Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
I don’t think we’ve had a good discussion on weatherproof shoes for work in far too long — so let’s discuss, ladies. Do you own both rain boots and snow boots where you are — or just rain boots, with the assumption that if it’s that snowy out you can probably work from home? What makes a shoe acceptable to wear all day at work, versus just for your commute? Do you have any rules about changing out of bad weather commuting shoes (e.g., no stopping at the coffee room before you change — or no big meetings until you’re in your “office shoes” — or do you actually do the thing where you change outside the office, like in the lobby of your building)? For those of you who are consultants, in court, or otherwise away from home base often — what do you do?
For my $.02, I have an almost surreal memory from my lawyer days of having to review documents at the office one weekend when it was truly horrible outside — so bad that I took the subway instead of calling for a car. I may have had to take a different subway line than I normally took because weather was so bad — I remember getting out of an unfamiliar subway exit on one of those interior, tight streets around Wall Street and seeing snow piled everywhere, several feet thick, and I felt like the last few blocks to work were a true trek. It could have been worse — a few months earlier, I had happened to buy super ugly Lands’ End snow boots on sale on a friend’s recommendation, and I was so grateful I had them!
Before we get to the featured weatherproof shoes for work, I thought I’d round up some weatherproof, waterproof options in special categories:
- Hall of Famers (classic, best-selling styles): Blondo, La Canadienne, Sam Edelman, Hunter (probably just for your commute), UGG (ditto)
- Usual Suspects (brands that are always worth considering for waterproof, weatherproof shoes for work): Aquatalia, LaCanadienne, Blondo, Burberry
- Under $100: Coach (on sale), Sam Edelman, Lands’ End, Lucky Brand, Jeffrey Campbell, Softspots, däv,
- Extended widths (narrow and wide): Sesto Meucci (N M W), Softspots (M W),
- Extended calves (narrow and wide): Geox (adjustable shaft), Sesto Meucci, Blondo, Hunter (adjustable shaft), Timberland
- Comfort/Boots for Your Commute: Hunter, Sperry, Lands’ End, La Canadienne, Mephisto, Merrell, Sesto Meucci, ara, Johnston & Murphy, Softspots, New Balance, and Jeffrey Campbell (don’t forget to check out our entire guide to comfortable heels)
- Serious Snow Boots: Sorel, Lands’ End, The North Face
Some of the classic, best-selling styles of weatherproof shoes for work we’ve mentioned above:
|Ok, these are not going to last you through a trek in the snow — but I’m including them because they’re a great option to keep in your office in case of sudden, unexpected weather. (Or, perhaps, more accurately, it’s sudden, unexpected walking in bad weather.) They go over your shoes to protect them, as well as keep you dry. Even better: they’re on sale for $29 right now (down from $99) — lucky sizes only. The Lady’s Dress Overshoes|
|These boots are pretty functional, but I like the lacing up the back, to say nothing of the 239 good reviews and the fact that they’re on sale for $99 (down from $150). COACH ‘Tristee’ Waterproof Rain Boot|
|These Kate Spade New York rain boots have such a mod, designer-y look that I’m kind of surprised they’re only $139 (admittedly, down from $198). I like the bow detail at the top, and I think they look great for someone who works in a casual enough office that you could get away with wearing rain boots all day, but wants something a little fancier. There’s a similar mod boot with a much shorter shaft that’s got a slightly sleeker look, full price at $175. Pictured: Kate Spade New York Raylan Rain Boot|
|I feel like Blondo only just got on my radar, but they have a ton of really cute shoes. These waterproof booties with a pointy toe and a slightly architectural heel look great for work or the weekend. (The real Blondo heavyhitter is this more casual bootie, which will work for a lot of offices — 226 really positive reviews, four colors, sizes 5.5-12.) They’re available in black and taupe, sizes 7-10, for $149. Blondo Tiana Waterproof Pointy Toe Bootie|
|Chelsea booties can be great in winter, and these Cole Haan boots are waterproof and have a nice heavy rubber sole for bad weather. There’s only three reviews but they’re all positive — and the shoe is on sale, huzzah, down to $179 from $270. It’s available in sizes 5-11 at Nordstrom. Cole Haan ‘Newburg’ Waterproof Chelsea Boot|
|These gorgeous suede ankle boots from Aquatalia don’t look a bit like you’re wearing snow boots. I wouldn’t wear these in icy conditions (although the shoes do have rubber on the soles and heels) but they’re great boots for someone who lives where there’s a lot of serious rain and puddles. They’re available in black, brown, and burgundy, sizes 5-12, for $346 (down from $495). ‘Dina’ Weatherproof Suede Ankle Boot|
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