Any day now, the streets and sidewalks of New York will be covered in fresh, fluffy white ice before turning into a brownish-grey cesspool of sludge for the remainder of the season. Trudging around town in ankle deep snow is no easy feat (although it's great for the glutes), even for the most gifted snowshoer. Subway steps become hazardous slip-and-slides while curbs become diving boards into frozen, muddy pools you weren't willing to swim in. Face it, you're bound to slip and fall, at least once. Everyone does it, so just accept it and try not to fight the landing on the way down. Just go with it, then carefully stand up, brush yourself off, and continue on your embarrassed, frostbitten way. It happens to the best of us. No one is bound to laugh, unless they are just laughing with you. You'll mostly receive sympathetic looks of pained understanding. I suggest investing in a great pair of rugged boots to basically live in on these slippery, wintry days and nights. You may have to eat cold, wet pavement at least once, but you can prepare for the battle with a sole that has serious grip and terrain without having to sacrifice your style.

Yes, it's a fact that there are far too many extremely unattractive snow boots out there, on the market and wandering the streets. It's a tragedy really. Why does waterproof/resistant and insulation combined with rugged rubber soles translate to ugly? Are there any high functioning boots out there for both men and women that can deliver you across town unbruised while keeping you warm, dry and proud of your footwear? Yes. These things actually exist, and even some are made right here in The States. Affordable ones too. Exciting, right? We think so. Here are a couple of our personal faves: 

Red Wing Leather Men's Logger Boot  ~  These bad boys are not only leather, but they are waterproof and resistant too, thanks to a leather dura-seal the American made company uses. This boot is insulated for maximum warmth and carries a steel toe for added security/durability. And with a sole that rugged your feet are bound to stay perfectly flat on any hazardous terrain. Red Wing boots are built to last a lifetime. This is one seriously stylish boot (also available in black), it's just too bad they don't come in ladies sizes.  

Women's L.L. Bean Boots ~ This company has been turning out perfect snow-weather boots for men, women and kids for decades now. We love that the Maine-based company still manufactures the majority of their products there (these particular boots included), and we are crazy about the warmth and comfort of their boots that are surprisingly very cute. L.L. Bean has many styles to choose from, but we are quite fond of this dark leather look with red soles. We've road tested this pair during a very snowy season and can assure you that not only will your toes remain warm, but your likelihood of slipping in these is slim to none.  

So there you have it. Some affordable, warm, and slip-free options for your feet to get you through the slushy winter months in style. Check out L.L. Bean and Red Wing for more boot options, and have a safe and toasty winter!