Even if it never gets properly cold this winter, I’m still going to be wearing my favourite cosy boots over the festive season. Because if you can’t wear a lovely pair of shearling lined boots at Christmas, when can you wear them?! I can just imagine me, Mr Brogue and Grenson (our miniature schnauzer puppy) strolling along the beach on the Isle of Wight on Boxing Day, the dog in his new tweed jacket (if Mr Brogue lets me dress him up) and me in my new Sorel boots which I have been referring to as my ‘dog walking boots’.
I’ve wanted a pair of Sorel boots for AGES now, because my friend Holly has had a pair for years and I’m always jealous when we meet up at a country pub and she’s wearing them. They just look so cool! We often go on skiing holidays together and she wears them there too; they’re warm enough and sturdy enough to withstand the snow and ice in the French Alps. I’ve finally got around to getting some – they’re an exclusive design in collaboration with Matches, where you can also buy lots of different styles of Sorel boots as well as these limited edition ones. They might seem a bit expensive but Holly is living breathing proof that they really do last for ages so make a good investment, especially if you spend a lot of time walking outdoors. They come up a little snug, so you might want to go up a size, although I wear my usual size in them (I’m on the small side of a 4). Don’t worry about leaving space for thick socks – you won’t need them.
So those are my new boots. But I’ll also be digging out a few old pairs as well. I’ve had some Penelope Chilvers shearling Safari boots for about 4 years now and they’re a winner if you want to look warm and smart. Mine still look good as new after all this time. I wouldn’t wear them on a country walk because they’re suede with a crepe sole (sometimes a crepe sole can be a bit slippery) but they’re perfect for that trip to see the inlaws or an afternoon in a traditional pub with a cold stone floor. My olive green ones aren’t available anymore but I love the black and tan versions you can get now. Wear with turned up skinny cords and no socks (they’re designed to be worn with bare feet).
Last, my retro option is from Palladium, a brand I always loved as a child because it’s what all the cool older kids wore on the French campsites we holidayed at. As with the other boots, these come with a wool lining to keep your feet toasty, but are as casual as your Converse so easy to style up with your normal clothes (which can’t be said for wellies!). They’re also waterproof.
And finally, a word of warning for those of you who are shouting at your screens saying you could get the same thing for much cheaper on the high street. With the exception of the Sorel boots (which don’t need it because they have a stacked sole and are really well insulated), these boots have that snuggly lining all the way to the toe and on the insole of the shoe. And THAT’S what keeps your feet warm. Cheaper version often just have a furry trim, and a lining that isn’t real wool or shearling (manmade fibres might keep you warm, but also might make your feet smell). Unless you actually feel the inside of the shoes you can’t tell where the lining ends so when buying other options, I’d recommend going in person so you know what you’re getting. But I can tell you from personal experience that the boots featured here do the job. Yay!