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Essentials: Winter Boots

photographer Nicola Turner

Winter is hard on the lowly pedestrian. Days and days of fighting my way over sullied snow banks and slushy pools, the inclement weather making a minefield out of even my relatively mellow commute. With it also comes the inevitable mid-season style freeze, with all my cute outfits getting swallowed up beneath a gigantic winter shroud. It takes all my willpower not to revert to the same boring uniform: the go-to big sweater, the same knit scarf, the pilled and ratty winter cap. In other words, sometimes I have to choose the clothes that make sense over the clothes I’d like to wear.

While it’s generally not my style to sacrifice taste for comfort, Palladium’s new wool-lined collection presents the best kind of compromise. These boots have all the character of my smart black field boots, but with a wool-lined winterized rubber skin and toe-capped monster tread to keep me toasty and dry. I’ll comfortably clomp and stomp my way through anything. Most importantly, I’m holding out hope that the patent leather polish will radiate strongly enough to compensate for the winter’s sunless months. I’d like to emerge from the cold feeling rough and ready for spring’s more peaceable (and pretty) gait.

AMBER BRAVO

While some see paisley as a tired ’70s motif, the pattern has roots in the Persian buteh floral design dating back to the second century AD, symbolizing life and eternity. Certainly fodder for some New-Agey appropriation, especially when done well, like in Swedish label Patouf’s Uma platform. Designer Anna Angseryd covered her towering shoe in gold-flecked paisley, lifting its wearer high and bright over the streets.

Australian designer Rachel Beagley picked up the name New Kid for her line of shoes as a traveling ex-pat, first in London and now in her adopted home base of Florence, Italy. Beagley updates classics: standard booties in faux-crocodile textures, short lace-ups with contrasting color anklets and stately, purple velvet slippers embroidered with a sunny insignia, perfect for padding around a drafty house.

Uniforms for the Dedicated is a design collective that collaborates on music, films, art and fashion. Fittingly, Uniforms’ first shoe for dudes, The Northern Sole, is a creative mash-up. Part dressy brogue, part punk creeper and part rugged hiking boot, the soft leather shoe is great for trudging through backwoods or back streets.

MONICA JEFFRIES, AMBER BRAVO, DIEDRE DYER

Essentials: Winter Boots