As we enter December and temperatures begin to dip, choosing the optimal winter boots is a quandary at college campuses across the country. Or at least, it should be! Because we’re located a stone’s throw from the University of Vermont, we have a daily window into the winter boot habits of college students in their native territory. Much to our collective horror, we’re seeing college boys adapting their facial hair to the season without giving a thought to their footwear while the girls are squeezing the last bits of life out of their Uggs.
In a recent heart to heart, a Middlebury College senior from San Francisco confessed that even with three seasons of New England-living under her belt, she still hadn’t grasped the essential elements of winter boots selection. She came to the Northeast armed with her Frye Campus boots—the name should be resume enough, right?—without realizing that a rubber tread on the heel, but not the sole, wasn’t going to keep her upright on icy streets or in slippery dining halls.
Game on. Life was about to change for this northern transplant. We put Sorel’s Addington Chelsea with its toothy heel-to-toe rubber base in her hands and eureka! —the fear of walking dangerously was a distant memory.
How to Choose Winter Boots for Navigating Campus?
At WinterBoots.com, we create a Campus Collection each fall to help college students narrow their options when buying winter boots. These aren’t your shovel-the-driveway snow boots, but rather boots built to wear all day long: to class, across the green, back to the dining hall, over to the library, inside to work out and up the never ending hill to your freshman dorm. We have goals for you. End the day with two dry socks and zero public falls.
Guard against Wet Feet
Waterproof, or at least highly water resistant boots are key. When you spend as much time in transit as the average university undergrad, keeping moisture at bay is a top consideration. Today’s boots utilize treated leathers, breathable membranes and seam-sealed edges so that slushy snow and soggy walkways are held at bay.
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Stand Your Ground
You can’t choose whether you’ll encounter slick surfaces on your travels, but you can increase the odds of avoiding a fall by choosing footwear with a full rubber outsole. Relegate your sneakers to the back of the closet. Look for deeper treads that will provide needed traction.
Avoid the Tropics
There is a place in your winter boot quiver for a highly insulated model, but your everyday footwear should have 200 grams or less to ensure you don’t overheat when you’re inside. For heartier souls, even a non-insulated boot can meet the cold weather challenge as long as it’s waterproof. College campuses are a bastion of winter boot avoidance. Our mission is to save you from a layover at Health Services when you careen across the quad grabbing that 8am coffee. Brands like Sorel and Timberland have completely changed the look of today’s winter boots. We love the all-day styles of winter boots that are lightly insulated and waterproof with sturdy traction, perfect for sitting through class then making it safely home to your Netflix.