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Facing the cold and snow each year, it important to gear up with a perfect pair of winter boots. There are many types available so it important to choose the right pair.
Sheepskin: Most commonly found in fashion boots. Provides warmth and insulation, particularly twinface sheepskin. It is important to waterproof sheepskin boots prior to exposing to the elements.
Fur lined: Warmth and comfort are the main functions of fur lined boots. Synthetic materials are often used for faux fur lined styles. Lining at the top of a boot is designed to fit snug against your leg, blocking out snow and ice.
Leather: Full grain leather is often treated for water resistance during construction. Ultra breathable and the most durable boot material.
Rubber: Rubber soles are important for slip resistance and shock absorption, and rubber uppers can provide the best protection against water, snow and slush. Insulated rubber boots deliver warmth and comfort, along with being waterproof. Rubber boots that are not insulated can be worn with heavy socks or liners.
Suede: Most commonly found in fashion boots. Be sure to treat suede boots with a waterproofing agent prior to outdoor use.
Dress your feet in warmth for those cold winter days. Buying a pair of fur faux or real lined boots will keep your toes snug and the body heat in.
“When your feet get cold it makes your whole body cold from your toes up,” says Justin Sigal, owner of Littles Shoe Store in Squirrel Hill with his father Joel. “Staying warm on your toes and head is very important to overall warmth. Cold feet and toes are the worst.”
Littles offers such brands as UGG, Sorel and Blondo.
“We have some really great lined warm product that feels great on your feet with the shearling inside,” Justin Sigal says. “We have great styles that are warm and dry some rated to negative 25 degrees. And there are some with an ice grip feature that you can flip over on the bottom for icy days.”
Cold weather footwear can have a fashion edge as well, says Jill Rubinstein, owner of Footloose Shadyside. She sells a Johnston Murphy tall boot.
“These double faced shearling lined boots by Johnston Murphy feel like you are stepping into a warm cozy blanket, yet they are still sexy with a 2.5 inch heel and can be worn with jeans or a dress,” Rubinstein says.
Most prices range from $55 (for children styles) to $225. Some can run higher depending on the materials.
But before you purchase any pair of winter boots have your feet measured by a professional, says Chuck Gordon, owner of Gordon Shoes in The Waterfront in Homestead. He says there are many brands that offer warmth, but if you aren wearing the right size they won be effective. The well known Birkenstock has a style with shearling and companies such as Ecco and Valdini have both lined and waterproof choices.
Timberland, Merrell, Alegria and Jambu are good choices for warm boots, Gordon says.
“You don need a different pair for every day,” Gordon says. “But buy what aesthetically appeals to you. Some people want a more sporty style while others are more traditional. What most important is you get what you like and what fits properly, because you need extra space so the air can circulate. Waterproof is also paramount at the end of the day to keep your feet dry.”
Completely lined and waterproof is the way to go, says Barbara Schneider Levy, senior editor for Footwear News, based in New York. Because if the boot doesn have fur from the top to the toes than what good is it, Schneider Levy says.
You will most likely need to change into another pair of boots or shoes once you get inside because these will be too warm to wear all day.
“A waterproof boot is a great investment,” Schneider Levy says. “You don have to walk gingerly in snow or a puddle. Shearling is really popular now. And there are also great faux options.
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