And since we’re still in the middle of winter right now, I figure that it would be the perfect time to finally go over some of my picks.
But before I do that, I should clarify that I am not affiliated with any of the companies or brands mentioned below and that I get absolutely no remuneration for mentioning their products. These are simply my personal preferences. No more, no less.
So with that out of the way, let’s move on to my picks:
Duck Boots – Bean Boots
Duck boots have a rich history dating back to the early 1900’s when Leon Leonwood Bean created the first pair with the launch of his company, L.L. Bean.
L.L. Bean himself was an avid hunter and fisherman who developed his signature “duck boots” as a way to keep his feet warm and dry from the elements.
The boots themselves are actually a hybrid, combining lightweight leather uppers with a durable rubber bottom and sole.
Yes, duck boots are probably one of the few hybrid shoes that I would actually recommend!
Although duck boots have been popular with outdoorsmen for a long time, they have recently gained a following amongst urbanites as well.
The great thing about these boots is that not only will they keep your feet warm and dry during the mucky winter months, but they will also add a little touch of ruggedness to your look.
For those of you who need wear a suit to work every day but would still like to jump on the boot wearing bandwagon, then a quality pair of dress boots is going to be your best bet.
In this case, dress boots are really just an extension of your typical leather dress shoes, something that we have talked a lot about before in previous articles.
That’s why it hardly comes as a surprise that I’m a huge fan of the Dalton wingtip boot by Allen Edmonds.
Suffice it to say that these boots are about as elegant as you can get and look fantastic when paired with a suit. Not only that, but what makes the Dalton’s awesome is that they can easily be worn with denim jeans, chinos, cords, you name it.
This makes the Dalton’s one of the most versatile boots in this list.
So if you’re interested in getting the most bang for your buck with your boots, look no further than the Dalton wingtip boots.
For guys who are looking for a rugged boot that can hold up during the harsh winter months yet is still stylish enough to be worn with most of their casual wardrobe, I highly recommend looking into a pair of quality leather work boots.
In fact, my favourite pair of work boots right now would have to be the Red Wing Iron Rangers.
These boots have a storied history and were originally made for the iron miners of the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota (hence the name, Iron Rangers).
Modern iterations of this boot have changed very little from the original design. They are made from high quality leather with a Goodyear welt construction and are tripled stitched. They also feature a double layer leather toe cap, leather heel pocket, and a cork outsole. Suffice it to say that these boots are made to last!
Actually, what makes these boots particularly great is that they don’t really look like work boots at all. They have a relatively sleek design compared to most other work boots and their cap-toe detail gives them just a touch of formality.
This means that you could actually pull these things off with a suit. However, my only recommendation would be that the suit is of a more casual nature and made from a heavier, coarser fabric like tweed.
Of course, if you are not interested in wearing these beauties with a suit, they can work just as well with most of your wardrobe (denim jeans, cords, khakis, etc.).
Moc Toe Boots – Chippewa 6” Moc Toe Wedge
When it comes right down to it, moc toe boots are really not all that different than your typical work boots like Iron Rangers etc.
The only really difference is the seam running around the toe of the boot, a little detail that sets them apart.
In fact, it’s the same type of seam that you’ll see on a typical pair of moccasins, hence the name “moc toe.”
To be honest, I’ve never really been a huge fan of moc toe boots up until very recently. I guess you can say that they have grown on me over time. I now consider them to be a cool little twist on the traditional work boot.
Case in point: the Chippewa 6” Moc Toe Wedge.
These boots are fantastic and the Chippewa shoe company has been making quality boots like them for over 100 years.
But what makes these boots so great is not just their moc toe detail, but also their wedge heel, which is an excellent option for those who have trouble finding comfortable boots.
While I don’t recommend wearing these with a suit, they are a perfect option to wear with your casual pieces like denim jeans, chinos, cords, and the like.
With all of the rain and snow that is customary of the winter season, suede boots are probably not the best option for most guys.
However, if you’re fortunate enough to live in an area that doesn’t see a whole lot of precipitation during the winter months, then a quality pair of suede boots is a worthy investment.
Right now, my favourite suede boots would have to be the Kenton Suede Plain-Toe Boots by J.Crew. They have a similar look to a pair of Iron Rangers, but with one of the differences being that they come with an EVA sole (a common polymer that is used in orthotics).
The EVA sole is touted as being more shock absorbent than a traditional leather sole (after all, it’s made from rubber), but I’ve never had any personal experience so your mileage may vary.
In terms of how to wear the Kentons, my advice would be similar to that of the Iron Rangers: if you are going to wear them with a suit, make sure the suit is made from a heavier weight fabric (i.e. tweed). Otherwise, the Kenton boot will work quite well with the rest of your casual wardrobe (denim jeans, cords, chinos etc.).
The boot options that I’ve highlighted above hardly represent an exhaustive list, but there is more than enough variety there to cover the needs of the average guy.
Just remember that whichever style you choose that you go with quality.
Here’s to looking sharp!