Need help finding boots for the winter

Hi all,

I’ve been hunting for a good boot to buy for the upcoming winter in NYC. I’m looking for something that is waterproof, has treads (to deal with snow/slush), keeps my feet warm (with thin socks), somewhat casual/business/fashionable (not looking for any hardcore looking hiking boots), and is LIGHT.

I started looking at Sorel’s Premium T, but after looking at some Sorels in the store, I was shocked to see how large and heavy they are. This one is 2 lbs.

I’m also looking at the L.L. Beans, but I can’t find information on their size/weight. Not sure if thinsulate/Gore-Tex are just marketing BS or they actually do anything.

Budgetwise, I’m looking for sub $150 (Timberland averages $180, so they are a last resort). Any tips for a lightweight winter shoe for city traveling would be appreciated!

I always recommend these to people because not only are they insanely waterproof, if there is a Nordstroms Rack around, you can usually find them there for around 60-80 bucks.

LL Bean Katahdins

Sebago Fairhaven

I also love moccasin boots.

As for the LL Bean “Bean Boot”, great classic styled boot, definitely keeps out the snow and rain. Although the aesthetic isn’t for everyone. Not sure how heavy the Sorels are but the LL Beans are pretty heavy too. But the Thinsulate keeps your feet pretty toasty. I’d pass on it and invest in some nice wool socks. So that you can wear them in the warmer rainy months.

On a related note, if you SnoSeal or Obenauf’s any leather boot, it should hold up to any snow/rain.

Also other brands to look into. Although probabbly over your 150 budget. Red Wing, Chippewa and Wolverine, but maybe you can find sales on them.

Thanks for the advice, Emmanuel. I’ll be stopping by the Union Square Nordstrom Rack this week to check out the Earthkeepers - although the reviews say that stepping in 1" + of water = instant foot soak. Great tip on the SnoSeal/Obenauf, too. Any preference on which one? Is it only for real leather or for synthetics, too?

When I was in NYC I wore Tretorn Strala’s. They were mid cut and there are a few nice colorways. Also, they retail for about 60, but their flagship store in SoHo often has them for 42 bucks.

These are the ones I’ve been looking at for Portland’s upcoming rainy months. Two Matte Black/Army Green/Safety Orange options and a nice Matte Black/Gum. I blew all my money on some “saddle shoes” and Clarks for the decent days which makes the Tretorn stuff even more appealing.


Here are my winter boots, Durangos. Bit expensive $130 but I love them. I treat them to water proof them once a year. These look much nice than mine. I have been wearing mine now for 3 years, so they have plenty of character.

They also allow room for great warm socks.

I got these - not sure if you can still get them…just like any boot you have to break them in, but once you do - they are nice!

And for a “nicer” look. The Red Wing chukka. Not too masculine; really refined toughness.


Yeah, if you don’t find the Earthkeepers. Nordstrom Rack usually has plenty of other quality boots for cheap. I personally bought my Earth Keepers after a roommate let me borrow them to shovel snow. I’ve stepped through plenty of snow, slush, and puddles in mine and they have never leaked.

SnoSeal and Obenaufs are both meant to be used on leather, Obenaufs is apparently slightly better but much more expensive, cant remember exactly why. Something about wax over oil. But both are great products and highly recommended. You can also use Mink Oil to waterproof leather as well.

For synthetics I always just use that waterproof spray stuff. Mainly on bags and suede. The spray aerosol isn’t recommend for leather because it apparently doesn’t let the leather breathe.

Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot boots are very light and completely waterproof. I wear them in all weathers when I’m boating. I have a pair that I wore nearly every day for almost a year, the sole hasn’t worn much (it’s vibram) and even though the lining is ripped at the back, they are still waterproof! I’m impressed.

My favourite boot of the season is:


Now there’s a set of lasts that’s been paid off for a while. I had a pair in 1973… . . :open_mouth:

Hands down the warmest and the best boots I have ever owned. Had no problem in the snow/ice.

Feet never got wet…Honestly, I will never buy another pair of boots until these destroy themselves.

The price was initially hard to swallow ($220) but worth every penny… 3 years going strong as my everyday winter boot.

UGG Rockwell,default,pd.html?dwvar_3040_color=DUNE&start=1&cgid=men-boots

you might check out Blundstone too. I wore a similar pair everyday 2 winters ago. Last winter I went Red Wing.

It’s simple and clean enough to wear with any kind of outfit (can’t believe I just wrote that), waterproof, just enough of a lug sole to bite through slush on those days, but without looking too Everest expedition, or European hiker.

Blundstones are classics!

Really digging those Red Wings! I had no idea they had a whole collection outside of their work boot line. And here I sit just up river from Red Wing… I should really just pop on down to the factory and check em out.

As for Sorel’s, I actually got a great deal on a pair at DSW in the closeout section. They’re on their 4th winter and show no signs of stopping.