January 25, 2012

Staying Warm and Toasty

Via Garance Dore

There's nothing like waking to the first snowfall of the season. There's something about the quiet city under a blanket of snow that's utterly charming and quaint. Peeking out of my window, my first thoughts instantly raced to footwear. At last, an opportunity to put my new L.L. Bean Boots to the test. 

During last year's many blizzards, snow boots were a necessity for trudging through slushy streets. I walk everywhere, regardless of how inclement the weather is. I enjoy getting outside and being active. I like to call myself, embracing the elements.

It took a while for me to come around, but honestly there's nothing elegant or chic about being inappropriately dressed for the weather. I freeze quickly (I'm not built for cold weather), so cashmere socks and boots that are lined are integral for braving the cold. In the midst of last February's big snow storms, the snow boots I'd had for years gave way; leaving me searching for a warm, chic way to brave the slush.

Beautiful shoes might be my weakness and I wish more designers would consider designing functional snow boots. I entertained the idea of Sorels, but I'm used to feeling light on my feet and I felt clumsy and weighed down in them. I ended up going with the shearing L.L. Bean Boots (practical winter footwear indeed) because they're available in narrow sizes. It's not easy to find footwear in narrow sizes.

When my Bean Boots arrived I was impressed by the fact that I felt agile in them, but I was really sold this weekend when my feet stayed dry and warm (a rarity) on a long brisk walk. While I loathe the very thought of snow boots, I love having warm, dry feet. 

I ran into an always immaculate friend who mentioned that even in the snow I looked "stylish." It just goes to show you that when you own your look (in this case Parka + boots) and dress with conviction, you can't go wrong. 

PS- Can you believe the past two days have felt like Spring again?

31 comments:

  1. i love my pair and im glad you're finding your's awesome as well. ive only had it for 1 and 1/2 months though and parts of the tread of the sole is wearing out slowly so im on the fence about the quality. but it does look spectacular i have to say!

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    1. Is it possible you're a heavy walker? L.L Bean is renowned for their quality, so that seems odd. I've used their outdoor wear and boating goods since I was a kid with no problems and my boots are on year 7 with no issues. It's just a company with old New England roots and in New England things are meant to be worn forever.

      Lindsay K- you could never not be chic, stylish or put together. I' m convinced. We all roll our eyes at those women because everyone can't pull that off.

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    2. Joy- I'm glad you are loving your boots. I don't think there's any getting around having snow boots in New England:)

      Of course, now that I have boots we've had a winter of no snow and many 50 and 60 degree days. Strange to say the least, but at last I'm prepared.

      I've only ever owned boat totes (that are tossed and thrown around the Hampton Jitney), travel organizers and backpacks (my backpack always weighed almost my weight) as a child from L.L. Bean, but they're known for the quality and customer service. I remember having an issue with a zipper as a kid and they were more than willing to send me a new one overnight no questions asked. If you have any issue at all I would strongly suggest calling them up. They really take the whole craftsmanship thing seriously.

      I've always been taught by cobblers and old world shoe makers not to measure shoe quality by the thread, since the way people walk and the natural arch of the foot largely impact it.

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    3. Anonymous- Guilty as charged;) I'm not a heavy walker, but something about my arch (the owner of the running store I go to explained it to me) makes me wear down shoes quickly. I also log a lot of miles walking everwhere.

      Excellent to know that your boots have endured. I'm really looking forward to having mine for a while. Plus we all know I prefer a pair of heels to the practical.

      Interesting point about New England. There's such an emphasis there on buying a well made item and having it last. I love it. My colleague and friend who is very New England will adore your comment.

      Thank you for your sweet compliment. I hardly consider myself one of those women, but would love to be.

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  2. I have been living in lined Dr.Marten´s since October and it has worked out surprisingly well. I even went hiking in them last Sunday! Like you I also walk everywhere, so impractical footwear is pointless most of the time. I might not look the chicest of chic while trotting to work, but those 5+ hours spent walking back and forth to work every week help me stay in shape and lets me spend less time at the gym. And when it comes down to it, nothing is more chic than staying in shape ;)

    The L.L Beans look nice and toasty. Wet feet = cold feet = a cold or even the flu. One should never buy winter boots that don´t get the job done :)

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    1. Maja H- I didn't know Dr. Marten's came lined, very cool! I always feel much warmer when my sole is off the ground. Good for you finding something that that keeps you warm and even works while hiking.

      "Nothing is more chic than staying in shape;)" So true! I always feel really good after a long walk. It really clears my mind.

      Health really is the most important thing:)

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  3. Glad you found a pair of fun and functional snow boots. Last year, I was visiting my brother in NY while it was horribly snowy. I ended up purchasing these pair of waterproof boots: http://www.zappos.com/merrell-tetra-strap-waterproof-chestnut. I wasn't ready to try real snow boots yet! Glad to know the LL Beans stand up to the test!

    xo, sam

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    1. Samantha- Thanks. Last year was so crazy with all the snow. Just about every boot was sold out by the time mine gave way. I ended up sewing them back together to get through the rest of the winter.

      The Merrells are great for slushy weather. You get traction and they're warm, but they're still a shoe. My mom bought a pair of Merrells last year when it was snowing like crazy.

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  4. I live in my Sorels at the moment but I agree they're heavy and look like tanks but I forget about that when it's -25C outside. But for warmer temperatures Sorels are too warm, so, I have my eye on L.L. Bean or some other kind of duck boots. I value my comfort and health higher than style. :))

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    1. Ginta- I can't imagine it being -25C. It's just too cold. The Sorels seem perfect for that type of weather and snow. Believe me, when it was snowing last year I would have loved them, but they just weren't fitting my foot properly.

      The shearling inside my boots does get warm when it's warmer out. Perhaps just a thinsulate might work if you want them lined but not supper warm.

      Not catching cold is definitely a priority. That's the worst!

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  5. Snowy days in New York.. I guess it's magic.. I would love to go in NY in february just for the snow! But i'm still really happy to go there in April ;)
    xx

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    1. Camille S.- It is magical even if it only lasted for a few hours. Oh April will be fun. I love Spring! How excited are you for your trip?!

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    2. You can't imagine how much I'm excited! I think about it nearly every day.
      I want to visit New York for so long! I have already started making lists of places to visit, places to eat, where to buy clothes.. Haha
      I really can't wait :)

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    3. Camille S.- The excitement of travel is always such an amazing feeling. And to travel to a city that you've been dreaming about.

      I can;t wait to see my city through your eyes!

      Honestly, feel free to email me for tips:)

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  6. I bought a pair of practical, semi-presentable boots when I first arrived in the States in 2006. I vowed to find another 'better' pair and have looked ever since. To no avail. I'm still wearing the Cole Haan's and, to their credit, they've held up through three Chicago Winters and two here in New York. Maybe I should stop looking and acknowledge I've got a pair that work!

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    1. Alice Olive- "Semi-presentable boots" I love that.

      I miss old school Cole Haan. The fact that your boots made it through Chicago winters is impressive:)

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  7. I've tried Sorel ones and they feel incredibly heavy. I'll have to keep LL Bean ones in mind. This winter has been very mild but I wish I've heard of this 3 years ago. I'll still need to get myself a parka too. Any recommendation?

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    1. Chocolate, Cookies & Candies- So heavy and WIDE!

      It's crazy how mild winter has been, but I'm loving it.

      Parka's scare me, but I finally found one that's super warm, but still has a shape (so I don't look like a child in a snow suit). It doesn't hurt that it has a nice luxe hood too. I haven't found a brand that get's it constantly right.

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  8. Practical shoes are worth it, and if you have confidence then they can look stylish, like in your photo! :)

    <3 Kelly

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    1. thekellytang- Thank you! They are worth it. They may not be the most fun things to pull out, but when the weather is awful I'll be thankful I have them.

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  9. It's been one crazy winter that hasn't quite felt like winter. I bought new boots (Pajar) too and have worn them exactly once when last winter I would've lived in them. Snow boots can be a little more functional than stylish but like you so eloquently said when you own your look and dress with conviction, you can't go wrong. Thanks for dropping by and leaving that sweet comment on my snow blog :) Happy weekend Lindsay!

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    1. It has been a crazy winter. After last year, I made sure I had boots. Who could have predicted it. Your boots look up to the challenge when it does snow.

      Oh my gosh your photography blows me away. I'm so happy I discovered your blog. It inspires me to want to pick up my camera more this year:)

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  10. I really like the LL Bean snow boots you have - I totally agree that functional footwear is a must in the snow..plus the damp destroys any leather boots I have after a while.

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    1. Katherine- Thanks! The damp does ruin shoes over time, even when you water proof. My cobbler will be happy. He takes pride in my shoes;)

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  11. oooh snow boots. i think one gets to a point when one just realizes that you gotta let function take over sometimes. fashion will follow ;-)

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    1. Miss Sophie- Yes! Even if it pains me:)

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  12. If I could, I'd still those right off of your feet! They look so cozy. I miss living around snow (in utah)... instead I'm in sunny california. However, I can't complain- it's a beautiful day. xoxo

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  13. the lovebirds- Haha!

    I'll take a warm sunny day any day:) Although gosh I do love snow at the holiday time:)

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  14. I actually really like the look of the bean boots. I laughed when you said "there's nothing elegant or chic about being inappropriately dressed for the weather". So true! When I first moved to Chicago from LA I remember venturing out in a snowstorm my first week there without proper shoes. It was not cool. ;) At the time I looked into getting the bean boots, but needed something pretty immediately so ended up getting a pair from the Northface on Michigan. I've had them for 3 years and they are so warm and comfortable. When they wear out I may consider the bean boots.

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  15. LN- They grow on me every time I look at them. It's nice to know that I have them even though we haven't had a real winter. There's something about them that just works. It's so true, you just look ridiculous when you're not dressed properly for the elements. A move to Chicago necessitates real boots. It's great to hear that the Northface boots hold up well.

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