Prepare me for NYC!
February 13, 2013 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Boot recommendations for New York winter?

I'm going to New York for the first time next week (2/20-24)! I'm super excited, but I just saw that there will probably be rain/snow and realized that I don't really have any weather appropriate boots. Any recommendations for a stylish yet functional NY-winter appropriate boot? I'm size 8-8.5, I don't mind a small heel (1 in. or less) and I'd prefer an easy-to-match color, like black/gray. I'd be willing to spend up to $300, and it'd be nice if it were available on zappos (1 day shipping yay) or amazon (prime, yay!)...but I'll head out to a brick and mortar store if I need to. Also I'm a SoCal girl through and through, so any other tips for dressing for that weather would be greatly appreciated! :)

PS. If you have any "things to do/see" recommendations that would also be awesome! I'm staying just around the corner from the Met.
posted by sprezzy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of us wear wellies, like a Hunters. Makes it easy to stomp around without worrying you'll get your pants wets (since you tuck them in).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:04 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Buy some SmartWool socks.
posted by canine epigram at 11:04 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love the Timberland Earthkeepers line and own this pair of boots, which have served me well during the city's "blizzard" of 6 inches of snow. They provide excellent traction on icy subway steps.

That said, what makes you think we'll have snow or rain in a week? It's a bit early to predict the weather, but most of the snow from the blizzard has melted.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:04 AM on February 13, 2013

I have the Ugg Jillian boots. They have kept me warm and dry through all the crap we've been having, and that's saying a lot because my feet get cold very easily. And we have had a lot of crap.

Also, I'm from Virginia, but everyone I know who's new from SoCal is always way colder than I am, so you might want to bring some long underwear or something. The new SoCal people I met when I was in college in Boston were always wearing long underwear when it was like 30 degrees, whereas I would only wear that for a day of skiing or something.
posted by sweetkid at 11:11 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

The nice thing about NYC is that, what with the foot traffic and the mandatory sidewalk-shoveling and salting and all, you don't really have to worry about wearing snow boots. Anything waterproof is fine. If you get rain boots and wear them with thick socks, you'll be set, plus you can actually use them in SoCal as well.

Also: as a transplanted Southerner, I totally wear long underwear all winter long. People mock me but it's SO WARM.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:11 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Snow boots are generally fugly and if you don't encounter snow very often, buying a pair of dedicated snow boots is probably going to be expensive for something you'd wear just a few times. So I'm suggesting rain boots instead, which you should wear with thick tights and jeans.

Here are three pairs which I think are stylish and which will keep out the rain and snow.

1, 2, 3.

As for dressing generally, layers are your friend. Wear a long-sleeved t-shirt that's long enough to tuck into your tights, with a light sweater over it (a fine knit like an angora, cashmere, or that 'cashmillion' fake cashmere), then a jacket (such as a zip-up fleece) over that, and then a waterproof coat. Also a hat that you can pull down over your ears, and a scarf. Gloves too. I like the fingerless gloves that have a little mitten you can pull over, because you can wear those all the time and don't need to take them off to handle coins or anything fiddly.
posted by essexjan at 11:12 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you get rain boots and wear them with thick socks

If you are planning to do a lot of walking I might not recommend this. My feet hurt if I walk too much in rain boots. Also you can get really swampy feet because those things don't breathe.
posted by sweetkid at 11:12 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Honestly any tallish warmish leather boot is going to do you fine. I have a pair of black riding boots (of the kind that come from Neiman Marcus, not the kind you actually ride horses in) which went through three New York winters with me. They're just... boots. They don't have a special tread or insulation or any technical quality. I just made sure to be very diligent about wiping the salt off them at the end of the day.

I see a lot of women around the LA area wearing snuggly ugg looking boots (in 60 degree weather lol y'all are funny) -- if you're among the women who has something like that, that would be ideal.

Rain boots, too, are pretty good for most conditions except for the freezingest snows. Pack thick wool socks (which is good advice, regardless). Boot liners are also available if you look for them -- this might be a cheaper and better option if you already own rain boots.

If I were shopping for new winter boots for New York, I'd probably pick:

These tall engineer boots from Frye. One the one hand, they're rad as fuck and will last you forever. On the other hand, they're a little pricey to buy just for a trip.

Sorels tend to go on sale this time of year, but honestly it's a lot of look. And something a lot more intense than anything you'll need on the West Coast.

In terms of general winter clothing advice:

Layers. Seriously. Layers. My go-to winter uniform was a thermal shirt or merino base layer under a regular shirt under a warm wool sweater. A real sweater, not the cottony/acrylic stuff that passes for "a sweater" in Los Angeles. Then heavy pants like jeans, wool socks (preferably knee length), and boots. On top of all that, a scarf, then a heavy coat (again, not those Coatlike Objects you see people wearing unzipped in LA when it's 50 degrees), hat, and gloves. If I wanted to wear a skirt, I'd wear sweater tights and tall boots.

If I were traveling back east for winter and needed to do some shopping, I'd buy sweaters, wool socks, sweater tights, and/or a good coat before I'd buy new boots. Assuming you, like, own shoes that are closed-toe and not made of canvas.
posted by Sara C. at 11:13 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would highly highly recomend these black boots from La Canadienne. Slightly over your budget, but waterproof and they're great with both tights and skinny jeans. They've made dressing in the morning really simple.
posted by peacheater at 11:35 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wore my Tretorn rainboots and smart wool socks all over NYC this past weekend & didn't get swamp feet (I will credit the smart wool socks). Seriously, they're the most practical choice if snowfall is imminent or just happened.

Otherwise, you just need waterproof-ish leather boots. I like the "Timberland Earthkeepers® Bethel Buckle Tall Zip". The buckle at the top is adjustable so you can change how tight it is depending on whether you have tights or jeans on. Word of warning if you get these- I bought them in a wide so that I could fit smartwool socks in there. If you anticipate wearing them with thick socks, get the wide version.
posted by lyra4 at 11:37 AM on February 13, 2013

That said, what makes you think we'll have snow or rain in a week? It's a bit early to predict the weather, but most of the snow from the blizzard has melted.

Oh, I was just going by the 10-day forecast on I really have no idea, so I should probably trust NY-ers :)

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!
posted by sprezzy at 11:50 AM on February 13, 2013

Any time anyone mentions Frye engineer boots, I have to point out the Target option, eminently affordable for a trip.
posted by tangerine at 12:17 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I bought these boots shortly after Christmas and LOVE them. They're so, so comfortable, and I haven't had any swampfeet issues at all.
posted by alynnk at 1:32 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

While rain boots are key for big snowstorms in New York (more for the slushy aftermath than for the actual event), I agree with Sara C. that a pair of comfortable leather boots should be perfectly fine. As a bonus, you'll fit in with the locals better than you would if you were dressed for Sundance. For all but the most ridiculous of weather, I wear skinny jeans tucked into black leather boots (sometimes with two pairs of socks or a pair of tights under the jeans if it's really cold), a warm sweater with something underneath, a wool coat, a warm scarf, gloves, and sometimes a hat. Keep in mind that the subways are often uncomfortably warm-- winter in New York is basically a constant dance of taking things off and putting them back on again. If you don't normally carry a big bag, you might want to bring a tote or something to toss hat, scarf, and gloves in in the subway.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:52 PM on February 13, 2013

I have these boots. They look pretty good are waterproof and comfortable enough to walk all day in.
posted by nanhey at 2:32 PM on February 13, 2013

I am among the least stylish people I've ever known, but I now own a pair of these and everyone tells me they're stylish. Very, very comfortable for lots of walking around. I wore mine on a very long (city) walk through slush and snow and a bit of rainy-wetness the first night I owned them and didn't regret it for a moment. (If these are not, in fact, stylish, please don't tell me.)
posted by VioletU at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2013

Late to the party, but Sally of Already Pretty just posted her picks for stylish snow boots on sale last night and reminded me of this thread; of those, I would recommend Keens, Timberlands, or Sorels for the soles (and especially Keens for the comfort). I'm a California chick who somehow ended up back east, and almost two decades later, I *still* cannot pull off smooth soled shoes in winter (black ice, slushy subway stairs, slippery wet escalators, falling on my butt even when practicing my penguin walk), so I would recommend keeping an eye out for lugged soles on whatever boots you end up getting.

(Related tangent/horror story: Kelly of Stylish Alterations is a SoCaler like you, and she just took her first winter trip to NYC, during last week's blizzard. Spoiler alert: she didn't pack boots.)
posted by Pandora Kouti at 11:14 AM on February 14, 2013

« Older These thumbs weren't made for typing   |   How can a person give themselves cancer? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.