Looking for water-resistant, office-appropriate, no-heel women's boots
October 9, 2019 4:33 AM   Subscribe

What the title says. What do women-presenting people wear in the office in the fall and winter when it's too cold for flats and they don't want a heel? I would like help finding a pair of dressy/office-appropriate black boots that are reasonably OK getting wet and have little to no heel. I've read over previous questions and unfortunately links are broken or the shoes aren't right. Boring is OK, even preferable, because I'll ideally only be wearing these.

I wear slacks and a female-tailored button-down every day, and don't expect that to change. Also I have big feet (size 11 women's) so I basically have to shop online.
posted by schroedinger to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Would the La Canadienne range of boots work for you? Some of them are fairly dressy and they are totally waterproof. Pricy but they generally last a few seasons even with nearly daily use in the fall and winter (from experience).
posted by peacheater at 4:42 AM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

I recently got a pair of Doc Marten chelsea boots and I've worn them almost every day since they arrived. No heel on mine, easy on and off, boring but still cool. And because Docs have the big ol chonker lug soles, I'll be able to safely wear them when it starts getting icy, too.

But Chelsea boots are classics and even more popular these days, in all kinds of varieties from femme dressy ones to the curb stompy ones like mine, and available in all different heel configurations. I see them evevevrvrywhere in Chicago this time of year.
posted by phunniemee at 4:48 AM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I wear Dansko ankle boots similar to this and love em. Several similar styles available.
posted by evilmomlady at 5:01 AM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

I think the classic solution is leaving your "indoor shoes" at work so you can wear whatever outdoor shoes you want without worrying about looking like a misplaced trapper. Having said that, I agree a Chelsea boot is a good option. There are a million nice ones and in my experience most good ones do fairly well in rain if properly treated, but here is an explicitly waterproof option.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 5:03 AM on October 9, 2019 [9 favorites]

I think paddock boots would be close to, if not exactly what you want. Is there a tack shop (for horseback riding) anywhere near you?
posted by Dolley at 5:05 AM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck with Ecco ankle boots. They're typically water-resistant and/or can be treated with a water-resisting spray, and many of the dressier styles have a grippy rubber sole (a rarity in women's shoes).
posted by neushoorn at 5:09 AM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

I came in to suggest Chelsea boots too, I get mine from Clarks.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:43 AM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Zappos is good for very specific searches like this, because they have lots and lots of filters. Here are a few low-heel waterproof boots I liked ok:

Sofft: https://www.zappos.com/p/sofft-bellis-waterproof-black-wild-steer/product/9107369/color/707117

Dansko: https://www.zappos.com/p/dansko-bethanie-black-waterproof-burnished/product/9230684/color/814554
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:03 AM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Merrell does waterproof appropriate-for-most-offices low boots that work just fine with pants. They offer women's styles up to size 12, Westbrook Andover Chelsea

But, for instance, their men's style Chelsea boot would look fine with your "work uniform".

I have waterproof Merrells that have lasted many many years. I clean them regularly and re-waterproof them at the end of each winter.
posted by crush at 6:16 AM on October 9, 2019

Frye is expensive, but they have a nice Chelsea boot that sounds like what you're looking for: Frye Melissa
posted by LizardBreath at 6:26 AM on October 9, 2019

Another vote for Ecco - they have a lot of options for ankle boots or low cut boots with no heel. I wear a single pair almost exclusively during winter.
posted by unlaced at 6:40 AM on October 9, 2019

Chelsea boots. My go-to brand is Born and they have some really cute options (in a very classic style) this season. Check both Zappos and the Bornshoes.com site, as they might have different availability.
posted by matildaben at 7:06 AM on October 9, 2019

What Dolley said. I got a pair of Ariat paddock boots two years ago and they've really simplified my life. They work with skirts or jeans, they're comfortable, they're sharp-looking, and they're waterproof. I don't know how I functioned without them.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:45 AM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Nthing the Chelsea or other low healed ankle boot. They are my standard footwear in winter, when it is officially too wet and/or cold to wear my oxfords, loafers or pumps.

If grip is a concern you can get some fairly high profile soles on these kinds of boots and they still look work appropriate as long as they are otherwise on the smart end of the spectrum. If other design features/colour also skew sporty/functional/fun the high profile can add to the overall casual and perhaps not office appropriate appearance...depending on how formal your office is.
posted by koahiatamadl at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2019

Seconding Clark's...I'm not a shoe person so I tend to only have a couple of pairs for each season (sandals for summer, boots in black and brown for winter) and Clark's are comfy and low-key stylish. Something like this may work for you.
posted by Preserver at 8:32 AM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Brand: Sorel
Style: Emelie

A bit spendy, but absolutely waterproof. Wore it everyday last fall and winter, even did a Great Wall hike with them on! Can be dressed up or down.
posted by tinydancer at 8:57 AM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've been pretty happy with my Blondo brand boots, the Liam style specifically. I've had them for a few years and they're suede or suede-like but definitely waterproof. Very comfortable and only recently showing some signs of wear after heavy (almost daily) use for a few years. I plan to rebuy once they get too worn to wear to work!
posted by carlypennylane at 9:44 AM on October 9, 2019

I just bought a pair of Blundstones for similar purposes. I looooooooooove them and their versatility, sturdiness, and design.
posted by linettasky at 10:15 AM on October 9, 2019

I love, love, LOVE my Fly London wedge-heel boots. Just a bit of a heel but the wedge makes it so comfortable and then you get to be Taller Than People. Mine are a few years old but a quick googling shows very similar styles currently available. Spendy but worth it.
posted by SinAesthetic at 10:33 AM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Everlane Chelsea Boots are quite stylish, flat heeled, and water resistant.

The Cole Haan Hollyn Bootie is also a great option (and on sale!)
posted by something_witty at 10:51 AM on October 9, 2019

I have a pair of Sorel Emilie chelsea boots (REI, Zappos) that I've worn nearly every day for two midwestern winters. They still look new. Waterproof, low heel (I cannot wear anything over about an inch of heel (less is better), and the sole on these is thick enough that the difference between heel and ball-of-foot is about half an inch). If you click on the Zappo's link, you'll see a bunch of other similar options.
posted by jlkr at 11:08 AM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

I have size 11 feet and wears either jeans and a button-up shitr or slacks and a button-up almost all winter. I love my black, chisel-toe blundstones (my computer wants to autocrrect to 'blunderbusses', which...) and they are incredibly popular around my office (law). Other options include this Madewell chelsea boot, which comes in 11.

I spray my leather boots with water repellent spray a few times a season and havent had issues with longevity.
posted by hepta at 12:45 PM on October 9, 2019

Are you OK with a 1" heel? Many "flat" women's boots are actually a 0.5-1" heel.

I have a pair of Thursday black leather chelsea boots (the Dutchess style) and they are quite basic, definitely water-resistant if you spray them, can be cleaned up easily with leather polish. I find them a bit boring in the classic rounded almond toe, which sounds like it isn't a problem for you.
posted by serelliya at 12:01 PM on October 11, 2019

Armed with the knowledge that a Chelsea-style boot is office-appropriate, I went to DSW and found a Chelsea-style boot in my size. It seems good enough, though I doubt its ability to last forever and it is not extremely water-resistant. Next time I go shoe shopping I will hopefully have the finances to invest in a higher-quality boot.
posted by schroedinger at 3:06 PM on March 17

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