February 7, 2013

Walk Your Way to Warmth

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Ah, Cornell weather… you suck. In the past three weeks, you have vacillated between the freezing low 10s and relatively warm (for Ithaca winter) high 40s. Do you know what this does to us? The ground changes from slimy, mud to frozen earth and finally slippery snow, making it incredibly difficult to walk to and from class with regular shoes.

I’ve seen many a twist and tumble since I’ve gotten back, including from yours truly — I definitely have the bruises to show for it! This is why the appropriate winter gear is so important. And at the top of that list should be cold-weather shoes.  Our everyday footwear gets destroyed when exposed to the elements. Cornell requires some heavy duty boots to get through snow/rain season.

Even though it’s February and the average person buys winter boots in the fall, at Cornell winter is known to stick around ‘til early May. So you’re really looking at getting a solid three-and-a-half month use out of your boots. I have to say this is one of the departments that guys are much luckier than girls in, because their selection is much cooler. Nonetheless, there are plenty of options out there if you are in the market:

The rainboot: Yes, this is a perfectly acceptable option for a winter shoe. I don’t think I need to explain the significance of waterproof shoes for Ithaca weather. However, there are plenty of awesome brands out there apart from Hunter if you’re looking for something a little bit different. One of my personal favorite brands is Ilse Jacobsen rainboots that tie up, making it easy to adjust the shoe’s width. They are a little more expensive than Hunter boots (around $50 more), but you can find certain size/color combos for a lot cheaper here at Amazon.

The is-it-a-winter-boot boot: One of my favorite types of cold weather boots! I’m talking about shoes that don’t look like your traditional winter shoe but can function as one. Dr. Martens is one brand that serves that purpose. Granted, they might not be as effective as your customary winter boot and I might suggest a different kick if you want to trudge through waist deep snow. However, they are great for walking to class if you’re looking for something a little cooler than your average winter shoe. My faves are the classic black ones. Frye boots will also serve you very well. Try these black moto boots. I know they are a tad expensive, but you should view them as an investment! Seriously, I’ve walked to hell and back with mine. Just make sure to take them to the cobbler for some nice soles.

The hiking/work boot: Hiking boots work great as cold winter boots. I love the classic Timberland boots that you usually see men wearing, but who cares?! Eastland also makes a super awesome one as well which you can find online at Urban Outfitters (and for $85 they are a steal!). Topshop makes a pretty sweet version, too. Finally, Superdy seems to be getting it right with these pretty suave brown hiking boots that you can buy here.

The shearling/fur-lined boot: Now these bad boys keep you super warm! You can look to Ugg for some high quality and unique boots. Take a look at these tall suckers. Now your whole calf will be warm. Or how about this right here — Born has great quality shoes. Finally, check out Dankso. You can find one of my favorites, the Harper, at this website.

As always, make sure to look around before committing to a purchase. You never know what’s lurking on eBay!

Original Author: Eleni Konstantopoulos