Winter can feel like an affront to personal style. When the temperatures drop, so do one’s wardrobe options—particularly when it comes to footwear. Rather than dressing to express oneself, or simply look one’s best, winter requires dressing to endure the elements. And as far as shoes go, that usually means boots. It can be a bleak proposition: forgoing fine leather loafers and oxfords for months of utilitarian, weatherproof boots, or risk sloshing your favorite cordovan brogues through the snow. But, thankfully, one no longer needs to choose between fashion and functionality; there’s an array of attractive lug-soled boots that offer both.
Where boots have typically fallen into one of two categories, elegant or outdoorsy, the best new boots are a hybrid. The key is their hardy lug soles: a thick rubber base, often with indentations for superior traction, that will withstand inclement weather. But, in many cases, they are a kind of footwear mullet: brawn on the bottom, business up top. The chunkier soles can add a subtle, rakish edge to conservative suits or stylishly ground weekend wear. With options ranging from dressy to rugged, these are some of our favorite lug-soled boots to suit every occasion.
Dries Van Noten Polished-Leather Chelsea Boots
The glossy finish on these boots gives them a polish, in every sense, that tempers their hefty soles. Sleek and understated, they’re ideal for the office (and commuting through the elements).
Diemme Roccia Brown Leather Hiking Boots
A finely rendered riff on classic hiking boots, these have a decidedly sporty vibe. While the contrasting sole and vivid red laces skew casual, the rich brown leather keeps everything elevated.
Hermès Veo Ankle Boot
This chic take on a traditional riding boot nods to Hermès’s heritage as a purveyor of superlative equestrian attire. But why waste a great boot on horses? Swap the jodphurs for tailored trousers and a cashmere sweater and you’re set for date night.
Bottega Veneta Boots in Storm Cuir
Boots needn’t be purely functional; they can also make a statement. Such is the case with this pair, combining a high ankle shaft in a supple vegetable-tanned calfskin and graphic white rubber sole.
Saint Laurent Army Boots in Shiny Leather
With the right pair of trousers, these boots give the illusion of being a classic derby, making them an excellent choice for more formal affairs. Or worn with jeans and a leather jacket, they’re a picture of rock n’roll cool.
Christian Louboutin Citycroc Leather and Suede Lace-up Boots
Splitting the difference between hiking boots and dressier, lace-up styles, this pair offers the best of both worlds. The silhouette is refined, with a cap toe and broguing, while the ribbed ankle and tread sole are resolutely rugged.
Santoni Suede Ankle Boots
If you’re hitting the slopes, or just want to bring a bit of chalet life to the city, look to this exceptionally insulating pair. A fur-lined upper rests upon a thick rubber sole, punctuated with a pop of bright orange.
John Lobb Adler Boot
While suede may not be the best choice for snowstorms, this pair of boots made from the material will keep your ankles warm in artic temperatures—and do so with exceeding style. The refined almond toe and clean lines mean this pair looks just as good with a suit as it does with jeans.
Salvatore Ferragamo Ankle Boot
How do you take a Chelsea boot from basic to covetable? Add a sturdy sole, brogued accents, and do it all in a striking shade of gunmetal gray.
Church’s Welwyn Nevada Leather Chelsea Boot
Chelsea boots are an essential in any man’s footwear rotation and these, with their almond toe and minimal design, are sure to become a regular go-to, no matter the weather.