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Everyone Needs a Pair of Secret Rain Boots

Feet wearing black platform shoes Photo: Getty Images

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There is no month worse than March. I actively dread it year-round. This is not an exaggeration; I could be eating something warm and pumpkin-flavored in September and the very idea that March is less than six months away will make me unreasonably angry.

This is mostly because of March’s terrible weather, specifically its particular brand of humid frigidness that makes you sweat despite the fact that you’re also freezing. And then there’s the uncertainty factor: It’s about as likely to be snowing as it is to be 70 degrees and sunny, but a 70-degree day is utterly worthless when the trees are miserable, leafless skeletons.

The most likely of March weather outcomes, however, is that it will rain, hard — harder than it has since the late summer, but without that sort of pleasant, decomposing plant life smell that happens before fall. There’s nothing romantic about rain in March. It’s simply a mundane inevitability, like jury duty or falling out of love with someone.

It is for this reason that the most important item in my closet at this precise time of year, the only item that gives me any element of joy, are Secret Rain Boots. These, of course, are shoes that are not rain boots, and emphatically do not even resemble rain boots. They also aren’t rain boots designed to look like regular boots, which are great, but not what I am talking about. Instead, they are shoes that, as a happy coincidence, protect one’s feet from water, but only kind of.

Secret Rain Boots are often made of material like patent leather or rubber, and almost always have a thick, chunky platform sole. Doc Martens, as a rule, are Secret Rain Boots. (They are also Secret Snow Boots, another important type of footwear.) The thing about Secret Rain Boots, though, is that you can’t place too much expectation on them, as they will ultimately fail at real rain boots’ job. If rain boots are 100 percent waterproof, Secret Rain Boots are at about 75 percent, but for those of us who live in cities where our only interaction with the rain occurs during the five-minute walk to the subway or the car, 75 percent is all we really need.

But the real beauty of Secret Rain Boots is that the forecast is irrelevant. If it rains, fine; if it doesn’t, well, they’re still the same cute pair of shoes you would wear on any other day.

Most importantly, you must never spend more than $100 on a pair of Secret Rain Boots, since they will last no longer than a year, maybe two. Buy from fast fashion brands only and your non-rain boot rain boots will be cheap and so painfully trendy that you won’t even want to wear them for more than a year anyway.

Might I suggest some good Secret Rain Boots, currently available for purchase: these New Look patent zip-up heels ($32), these Zara burgundy flatform loafers ($50), some Forever 21 oxford creepers ($30), Doc Martens’ patent 1460 boots ($125), and these ASOS chunky lace-up boots ($53). Bonus: these ones I just bought at River Island are on sale for $30.

Just beware of puddles.