Elegant winter shoes can look like an oxymoron. When the temperature drops, we're not keen on looking at stilettos, because snowfall, moon boots are about as sexy as we are. Fortunately on the runways of Prada, Bottega Veneta, and others, designers prioritized functional shoes and did not sacrifice style. And just to become baseball, buyers at your favorite stores agree. We pulled five women into the biggest department stores – Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, MatchesFashion, Moda Operandi and Browns respectively – to give us the coolest shoes for the coldest season. Read on for their best choices ahead.
"Winter shoes are knee-high," said Erica Russo, Bloomingdale's vice president and fashion director. & # 39; It's been some time since style has been front and center, and it's a great investment piece you can still have for years. & # 39; The knee height had a sleepy style in the wake of the ankle boot, but the 70s silhouette is back with a vengeance. "This silhouette has been out of fashion for so long that it's coming back, it's exciting, with brands like Paris Texas really building the fashion insights," says Ida Petersson of Browns.
Kate Bellman, the fashion director of footwear at Nordstrom, gives us a theory on why we are moving to the sleek silhouette. "A resounding trend of the season is to adapt, and the same goes for footwear. It comes to life in a structured knee-high boot." You can wear them with a midi skirt for work, or our new favorite outfit, style: – trousers tied in streamlined knee-highs so we can be the horse girl we always knew we were .
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"In short, the thicker the soles, the cooler they look," says Lisa Aiken, fashion director at Moda Operandi. "These boots add the right amount of edge to girls and are a fair purchase because it's super practical." Thick soles are what everyone winter boots should have regardless of the designer brand, so we finally have a shoe that can handle the sludge. "The air sole is the prefect shoe for bad weather," Russo explains. "The underside offers grip, but cool accents like shaving and hair calf mean you want to wear them when it's sunny,"
The air sole continues the walking trend that began last year, along with the obsession with the season of everything. You can follow the investment route with Prada's combat boots – complete with single pockets – but there are affordable OG styles like Doc Martens' platform pair. If you want to take out the full 90's like the Spice Girls emo member, Ida Petersson of Browns says, "the 032C collaboration with Buffalo London is my absolute favorite."
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The square toe first appears on the spring 2018 runway ("The holy grail is Bottega Veneta," says Petersson), but the corner edge is still strong. Italian brand shoes led by Daniel Lee are still selling out everywhere, so "if you can't get your hands on them, Wandler, Reike Nen and Manu Atelier & # 39; equally incredible price tags, ”she suggests. You won’t be tired of this trend anytime soon, because brands are reworking it in every style. "Designers have added this square detail to varying degrees from a wonderful bootie to an evening shoe."
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Like the coordinating trend of handbags, animal print is a new way to refresh your favorite silhouette and color. "Exotic details flew straight into our stores from the runway," says Bellman. Whether you are neon or neutral, there is a way to get wild for everyone's aesthetics. "Graphic snake or crocodile in bold color is an essential item for winter, and the material also looks incredibly polished in brown, the color of the season."
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There's an exception this winter for non-practical shoes, and that's because it's finally party time. "We're in this moment when the glamor of the evening is exactly what everyone wants to wear," Aiken says. If sparkly stilettos aren't your thing, hit the dance floor with the return of smart apartments. "Ballet slippers are also reviving," says Kingham. "The Row, Brock Collection and Midnight 00 bring something ultra-feminine and unique to this trend." So, if you are not struggling with practical shoes in winter happened to be Proenza Schouler, it tends to take you.
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Justine Carreon is the market editor at ELLE.com, which again covers fashion, Dutch ovens and fashion.