When it comes to winter boots for the 2013 - 2014 season, women have loads of options. Booties, ankle boots and knee-high boots are all hot, and, no matter what your heel preference is, there's plenty to choose from.
Below are some of the hottest winter boot trends of the year. When you're done checking those out, be sure to have a look at a few of the season's cutest winter boots, or, my top picks in winter boots for women.
Boots for Fall or Winter?
Shoe stores don't generally sell all of their their fall boots, then restock a whole new selection of styles for winter. So, usually, the majority of fashion boots that are available to us in the winter are going to be the same styles that were available to us in the fall.
This year, that equates to a plethora of casual styles: western, motorcycle-inspired, chelsea boots, and simple, streamlined knee high boots. Also, this season, we also have a larger-than-normal selection of boots with flat, mid-height, and chunky heels -- any of which are a better option for slippery winter sidewalks than boots with thin, high heels.
And just because the fall boots don't go away once winter arrives, doesn't mean there aren't any new choices for colder months. There's always small selection of those same fall styles with extra bits of fluff or padding that make those same designs seem more suitable for winter than they did for the earlier fall months.
What about Heels?
Of course you'd never look for snow boots with heels, but when it comes to winter fashion boots, you can get a bit of added height by looking for styles that feature low and mid-height heels. A lot of years, finding such boots would be a daunting task, but thanks to this year's chunky, flat, and mid-height trends, there is an abundance of heeled winter boots to choose from.
I'm especially loving 2013's selection of short styles with broad heels -- they're great for pairing with long skirts, pants or jeans. And when you have to do a lot of walking, they're much more comfortable than stilettos.
Look for Laces
Front laces are always a nice feature on snow boots, because they allow you to tighten the boots, thereby providing a more customized fit. Top ties are especially nice since they can be tightened to prevent snow, moisture, and cold from entering via the top of the boots.
But this year, it's not just snow boots that are sporting lace-up fronts. Thanks to the trends towards grunge and combat boots, plenty of this year's winter fashion boots also feature full front lacing.
It is worth noting that, in some cases, the laces are only decorative -- so, if you do plan on using the laces in a practical way, you'll want to be sure they can actually be tightened.
Casual and Sporty Styles
Because they serve such a practical purpose, there's almost always an element of sportiness to snow boots. But this year, I've been noticing a lot of those same features making their way onto more fashionable styles as well.
Lace-up fronts; boots with "duck" style waterproof shoes; boots that kind of look like really tall sneakers; short boots; flat boots; and lots and lots of bulkier, puffier styles.
Not sure exactly what I mean by "puffy?" Think of the footwear equivalent of down jackets.
Like I said, most of these features aren't unusual enough to call trends -- they're pretty much standard fare in the world of cold weather footwear. But, since this year's hottest fashion boots are also casual in nature, there's less of a distinction between boots that are designed exclusively for practicality, and styles that put form over function.
While this may not be the best news for those of you who prefer really dressy winter boots, it's great for anyone on a budget, because one pair of well-chosen boots will look cute with your favorite jeans and keep you warm and dry all winter.
But just looking casual and sporty doesn't mean a pair of boots will safeguard your feet in the winter. If you really need protection from freezing temperatures, ice and snow, you'll want to check out this article on how to choose snow boots.