We’re overrun with sneakers. Every week, kicks of all shapes and colors, from retro Air Jordans to 4D Runners, drop around the globe. But when it comes to boots, that rainbow of styles becomes a single beige dot. Sorry, “wheat” dot.
In street style, Timberland’s 6-Inch boot is a monolith. Repped by everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan to Virgil Abloh, this single silhouette reaches across decades to dominate the category known as “boots that don’t suck.” Just look at the line outside any Supreme Xmas tee drop: when there’s snow on the ground and beaters won’t do, an entire subculture reaches for the same black or tan Timbs.
But since when has sameness been cool? As with sneakers, the world of boots has heat in all forms. With winter arriving, we’ve trudged through mountains of snow gear to find some of the freshest boots out there. Check out our list of street-ready standouts that aren’t just Timbs B.
Vasque Skywalk GTX ($200)
Decades of expertise meets modern material science on the Vasque Skywalk GTX, a vintage-inspired gem built to handle snow and slush. The first name in heritage hikers, Minnesota-based Vasque has been in the boots business since 1964. Its old-school credentials recently caught the eye of KITH founder Ronnie Fieg who, earlier this season, collaborated with the brand on a series of exclusive models (including one inspired by this style). A GORE-TEX liner backs up the Skywalk’s throwback suede paneling.
The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux ($130)
You know the jackets. You know the packs. Now, get to know The North Face’s boots. The California brand goes back to its roots with the Back-to-Berkeley, a ’70s-inspired trail shoe named after TNF’s hometown. Grippy outsoles and a durable leather upper are joined by another welcome feature: affordability. For just $130, the Back-to-Berkeley makes a compelling case for being named “best-wearing winter shoe.” After all, if you can’t trudge through slush in it without fear, you might as well wear YEEZYs.
Nike ACG Ruckel Ridge ($180)
While Beaverton, Oregon averages just 2 inches of snow per year, Nike sure knows how to make an all-conditions shoe. The ACG Ruckel Ridge is a lightweight hiking shoe that borrows styling and tech from the Swoosh’s main catalog — just don’t call it a sneakerboot. Co-designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield, the Ruckel Ridge made its return earlier this year. It’s available now in an ’80s-approved British tan/habanero red colorway, so if your commute takes you through avalanche country, just wave your shoes — heat this spicy both melts and glows.
visvim Virgil Folk ($1,250)
visvim rose to prominence with the FBT, a hand-stitched sneaker worn by the likes of Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. But that’s far from its only ace shoe. A cult favorite, the Virgil Folk is a Horween leather tank inspired by vintage work boots. Goodyear welting ensures sturdy, weatherproof construction, while visvim’s signature cushioning adds a touch of modern comfort to a traditional design. While the Virgil Folk isn’t cheap, designer Hiroki Nakamura’s obsession with quality ensures these boots will last.
Yuketen Maine Guide DB ($759)
Founded in 1989, Yuketen is designer Yuki Matsuda’s love letter to Americana. The Maine Guide DB is his take on a classic hunting boot. Handmade in the USA, slabs of Chromexcel suede from Chicago’s Horween tannery are joined at the toe through genuine moccasin construction. The Native American-inspired upper meets a rugged Vibram outsole, a modernized take on the slip-proof soles favored in Maine marshes. If the book Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style set you on a path toward Japanese Americana revivals, let this boot be your Guide.
Diemme Beige Anatra ($525)
In streetwear, duck boots tend to get a bad rap. Perhaps if hordes of ’80s preppies had chosen Italy’s finest, that wouldn’t be the case. The Anatra is Italian brand Diemme’s take on this classic winter style. Deerskin upper, tonal hardware, and a silky shearling lining up the luxury factor, while the shoe’s relaxed silhouette lets it fold into any oversized cold-weather ’fit. Finally, a classic duck boot detail: a rubberized toe box that keeps your feet dry, no matter the terrain.
ECCO Exostrike Mid Dyneema ($300)
Danish shoemaker ECCO is known for pushing the envelope in leather innovation. Its latest high-tech hiker, the Exostrike Mid, is no exception. The boot’s claim to fame is its ultra-strength upper, which is made from leather bonded with Dyneema (a compound used in body armor and tow cables). The Exostrike wraps your ankle in a durable, waterproof yet lightweight glove. While the design might not be as timeless as some others out there, fans of pure performance should look no further.
1017 ALYX 9SM Knit Hiking Boots ($520)
Matthew M. Williams does it all: Nike collabs, Dior co-signs, and all with a focus on sustainability. New from his 1017 ALYX 9SM brand are the Knit Hiking Boots, which are as incongruous as they are ingenious. The boot is a high-tech twist on the outdoor standard: a max-tread Vibram sole keeps your foot locked in while a sock-like knit upper does little to support your ankle. Its function, then? To make the boot look damn cool. So if your definition of “all-terrain” extends to Fall/Winter fashion weeks, these are the boots for you.