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Dress Boots for the Chicago Winter

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I'm a twenty-year-old student and I just started an internship that will require me to wear business casual, and occasionally, business formal attire. I go to school in Chicago and want some boots that will be appropriate and can endure walking around the city in mild snow, slush, salt, and on pavement.

 

I've never bought dress boots before. I just bought my first pair of real cap-toes recently and I love them: I got a pair of To Boot New York shoes for half off at Nordstrom Rack.

 

I looked on Zappos and found these two pairs that I like:

 

Stacy Adams Madison:

http://www.zappos.com/stacy-adams-madison-boot-brown

 

Steve Madden Evander 2:

http://www.zappos.com/steve-madden-evander-2-brown-leather

 

I love the simplicity and the sleekness of the Stacy Adams pair. I don't like that the laces are fabric and not leather and I probably need a rubber sole for a boot that's to withstand snow. I've also been hearing bad things about the quality of their leather.

 

The Steve Madden boot looks nice, too. It looks like it's of better quality and it has a rubber sole, so it would hold up better during the winter. But is it formal enough to be worn with slacks/chino and a button-up? Or a suit?

 

I also found these Allen Edmonds Fifth Street boots:

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF7715_1_40000000001_-1

 

I really love the look of these. I'd be willing to pay for it because it's of higher quality. I don't want to go above $300. though. The sleekness and minimalism combined with the brogued cap-toe is great. I also prefer a balmoral shoe. It has a leather sole, though; and I don't want them to get ruined in the snow.

 

Summary:

$300. budget, but less is preferred.

Rubber soles unless it's a leather that snow won't ruin

Can be worn with a suit

 

Much appreciated,

post #2 of 33

If I was going to pick one of those, it would be the second, but I wouldn't spend $300 for a pair of dress boots just for an internship. My guess is that you only signed up because of this issue and you're not someone who really cares about suits, shoes, etc. You probably won't get much long-term use out of the boots, so why break the bank?

post #3 of 33
Don't get leather soled boot. Check out Allen Edmonds.
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

If I was going to pick one of those, it would be the second, but I wouldn't spend $300 for a pair of dress boots just for an internship. My guess is that you only signed up because of this issue and you're not someone who really cares about suits, shoes, etc. You probably won't get much long-term use out of the boots, so why break the bank?

I did sign up just to ask this, but I do care about style and fashion and plan to stick around. Do you think that the Allen Edmonds that I linked are worth it then? I'd prefer something with a rubber sole for a boot. I'd have to take those to a cobbler were I to get them.

Are the Steve Madden ones appropriate to wear with a suit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalTex View Post

Don't get leather soled boot. Check out Allen Edmonds.

I linked Allen Edmonds; they have a leather sole. I couldn't find any formal Allen Edmonds with rubber soles.

post #5 of 33
Don't buy the AE you linked, stick with rubber soles. I say this because I am assuming you want these to last and you plan on wearing them daily.

I thought they made a version of that boot with the leather sole and I was going to buy it last week but now I cant find it. plain.gif

let me browse and Ill update you when I find an answer.
post #6 of 33
For Business casual, you can't beat Veldtshoen type boots.
They are clssically styles and WATERPROOF.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=weldtshoen&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=NTRyUNOTDciKiAKYloCgBA&biw=1368&bih=846&sei=zTRyUNWJAarUigL-uICYBQ

For rougher work-type boots you can't go wrong with Herman Survivors, now owned by Walmart.
I wore this brand on snow days when I lived in Chicago( and changed into dress shoes at work)

At the high end, Ludwig Reiter offers elegant Snow Boots:

http://www.ludwig-reiter.com/?nav=produkte&lang=en
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artem View Post

I did sign up just to ask this, but I do care about style and fashion and plan to stick around. Do you think that the Allen Edmonds that I linked are worth it then? I'd prefer something with a rubber sole for a boot. I'd have to take those to a cobbler were I to get them.

Are the Steve Madden ones appropriate to wear with a suit?

I linked Allen Edmonds; they have a leather sole. I couldn't find any formal Allen Edmonds with rubber soles.

You can wear them with a suit. Most people won't notice. I'd probably buy them in black, unless you have black shoes that you're going to wear. I wouldn't buy boots with leather soles for wet weather. They're nice for cold weather, but what's the point of having boots in the snow if the sole is the same as your other shoes?

post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

You can wear them with a suit. Most people won't notice. I'd probably buy them in black, unless you have black shoes that you're going to wear. I wouldn't buy boots with leather soles for wet weather. They're nice for cold weather, but what's the point of having boots in the snow if the sole is the same as your other shoes?


I was thinking of getting them in the dark brown. I like how the two-tone looks on them. Why do you say black?

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artem View Post


I was thinking of getting them in the dark brown. I like how the two-tone looks on them. Why do you say black?

 

because, IMO, if you're starting from scratch, black is your best bet.

post #10 of 33

Just get a pair of boots from LL Bean and carry your dress shoes.  Calfskin dress boots with leather souls are not meant to be snow boots.

post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

 

because, IMO, if you're starting from scratch, black is your best bet.

They would be my first pair of dress boots, but I wear a lot of brown leathers (shoes, watch straps, belts), so I find brown easier to match. I'll also be wearing a navy pea coat most days, which I think looks better with brown.

 

Then again, all of my casual boots are brown. It'd be nice to change things up.

 

And again, I'm still very open to alternative options.

post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post

Just get a pair of boots from LL Bean and carry your dress shoes.  Calfskin dress boots with leather souls are not meant to be snow boots.


I'm in and out of buildings on campus all day. I also don't want to add a pair of shoes to the two full bags I already carry.

post #13 of 33

I love leather soled dress boots (in fact I just ordered the a pair of the Fifth Streets, coincidentally), but for your purposes-- walking around campus in the snow-- I definitely agree with the above posters-- go rubber. AE does have some nice dress boots with rubber soles, just browse their website. You can get away with them with a suit, although it is a bit less formal look, but I do it all the time, no one cares, unless you are in a very formal setting (Wall Street corporate type setting or conservative law firm-- and then only if your particular job requires it; I worked on Wall Street for awhile and wore loafers, no one cared). But business/casual, no worries.  Brown, black, doesn't matter, go with what you like. You really can't go wrong, fashion wise, in a biz/casu environenment, short of sneakers, sandals or flip flops, or real quirky stuff. Some people even do boat shoes for that, although I wouldn't, and then you need something else for suits.

 

Those Steve Maddens will be okay with a suit,  in the winter people will ignore them. They are not ideal, from a Trad perspective-- Trads like a balmoral/oxford (versus derby/blucher)-- in fact the Fifth Street would work well, for a boot, but you don't have to always go Trad, and students are cut a whole lotta slack in terms of dress-- we know you don't have a ton of loot to blow on duds. Again, when I worked on Wall Street in my college days, before I went on to higher education and real jobs I got away with a cheap suit, chino's crappy shoes, and I did well-- no one ever commented on the apparel. If the place is worth working at, they will judge you by your performance, primarily, knowing you are on a budget.

post #14 of 33
Artem , nice looking boots that you selected but you are under estimating just how truly awful ,slushy and salty the streets and sidewalks become after a snow. Any leather on the sole and you'll regret it , something water repellant that wipes clean easily is key.
post #15 of 33

If you don't want to carry around dress shoes then just buy some overshoes. No need to complicate things. If you're worried about how dumb they look, don't. The secret is that everyone wonders what shoes are so fancy that they have to be protected in such a way. For those occasions when you forgot your galoshes, be sure to keep a couple plastic grocery bags handy :)

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