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Choosing the perfect luxury boot to keep you warm this winter

Winter is officially boot season, and as the temperatures drop, we’ll be looking for some new footwear that promises to keep us warm as well as making for the perfect finishing touch to our favourite new season outfits.

By LLM Reporters  |  November 4, 2021
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As November gets underway, we’re now more than halfway through the autumn, and with the winter season looming just a few weeks from now, if you’ve been putting off your seasonal wardrobe rotation in hope of a few more sunny days then now is the time to get it done.

The beauty of buying luxury is that you’ll likely have many timeless pieces in your wardrobe, and from coats to handbags, you can bring them back out each year, safe in the knowledge that they still look just as sophisticated and fashion-forward as they always have. But when it comes to footwear, even the most expensive pair of designer shoes or boots has a shelf life, and the more you wear them, the more likely they are to need replacing sooner.

Winter is officially boot season, and as the temperatures drop, we’ll be looking for some new footwear that promises to keep us warm as well as making for the perfect finishing touch to our favourite new season outfits.

Unsure how to sniff out the perfect pair for A/W 22? We’ve got you covered. These are the cosiest and most sought-after secret buys to lay your hands on before the masses catch on.

The new season styles to be seen in

womens fashion accessories

With boot styles changing every year, it can be difficult to keep track of what you should be wearing at any given time, but a quick flick through your favourite fashion magazines is always a great place to start and is certain to provide some much-needed inspiration.

Glamour UK recently reviewed a range of 24 different styles in a bid to help its readers select the perfect pair. Fashion editor Charlie Teather suggests: “if you’re more of an ankle boot girl, square toes are reigning supreme”. And this year, the colour to be seen in is a unique vanilla cream or yolk yellow, in a departure from the season’s usual blacks and browns.

Other styles to have on your radar, Charlie says, include chunky flat boots with a fuchsia sole, or a similar style but in a lighter colour like white, with an eye-catching element, such as a buckle. Knee-highs are also making a comeback, and will look perfect paired with that classic winter coat for a simple yet stylish look.

Others to appear in the magazine’s online ‘Best Winter Boots’ feature include edgy cream square-toes from the likes of Manu Atelier (£495) or AS0S Design (£85); chunky-soled ankle boots care of Prada (£4,850) and white lace-ups (£79) by Charles & Keith.

Cowboy ankle boots are also back in vogue, so to speak – you’ll find some spectacular pairs at Mango (£299.99). For knee-highs – which this season, should be snapped up in smooth burgundy head to John Lewis where you’ll find the  John Lewis x Erica Davies variety (£145) just the ticket –  or for a similar pair in plain black (mock) leather (£49.99), make your way to Zara.

Still haven’t seen anything that tickles your fancy? A pair of bold,  colour-block ankles (£99), care of Kurt Geiger, make for the ultimate new-season statement –  or, for added drama, the tweed and leather thigh boots (£115), by Charles & Keith are well deserving of a place in your wardrobe.

Decide on your budget and preferred style, and head for the (online) stores.

Must-haves for men

mens leather boots

Of course, winter boots aren’t just for women, and every sartorial male should have a few well-chosen pairs in his wardrobe, too. Described as ‘puddle-destroyers’ in a recent article on Esquire.com, a hardy yet stylish pair of men’s boots is an essential staple for the winter season ahead, and the publication’s fashion writers enthuse that “stylish, comfy and hard-wearing” are the key features to look for.

According to David Morris, senior buyer at Mr Porter, the leather should be long lasting, and the colour easy to incorporate into your usual winter wardrobe. Overall, the boot you choose should offer great support and warmth.

Neil Kirby, of heritage shoe-maker Cheaney, suggests always going for leather uppers, which adapt to the shape of your feet with each wear – making them extremely comfortable in the long run.

Full-grain leather is stronger and more water-resistant (identifiable by its pebbly, textured finish), while rubber soles will keep your feet dry and are often indistinguishable from leather to the casual observer, which means you won’t have to compromise on smartness.

Styles to look out for this season include the medium brown Timberland work boots (£189) from End Clothing; Grenson’s full-grain leather hiking boots (£295) from Mr Porter; Gucci’s high-flying leather Chelsea boots (£790) from Mr Porter; and Batcombe Lord Black warm-lined leather brogues (£110) from Clarks.

We also love the Cloud Authentic Original corduroy-trimmed leather chukka boots (£230) from Mr Porter; and potentially the most durable of all – Dolce and Gabbana distressed crinkled-leather combat boots (£875), also from Mr Porter. 

Decisions, decisions

woman trying on boots in a shop

When investing a substantial amount of money in a pair of new season boots, it’s understandable to want to make just the right choice – so speak to an expert and do your research before going ahead and shopping up a storm online to ensure that the pair the pair you are leaning towards won’t just look good, but will suit your lifestyle, too.

According to Nolan Walsh of Thursday Boot Company, a chunky, ridged outsole, for example, is a good idea if you spend a fair amount of time outdoors, with its flexibility making it more comfortable on the foot.

On top of that, there are three design features you should look out for in every quality boot:

Quality of the leather

Lay your hands on that bodywork. You’re likely to be able to tell if it has been ‘overpainted’; plus real leather shouldn’t look completely spotless, advises Nolan.

Resilience of the welt

This is the lining that runs along the perimeter of the outsole. Any shoe or boot with a welt will “last longer, be more resistant to water, and [the welt’s presence] allows it to be resoled”, he enthuses.

Overall construction

Clumps of glue, poor cutting of the leather or fabric and untidy stitching are all warning signs that a boot’s quality likely isn’t up to scratch and mean that you should simply place that particular item back on the shelf – no matter how pretty it is – and simply back away.