8 Winterized Sneakers That Can Handle the Season’s Worst Conditions — And Look Good Doing It
The sneakers you know and love, made a little bit tougher
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For all the coats, sweaters and various layering possibilities winter affords us, one part of our wardrobe that doesn’t really get much chance to shine during the coldest and messiest of the seasons is our sneaker collection.
Sure, you could technically brave the inclement weather in your usual offerings of slip-ons and high-tops, as long as you accept the very real possibility of busting some serious ass while doing so, not to mention dirtying your favorite pairs. But more often than not, we just resign ourselves to days spent tirelessly lacing and unlacing boots, and limiting ourselves sartorially in the process.
Instead of going that route, this year direct your attention to winter sneakers, a categories of shoes designed to withstand the hazardous conditions specific to the season.
Often these sneakers arrive in silhouettes and styles you already know and love, but with various reinforcing elements built into the soles and uppers that will keep your feet dry and ensure that you don’t fall flat on your ass. Think of them as sneakers on steroids.
Below are eight winter sneakers more than equipped to trek through the snow, slush, sleet and whatever else the season throws at you.
Nike Air Force 1 GTX Boot
Nike keeps the silhouette of their classic Air Force 1s, reinforcing them with heavy-duty elements like GORE-TEX lining, larger lugs on the outsole and a removable silicone ankle strap, allowing you to rock the same look, just in a way that’s more conducive to winter.
Converse Bosey MC GORE-TEX
As classic as Converse’s Chuck Taylors are, they unfortunately don’t do great on slick surfaces. Luckily you don’t have to abandon the silhouette thanks to their Bosey MC GORE-TEX “boot.” The sneaker/boot hybrid adds to the high-top design you already know and love, upping the ante with a rugged outsole tread and textured toe bumper, as well as a water-repellent canvas upper and a cozy fleece lining. For this particular shoe, the brand gleaned inspiration from their archive (looking specifically at the MC18 sneaker) to create a sneaker that’s still instantly recognizable and distinctly Converse, just slightly modernized.
Veja Venturi Bastille B-Mesh and Leather Trainers
If there’s one feature that’s most beneficial when you’re trekking through the snow, it’s a heavy-duty sole. Veja’s Venturi Bastille sneaker offers more than enough durability and traction via it’s slightly wild sole, the curves and chunkiness of which allow you to trek through treacherous conditions with ease. Keeping in line with the rest of the brand’s sneakers, the Bastilles are made from Veja’s innovative B-mesh material that’s water-repellent, breathable and crafted from recycled water bottles. Besides, there’s no going wrong with an all-black sneaker, especially in winter.
HOKA Challenger Mid GORE-TEX
Maybe you’ve always secretly (never outwardly) admired the aesthetic of Yeezys, but could never pull the trigger considering the exorbitant price tag and your perfectly reasonable refusal to support to Kanye in any way. But if you still find yourself enticed by the military-inspired silhouettes and hues that have come to define the brand, opt instead for something similar in the way of HOKA’s Challenger Mid GORE-TEX. Outfitted with the brand’s all-terrain outsole and 4mm sticky rubber lugs, it’s a shoe that’s made for walkin’.
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
Adidas might categorize these as hiking shoes, but we don’t see why they wouldn’t work as everyday winter sneakers. The Continental Rubber outsole and abrasion-resistant reinforcements is what makes them suitable for all types of terrain, but they doesn’t mean they sacrifice comfort in the process, thanks to the brand’s beloved Boost technology, a responsive cushioning that delivers the energy for a sure and confident step.
Vans Sk8-Hi Del Pato MTE
Part duck boot, part sneaker, Vans takes their beloved Sk8-Hi design and winterizes it as part of their MTE Collection. The durable leather and textile upper is treated with a water-repellant TecTuff finish, capable of resisting abrasions, scuffs, oils, stains and water. To ensure your feet stay nice n’ toasty, the shoe features a warm lining with a heat-retention layer between the sockliner and outsole, so one wrong step won’t leave your socks drenched. And we’d be remiss not to mention the vulcanized lug outsole, which utilizes 20 years of snow boot history to make for a sole that won’t leave you on your ass.
Camper Drift Sneakers
Another sneaker that utilizes the power of GORE-TEX technology (which, for those unfamiliar, it essentially repels water, making it an ideal fabric for all-weather use) Camper’s Drift sneaker hearkens back to the sporty sneakers of the 90s, but allows for an air of mystery thanks to the nondescript design and covert brand detailing, which is so subtle that people might actually believe you’ve had them for 20+ years.
The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Low WP
For those days you want that crunchy granola look but don’t want to put your feet through the often arduous task of wearing heavy hiking boots, consider The North Face’s Back-to-Berkeley sneakers, which offer the same aesthetic and functional benefits of your favorite hiking boots, but in a slip-on silhouette. Crafted with a waterproof leather upper, IcePick temperature-sensitive rubber lugs for increased traction and TNF’s Winter Grip rubber outsole, the sneakers are topped off with retro detailing like the orange laces and blue pull tabs.
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