As a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I've come to believe that it's not a matter of "if" you will slip and fall on ice, but "when." Temperatures drop well below zero and any forms of liquid on the sidewalks freeze over which can make the thought of ice skating to class more practical than walking. Considering this, it is imperative to be geared up and ready to go for any and all icicle-affiliated challenges that Madison students face daily. So, here are five pairs of snow boots that have proven to be dependable and will keep you on your feet (literally).
Timbs; classic. These boots are great because they're affordable, can be worn with pretty much any outfit, and are highly durable. Salt is bound to get all over boots when trekking through the streets, but the material of Timberlands holds up well against it along with other components of the weather like slush. The sizing of these shoes can be a little strange- you may want to size up depending on how they feel around the middle of your foot. I usually wear a size eight in shoes but my Timberlands are a size nine. Once they fit right, they're in it for the long haul.
2. Doc Martens
My unsung hero. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, a good pair of Docs won't get you through. I wear them with absolutely everything. They are so comfortable and easy to style. Never once have I come close to the tiniest slide on ice in them. The rubber sole has a great grip and any salt or ice stains come right off the boot with a few brushes of your hand.
I have not had any personal experience with Sorrels but have seen and heard great things. Many Sorrels are rubber on the outside and furry on the inside which is great for keeping your feet dry and warm without any big or heavy socks that you may be wearing with Timberlands, for example. Some of the pairs for women have a wedge or a tiny heel if you're looking for a boot that also gives you a little height.
The guilty pleasure boot. In Uggs, you basically feel like you're wearing a big sock. I'm not going to lie, I have had a few fall scares in my Uggs, especially on icey, slanted sidewalks. The grip of the sole isn't the firmest but Uggs are a steady choice for the averagely bad weather conditions. They are most definitely a better choice than sneakers if it came down to that.
5. Pajar Canada
The website doesn't list these as boots, rather "ice grippers" which is already a good sign. They have the style of a classic snow boot and are really simple in design and color which makes them easy and effortless to wear.
With this, hopefully, you'll be walking around more than you'll be sliding around. Do yourself a favor and never succumb to the "it's just one block, I'll wear my Nike AF1s" mentality. I've tried it, my friends have tried it, you've probably tried it, and we've all failed miserably. Throw on a pair of any of these boots and you'll be looking great and feeling safe.