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You can easily get through a chilly fall and cold winter with one pair of boots — if you make the right choice. If I were calling the shots, everyone would have boots for the rain, maybe something for the snow, a good pair of Chelseas, and a wildcard that’s more form than function — meaning they’re practically useless in any element except a ‘gram you can caption with a couple autumn leaves and muscle emoji.
However, boots do exist that fill the middle section of a “style” and “water resistant” Venn diagram, and below, I’ve listed three.
Disclaimer: This compact list is not for people who are looking to gear up before they conquer Everest, so please don’t @ me. If you just want to leave work on a rainy day without ruining your shoes or getting your feet wet, this is a mighty fine list.
The True-Blue Americana Option
Danner has been around since the 1930s, and its classic style is probably exactly what you’d think of if you were asked to imagine a hiking boot. The Mountain Light ($380) is completely waterproof and, as scenes of James Bond wearing the boots knee-deep in powder during the movie Spectre bear out, can easily handle snow. It’s the kind of shoe rugged enough to get you to work in inclement weather, but good-looking enough that you won’t feel compelled to change into something else once you arrive warm and dry at the office.
Psst — you can also get a pair that looks not as great, but similar, and has all the same functionality, on Amazon for about $150 less, depending on what size you get.
The Preppy Option
L.L.Bean Boots ($119) are my favorite pair on this list. The beautiful-ugly quality makes pulling them off feel like a victory in the same way that looking great in a Teva-Ugg hybrid would be. They’re explicitly made for rain — and still produced lovingly in Maine, which is why many of the sizes are on backorder — but I’ve personally worn them in the snow with a warm pair of socks without any issues. Even better, the boots have a lifetime guarantee on the off chance that they do get messed up.
The Streetwear Option
Timberland’s iconic 6-inch Waterproof Boots ($190) are a favorite of rappers like Kanye, Future, Jay Z, Drake, Kendrick, Pharrell, Nicki Minaj — and if we don’t stop here we’re going to reach a word count that could rival War and Peace. That aside, they’re incredibly functional (the leather is injected with silicone during the production process to keep them waterproof) and are really the only option you need if your criteria is boots I can wear in the snow while waiting on the Supreme line.