ll never, ever regret!