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.