Winter is coming and I"m looking for two pairs of shoes, one for the 20-50 degree range and one that will survive in temperatures ranging from 20 to -15 or so. Last year I had my Vivo Barefoot, which did fine in 20-50 degrees, but didn't meet all my criteria for the perfect boot which is:
Have you found any shoes/boots like this? I'm considering these (wish they were a little more girly) and these, but I've never bought these brands so I don't know what their weight/flexiblity is like.
I've been on the same hunt, and no perfect answer yet.
I might be a dork, but I often wear shearling slippers with a flexible outdoor sole when it is snowy (doesn't work as well in the rain). I guess that's the idea behind Uggs, not the most feminine though.
I've been impressed with the flexibility of the soles on Josef Siebel, Ecco, and Rieker city style boots, but they probably aren't as rough and tumble ready as you are looking for from the examples listed.
I found these on etsy and am intrigued, but they don't look like they'd stand up to water: http://www.etsy.com/listing/67336481/uzbek-hand-made-natural-sheep-skin?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_query=uzbekistan&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade
I've also heard of people wearing neoprene surf booties for a barefoot feel in the winter. I haven't tried it yet though.
Camper makes a really good product, have worn different styles over the years and have loved them.
For me, my Asolo's and OR Expedition Crocodile Goretex gaiters have saved my life these NY winters. For snow days they are my go-to, even dressed in full couture. Being a W. Coaster and avid snowshoe-er I give up on poncey girlie shoes on the crap days and have been known to put the gaiters over my Chucks on powder days. I also wear Sorels and am in the process of ordering either the Tretorn Kelly or Skerry as we seem to have way too much rain this year and am tired of the soggy shoes.. That being said..
I have been checking out these: http://www.bogsfootwear.com/shop/index.html They meet most of your criteria, and I've been told by friends that are Bogs enthusiasts that they really meet every need for wonter shoes, and are pretty much worn exclusively.
Target has TONS of suede + fur shoes and booties on sale right now. I bought 3 pairs already. They have soles that will stand up to walking on pavement. They aren't treated to be waterproof though. I have 3 pairs (one of which I ruined by accidently spilling black leather dye on them) I'm going to try testing Nikwax leather waterproofing treatment on that pair. I'll let you know how it goes.
Here are photos and links: They come in this light brown color, black and periwinkle http://www.target.com/p/Women-s-Corene-Bootie-Slippers-Chestnut/-/A-13466407
http://www.zappos.com/earth-lodge-2-caribou-suede I got these boots a couple winters back. I wore them in somewhat deep snow and they kept my feet warm (and I have Reynaud's); they do have a bit of a negative heel, it just feels a little wierd when I'm driving.
I ordered these lovely boots: http://www.zappos.com/product/7820202/color/1802
I love the look and I love that they are FLAT. But the soles are rather think. I like the way they perform in sleet/snow/rain though despite the fact that they are suede.
I just saw this Jambu review and they look interesting, but don't seem waterproof enough http://www.barefootangiebee.com/2011/11/jambu-nottingham-boot-review.html
I'm not sure which Vivobarefoots you had last year, but I just ordered those - http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/ladies/boxing-boot-13.html/. They don't have a warm lining but I can wear warm socks with them. The store rep I spoke to also told me they're "splashproof" but not water resistant - but they will be if I spray them with sealant.
It seems the vivobarefoot Brooklyn boot is warm and water-resistant but based on the reviews, the shearling lining would make it much too narrow for my forefoot.
The Boxing boot should arrive by the end of the week - I hope it'll do the trick for me this winter! BTW, they look like galoshes in those pictures but the bpeople I talked to swore they look much better IRL.
I understand what you've been going through. I burned a hole in 2 pairs of dressy, black, waterproof snowboots (nearly 7 years of use!). I didn't realize until after a month of having sole pain, I looked at them carefully!
I've worn shoes from Ecco and the Walking Company that I like a lot for the past 10 years. Some withstand hours of standing at work.
Here's what I purchased this Fall:
Aetrex Berry Tall and Short Boots, and Ecco GTX boots for rain/snow.
They feel like I'm not wearing anything, and I can wear with dresses, skirts, suits, and in clinic! I've gotten compliments from others.
They fit your criteria like mine. :) waterproof, dressy, and goes with almost all clothing!
Looks like the WABI meet all your criteria except the feminine part. I'm guessing the Timberlands have decent support, which I don't think you want. I'm curious to see what you can find - 'barefoot' shoes and boots for winter are always tricky! Good luck!
Forget feminine. I grew up with a big sister who had to wear feminine winter footwear if it killed her, gave her bunions eventually, could have resulted in amputated toes or worse. Spent my whole childhood shaking my head at her in dismay. Hey, give it up. Just forget it, would ya? There's nothing less sexy that a woman with spikes trying to negotiate a patch of ice. It's a mental disease! Man up, and get practical boots, alright?
BTW, what part of Michigan you going to? If it's the upper peninsula, everything I said goes double. I grew up on the Minnesota side of that monster lake, and it's arctic. Get serious sorel mukluks or something. Even then, leave room for extra socks.
minimal work shoes/boots? 7 Answers