10 Pairs of Practical Winter Boots That Even Fashion Editors Wear
They're built for the snow and rain, but are cute and editor-approved at the same time.
We’re well into boots season at this point, but we’re not done scoping out new styles. On top of being practical for unpredictable weather, the best winter boots can make you feel powerful. Excuse the cliché, but they are made for walking — through rain, snow, leftover puddles, and anything you may experience from now until late spring.
While there are many different boots styles to choose from, this year we’ve seen a lot of lug soles (especially on Chelsea boots), knee-length options, combat boots, and even the return of Uggs in a new, emerging popular silhouette, as seen on the likes of Emily Ratajkowsi. However, if you're still stumped on which pairs to invest in, there may be no better way to get inspiration than by asking the experts and fashion pros themselves.
We consulted with fashion editors and writers on which styles have been on their radar (or newly added to their collection). From sleek and sophisticated to built for the elements, see what editors from Essence, Vogue, Nylon and, yes, InStyle are shopping.
Labucq Suba Chelsea Black Calf
Shop now: $490; labucq.com
“Chunky chelsea boots are all the rage right now, but I often find them to be too chunky. These Labucq boots (Shop It: $490; labucq.com) stay tight to your feet so that you're not constantly tripping, and the Vibram sole is a major plus for dealing with rain and snow. They provide a lot of traction and bounce. No break-in period or anything!” — Michelle Li; Fashion and Beauty Market Editor at Teen Vogue
Theory Laced Lug Boot In Leather
Shop now: $575; theory.com
“Being pregnant right now, comfortable flats are a must. I love that these boots (Shop It: $575; theory.com) feel utilitarian but are still sleek, with a lug sole that can handle whatever the streets of New York serve up. The elastic side panels are also key. (Everything I wear needs elastic side panels these days!) I'll be wearing them with long dresses and big sweaters.” — Anna Deutsch; Editorial Director at Theory
Tamara Mellon Clash
Shop now: $695; tamaramellon.com
"I absolutely dread winter, especially on the east coast, but these Tamara Mellon boots (Shop It: $695; tamaramellon.com) actually have me excited for once. I love the '90s feel of the chunky soles and they make me feel like a total badass. They're the perfect boot to wear rain or snow, aka a win in my eyes" — Nikita Charuza; Fashion Editor at Popsugar
& Other Stories Square Toe Knee High Leather Boots
Shop now: $279; stories.com
“I am currently eyeing these boots from & Other Stories (Shop It: $279; stories.com) A few of my friends already own a pair and have raved about the quality of the boot as well as the price. They are a good low-cost alternative to the lusted after Marni square-toe, wide-leg boots!” — Naomi Elizée; Associate Market Editor at Vogue
Dr. Martens 2976 Polished Smooth Platform Chelsea Boots
Shop now: $180; nordstrom.com
“I’m loving the chunky platform boot trend that’s happening this season. I’ve been seeing Dr. Martens’ Jadon combat boot almost everywhere for a while now, but I’m a fan of the brand’s Chelsea boot version (Shop It: $180; nordstrom.com). They're easy to put on, go with anything (I’ve worn them with maxi skirts, jeans, and sweats), and the heavy-duty sole can handle a day of stomping around in the snow. If you want an even warmer version, get a pair with cozy faux-fur lining.” — Maria Bobila; Fashion Editor at NYLON
Rick Owens Drkshdw Double Bumber Hi Sneakers
Shop now: $770; farfetch.com
“I was recently gifted these Rick Owens Drkshdw boots (Shop It: $770; farfetch.com), and they're honestly the perfect sneakers for winter because they sort of remind me of a combat boot but not as heavy. It’s a very light but fun shoe, and I feel like I am the best dressed in the room when I wear these. Since we’re in a pandemic, we aren’t doing much, but I look at these as an investment piece. I feel like that girl walking around with these on, and I love them because they don’t have a gawdy monogram showcasing the label’s name. So, if you don’t know that my shoes are Rick Owens, that’s not my fault.” — Nandi Howard; Associate Fashion Editor at Essence
Dr. Martens Black Jadon Retro Quad Boots
Shop now: $180; ssense.com
“When it comes to footwear, I usually go for comfort first, so I think it's high time I go ahead and pick up Dr. Martens' Black Jadon Retro Quad Boots (Shop It: $180; ssense.com). I have a close friend that was a maître d at Catch in NYC a while back; she caved and got these same boots after her coworkers kept showing up in them. I think they'll serve me well through the holidays, the end of the year, and beyond. I also have a pair of tried and true Docs already that I've had since high school, so I know I won't regret this purchase. If anything, I think they'll elevate my footwear lineup for the cold weather.” — Robyn Mowatt, Writer at Okayplayer
Ugg Classic Ultra Mini
Shop now: $140; nordstrom.com
“I never thought I’d want UGG boots again, but now I do. These are very low (Shop It: $140; nordstrom.com), so I can wear them with my straight-leg or boot-cut jeans, and they’ll just look like I’m wearing cozy Ugg slippers — not necessarily a pair of boots. This year, I’ve just really been about total comfort and these are in line with my aesthetic. On those cold days where I want to be casual while out and about, these can be my go-to.” — Sri Rain Stewart; Writer
Cougar Pax Waterproof Bootie
Shop now: $200; nordstrom.com
"One of my worst fears during the winter months is accidentally stepping in a puddle and having that cold, dirty water seep into my shoes. It's happened to me before and, wow — it's definitely not fun, especially if you don't have the option to immediately change or dry off indoors (two words: wet socks). I would much rather avoid all that with some sturdy winter footwear, like Cougar's waterproof bootie (Shop It: $200; nordstrom.com). Aside from basic black, they come in two of my go-to shoe colors, white and seasonal silver. I'll likely pair them with all my loungewear while walking the dog, then jeans for everyday wear, but I can even picture them with some sort of long, cozy maxi dress. That kinda-fancy-meets-practical contrast would definitely make a statement." — Samantha Sutton; Fashion Editor at InStyle
Ganni Chunky Recycled-Rubber Knee-high Boots in Black
Shop now: $285; luisaviaroma.com
“Last winter, I got a pair just like these black, knee-high Wellies from Mango that I didn't so much appreciate then, but wear all the time now. (They're army green.) So, naturally, when I saw that Ganni was selling an even chunkier version (Shop It: $285; luisaviaroma.com), I was immediately intrigued. They're almost entirely sold out, but I like the challenge of trying to find a pair on the secondhand market — so wish me luck! What I love about this pick is that they're both stylish and durable to the elements, which isn't common in winter footwear. With these, never again will I have to pack a pair of shoes to change into once I'm inside and away from the snow/rain. Convenience is absolutely key.” — Eliza Huber; Fashion Market Writer at Refinery 29
This is Ask the Experts, where our favorite fashion know-it-alls share their wisdom. Just because you can trust your style instincts doesn't mean you should have to.