The winter season is in full swing, and while there are a number of fashion-forward boots available, the “it” style of the season might come as a surprise. Chic booties and fitted over-the-knee options — which are still trending — took over for fall, but now a more practical option has risen to the top. Observations of street style and input from retail professionals point to one main choice: the unassuming, everyday winter boot (bonus points if they are chunky).
“Our customer is opting for everyday classics,” said Melissa Gerbereux, senior buyer at New York-based retailer DNA Footwear. “Black leather drives our boot sales, with rich suedes and burgundy/brown tones as strong secondary options. She is also loving mid block heels (2-3 inches) since they are a little sleeker but still easy to wear and walk around the city.”
Record low temperatures and snowstorms across the country this month have made for an influx of customers seeking weather-appropriate shoes. Consumers want a style that is practical for walking and traveling yet still attractive. Durable foundations like lug soles and quality fabrications such as leather have become paramount. Still, some element of fashion — color, trim, print, etc. — is important to maintain.
“Shearling-trimmed boots got an upgrade this season, integrating into everyday streetwear [with respect to] a weather-critical need for colder climates,” said Victoria Perry, general manager of fashion at eBay. “From Chloé and Burberry, to Frye, Sorel and J.Crew, a number of styles emerged in a range of neutral colors.”
Street style at the recent shows in London and Milan also show a gravitation toward functional footwear. Chunky soles and lower silhouettes have been a top pick, with Dr. Martens as a favorite brand. Gerbereux said she has seen similar trends in DNA Footwear’s assortment. Trusted niche brands like Blundstone offer several options for the specific style that she has seen popping to the top. “[Our customer] is still buying short to midshaft booties instead of knee-high or over-the-knee,” she continued. “Chelsea boots have seen a huge selling spike this past season due to their ease of wear and versatility.”
Prints and colors add a fresh take and spring-forward approach to the sturdy shoes this season. “From bold colors to in-demand materials, boot trends right now are all about making a statement and self-expression,” Perry said.
And while all-weather footwear has proved its positioning, that does not mean that more ornate options are out of place.
“Some of the most popular trends we’re seeing this season are velvet, bright colors and over-the-knee styles,” Perry said. “Shoppers are searching eBay to find the perfect look whether it’s new or hard-to-find.”
So if you’re weighing which boots to invest in this season, the most practical styles with a mod touch will go a long way in the coming months — but keep the fashion options close by for versatility and fun.
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