How To Winterize Your Sneaker Game

Nike’s 2013 SneakerBoot Collection
Photo: Nike

Winter’s coming! Hide your kids (sneakers), hide your wives (other sneakers). Shackle the shutters, gather your loved ones and light a fire! (Not with sneakers. #RIPLeftEye)

All right, calm down. Just because snow will soon dust the ground doesn’t mean that you absolutely must say good-bye to sneaks for several gloomy months. In fact, there’s hope for us all, sneaker lovers. We have options. Good ones! So take a deep breath, find acceptance in your mind grapes for the upcoming season, and let’s discuss ways to keep sneakers in regular winter rotation without sacrificing them to slush, salt, snow and doom. No shade to boots, though. Boots are great. We love boots. All hail boots! But back to sneakers.

OPTION 1: SneakerBoots

Blizzard? It’s snow big deal.
Photo: (Clockwise from left) Adidas Attitude Duck Boots, Nike Dunk Hi SneakerBoot (Kith NYC), Nike Roshe Run SneakerBoot, Nike Dunk Hi SneakerBoot

Yes, the SneakerBoot. Historically not the most attractive option, until Lord Nike came along and released their 2013 SneakerBoot collection. Incorporating favorites such as the Roshe Run ($85.00) and Sky Hi ($180.00), the collection integrates weather proofing, traction and height so that you can step outside in some Max 90s ($140.00) without freezing to death. Not many other brands have adapted their classic favorites to take on the elements, but some offer actual boots. A few aren’t so bad, like the Adidas Attitude Duck Boot ($100.00). Others incite rage face.

OPTION 2: High Tops & Wedges

Nature’s finest.
Photo: (Clockwise from left) Nike Dunk Sky Hi Blackout, Alexander McQueen x Puma Joutesse Mid Wedge, Air Jordan 3 Retro Crimson, Circus By Sam Edelman Willa Hidden Wedge

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but high top sneakers make for natural booties. As long as you steer clear of puddles and streams, a good sneaker-wedge or pair of Jordans can provide warmth, support and the drizzle protection that a pair of canvas Chucks do not adequately provide.

It must be noted: one school of thought dictates that your bestest pairs of sneakers MUST NEVER SEE BAD WEATHER. I subscribe to this, so if you choose to wear high tops in foul weather, I urge you to choose wisely. Designate winter selects that you won’t be heartbroken to sacrifice to the elements, and then don’t forget to slip on a wooly pair ’o socks to make sure your toes don’t fall off on those cruel, cold days. Darker colorways are a good choice, like the Air Jordan 3 Retro Crimson ($140.00) or Nike Dunk Sky Hi Blackout ($120.00). Urban Outfitters offers a wide selection of wedges, including the Circus By Sam Edelman Willa Hidden Wedge ($100.00). If you’re a baller, Alexander McQueen paired with Puma to design the Joutesse Mid Wedge ($365.00).

OPTION 3: Watch The Weather

Assuming you may have a phone with a weather app on it, use it. And if a promising snow-free day lies ahead of you, wear those Flyknits, my little sandwich! Although the weather icon can tell lies on occasion, sometimes we like to live dangerously and hope for the best. We’re grown-ass people; we do what we want. Here’s a tip: if you don’t have a weather app, an alternative is to look out the window.

OPTION 4: Move To Warm Places

Then you can wear whatever you want, whenever you want, you jerk.

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