Growing up in Wisconsin, I often woke up to 10 inches of snow that our small town meteorologist never saw coming between the months of October and April. (Yes, you read that correctly — April.) In the not-so-rare case that we were hit with powder up to our knees, practical footwear was of paramount importance. So starting in late fall, like clockwork, I rarely wore my clothes with anything else. School uniform? Paired it with clunky snow boots. Post-dance class attire? Perfect with a knee-high waterproof silhouette. Prom? I went for ankle-length slip-ons with shearling lining — at least while commuting to the dance (and, indeed, it really did snow that night). All this to say, I have more than my fair share of experience when shopping for cute all-weather boots. And while I can’t promise the right pair will help you enjoy the slush, I can confirm they’ll shield you from whatever the forecast entails without sacrificing any style points.
Take it from a certified cold weather girlie, there are three key things you’ll want to contemplate before placing an order. First, what kind of protection does the pair in question offer? For precipitation of up to to three inches of snow and rain, waterproof fabric is imperative — and, if you’re factoring in potential blizzards or floods, you’ll also need a rubber sole. Secondly, do they cover your ankles? There’s nothing worse than shoes that allow cold moisture to seep in through the top — so when in doubt, also go for the the higher cut option. And my final criteria is to only choose a style that you’d be happy wearing even if it didn’t look and feel like the Ice Planet Hoth outside.
Below-freezing temps are quickly closing in, so if you don’t want to ruin your Mary Jane flats or fuzzy mules this season, scroll below for 12 styles that’ll withstand whatever the forecast throws at you.
This article was originally published on