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Winter footwear can be practical and fashionable

Photo: www.ralphlauren.com

The months of a bitter winter season on college campuses pose many obstacles for students.  Whether it is the hibernating tendencies of eating too much and sleeping more, or not wanting to make the hike to work out, one thing any college student should not be caught with is faulty winter footwear. My Grandma has always advised me; “If you want to stay warm, tuck in your undershirt and put something on your ‘foots’ for heavens sake!”

Trekking through the snow, sludge, ice or annoying sidewalk salt requires some preparation, and because conventional winter boots possess mere functionality and no style, we as Drake students must branch out into the world of irresistibly great-looking shoes that can get the job done.

As with all things in life, a strong foundation is key when it comes to wintertime kicks. The art of wearing a fuzzy sock is an undeniable resource in the quest to keep warm this season. My recommendation concerning these fuzzy, little buggers is to go for a polyester base. Being an avid user of the fuzzy sock I can say from experience synthetic fur is an awful material on the feet, as well as the silky options. Not only do they shed and suffocate the feet, but they also they simply do not posses the same cloud-like feeling as the cotton and polyester versions. Go for fun colors and patterns! As far as guys are concerned, do not be afraid to wear these things, even if it will only happen in the privacy of your own room. For Ugg boot fans, I would advise against pairing them with a fuzzy sock for obvious overheating issues. The only true rule with fuzzy socks is the more fluff the better!

All right gals, let’s be honest: We cannot get enough of the extra-tall leather boots this year. Whether they’ve been black, brown, leather, pleather, loaded with buckles, patterns or distressed finishing, these things have been the must have item for the ’10-’11 school year. Tall boots are a great addition to an outfit whether you’re wearing jeans and a sweater, or a great dress and leggings. My honest opinion is that, while I own a few pairs myself, there are far better options for the winter months. If you can’t seem to kick the knee-high leather look, pairing your boots with a fuzzy sock should do the trick. Just be careful of that nasty sidewalk salt, it can really destroy a leather finish.

Now for the gentlemen, let me first give credit where it is due. It seems to be a bit more challenging for men to find acceptable winter shoe options, however, you also possess the right to have toasty toes this season. The trend of the Timberland-style boot seems to have crept up as a common choice over the last few winters. While I have many male friends who swear by the darn things, there are better looking options out there that will get the job done, and impress a fashion-forward lady. If you waver your loyalty away from the Timberland boot, try out a new style or a pair in caramel colored leather.

For all the girls out there looking for a cute, fashion-forward boot option, a shorter boot in a great plaid could do the trick. The shortness of the boot will be easier to throw on for trudging to class. I have faith that we can get more creative than the predictable pair of Uggs! Throw a curveball and pair these great boots with skinny jeans or try them with a casual dress and leggings. They will be just as warm, as well as more fashion-forward, and can of course can be paired with a fuzzy sock.

If one is looking to forgo the boot look all together this winter, a shorter, rubber-soled pullover look may be what you are looking for. Just be prepared for slightly decreased traction, and the possibility of some snow creeping in. As always, pairing this shoe with a patterned fuzzy sock is advised and should compensate for the warmth lost from a boot.

It’s not too late to grab a new pair of snow-friendly shoes this season. The sad reality is that we still have a few more sludge-ridden winter months, so don’t hesitate to shop online for a great-looking, creative, new winter shoe. All of the suggested options will look marvelous, keep slipping to a minimum and keep the feet warm!

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