|Patagonia Lugano Waterproof|
I think Canadian companies have mastered making the perfect snow boots, giving fashionistas a lot of bang for a buck: flair, comfort and toughness. Unwittingly, I bought a great pair of Canadian snow boots a few years ago -- designed by Cougar, a company I hear cut back on their production of boots. So I'd love for Canadians to weigh in with their favorite winter boot picks. Please, if you are Canadian, we need you!
Meanwhile, my quest leads to two brands sold in the U.S.:
Patagonia Lugano Waterproof - A beautiful suede, the upper boot is a soft waterproof pigskin. Inside, they have a 200-gram Polartec lining. They keep your feet warm and dry. They are cute, that is to say, not bulky or chunky, but fashionable like regular boots. They are lightweight and provide arch support, so are comfortable for city dwellers to walk 20-30 blocks on concrete pavement. Another plus, your feet can breathe, so you will not have to change your footwear once you reach indoors. Nonetheless be aware, the boots do not have a zipper and seem impossible to slip on the first few times. You seriously think about returning them. But soon they loosen up, and it gets easier. Once on your feet, you love them. $195/without a sale.
LL Bean Women's Storm Chasers, Side-Zip Boot - These slender, lightweight snow boots keep your feet ultra warm and dry. Recently re-designed, they provide comfort and support, as well as, the same protection as rubber boots. They are stiffer than the Patagonia boots, so they will last much longer, but are not as soft nor as suitable for long walks on city pavement. These boots are perfect for shoveling snow, walking through ice and slush to get to your car, or several blocks to reach a neighborhood store. If you live in the suburbs and walk to the corner to catch a bus, these offer comfort and excellent protection at an unbeatable price. And you will probably get a decade or more of wear out of them. LL Bean provides exceptional customer service. They will resole boots that wear out. $99/on sale
Extra tip: Many snow boots run small because of padding, so consider ordering up from your regular shoe size. This also gives you room to wear insoles and thicker socks.
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