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Winter Shoes

CAS

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I've done quite a bit of research on this subject, but am still searching for answers. I'm looking for a nice leather lace-up boot with a sleek silhouette AND sole, to wear with jeans/cords/casual trousers that would be adequate for the inclement weather coming up in NYC.

1.) What would be optimal in terms of sole? I've read Dainite is not good for snow/ice, and other rubber soles such as commando are generally too bulky for my taste.

2.) Would a thinner rubber sole be inferior in terms of quality/absorbing moisture/sturdiness?

3.) Would a boot with a leather sole be a poor choice in dealing with the elements? I love this boot from Rider, but it has a double leather sole:

http://www.francos.com/items/item.asp?sku5=23868

Any styles similar to this at a lower price point would also be appreciated.

4.) Even with good boots, I'm concerned that the road salt would eat away at the leather upper. What techniques would be advised to keep the upper clean and smooth (I usually apply meltonian polish to my shoes; would that be sufficient?).

5.) What should I do with my other leather-soled shoes? Is it a bad idea to wear them in snow/rain/ice? Should I consider topys? I've heard pros and cons of topys but im assuming I should leave my leather-soled shoes alone and not attach a protective rubber layer to the sole.

Oh yea, beaters and overshoes are absolutely out of the question, the aesthetic is of supreme importance to me.

Any advice is much appreciated!
 

spatten

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Most of my shoes are leather soled - simply because they have the correct amount of friction with most surfaces and are also elegant. That said, leather soles are not optimal on snow/ice.

I live in Iowa and we have snow/ice mix nearly half of the year round. If I am walking a good distance I will typically switch to my Dainite and Commando soles. I would recommend both for the winter over leather.
 

NORE

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Buy the shoes/boots you like and then invest in a pair of rubber overshoes. Wear snow/hiking boots in the worst weather. Problem solved.
 

CAS

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Originally Posted by spatten
I live in Iowa and we have snow/ice mix nearly half of the year round. If I am walking a good distance I will typically switch to my Dainite and Commando soles. I would recommend both for the winter over leather.

How do the Dainite soles hold up with the snow/ice?

Originally Posted by NORE
Buy the shoes/boots you like and then invest in a pair of rubber overshoes. Wear snow/hiking boots in the worst weather. Problem solved.

I specifically stated NO overshoes and implied no hiking boots with my preference for a slimmer, dressy silhouette. I live in the city and would wear these boots all day - work and play.
 

NORE

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Then if you could get past your aversion to overshoes your problem would pretty much be solved.
 

spatten

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Originally Posted by CAS
How do the Dainite soles hold up with the snow/ice?


My favorite pair of winter boots are C&J Chukka's with Dainite sole. I've had them 5 years and the the soles are in good shape, much better than any of my leather soles. I haven't taken care of the Cordovan as I should have, and they could use some polish.

I'd say quite safe in the winter. I have upon occasion worn a pair of Chelasea's with leather soles on the ice, and all I can say is I'm thankful for my good balance.

I'm sure there are other rubber fabrications that could do a better job, but not on any shoes I'd find acceptable to wear.
 

Gus

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I think that having several pairs that can be rotated and can be completely dry before wearing again is an important winter solution. Leather can get wet. You just don't want it to be dried using heat which will cause cracking.


I've also had excellent luck with waterproofed suede. My first pair was from Heschung. You can also get spray cans of waterproofing and it helps a lot. It won't keep it bone dry but it keeps it from getting saturated in all but the worst conditions.
 

ktrp

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From leather sole, to dainite, to commando to lug to full on snow boot, each step gives up sleekness/elegance for more grip. You need to decide where you want to be.

I bought a pair of dainite soled boots to add to my rotation. So far so good, maybe I'll have a different opinion by the end of the winter. If you are thinking Dainite boots are going to be great for running through snowdrifts, you are of course dreaming. But I have so far found them to handle some snow on a sidewalk just fine.

The boots you listed are very nice looking. I would have liked punch cap myself, but the only inexpensive punch caps I found where the Stacy Adams Madison, and that was more corrected then I could stomach. I ended up going with a cap toe with no broguieng.

Those boots you indicated are also shell cordovan. I believe that IS a good winter choice, but they only get moderately cheap.

I don't know what sort of price range you're looking in. I wanted sub $300 which basically steers you to Loakes, or Loakes made for others. In particular I got a pair of Charles Tyrwhitt made by Loake, pebble grain, cap toe, tan, dainite sole, made in the UK for about $220. Herring sells similar ones under their own name.

If I were dropping $100 more, I would likely have gone for Alfred Sargent. Above that are C&J and so on.

If you want shell, you might look into Alden, or I think Brooks Brothers sells some made in the UK.
 

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