Mother Nature was a little too generous with precipitation last weekend and brought that lovely white substance that will haunt campus until next April. This begins the season of unoriginality: winter. UGG Boots, Sorels, Hunters and Timberlands will substitute the Sperry’s and fall booties, but there is a way to dodge this monotonous shoe season.  

Claire Henderson, creative director for Volta fashion and lifestyle magazine, has some tips to avoid blending in with every other Western student.

She starts off by recommending potential outfit choices to add originality to the typical winter outfits. 

“Layering is a big thing – you can wear a lot of the same things but add longer, thinner layers underneath or just a sweater on top of a collared shirt,” Henderson says.

Accessory pieces that add colour or pop to an outfit are essential as well.

Henderson explains winter can feel boring after wearing the same jacket, scarf and hat everyday. She recommends finding different styles of coats to keep options fresh every day.

However, the most restricting aspect of winter is the slush and snow that can ruin the best of shoes. Henderson knows it’s the worst season for one’s shoe style to prosper, but she lists a few options to consider.

Among the classic Sorels and Timberlands, the Chelsea boot is a new style that popular brands are picking up. She also recommends looking beyond the conventional models by finding different colours or models within trusted companies.

“There are just different styles to look into so I would encourage people to not just see the classic and think, ‘That’s what I’m suppose to buy,' ” says Henderson. “If you look into it a bit more with the same trust brands they have different options.”

Doc Martens, Blundstones and winterized sneakers are potential shoes that can be worn in the winter. Thick wool socks are also an essential when styling footwear since they add an additional layer of warmth to the feet.

Henderson, an avid sneaker wearer, gushes about the new line of winterized Nike Air Max 90s. The model has a higher sole and ankle to prevent snow from getting into the shoe. However, any leather sneaker paired with a good sock can work in the winter, since they freeze as easily as canvas. Henderson recommends staying fearless with your sneakers and not worrying about wearing them in the winter. 

“You don’t have to be afraid to get your shoes dirty — weather protects them," she says. "Having a good shoe cleaner and shoe protector is probably the most important for the winter.”

Winter may prevent most shoes from being worn in the slush but being prepared with the right options can keep you stylish even during the annual polar vortex. Henderson’s final recommendation is to be adventurous with your shoe choice by not limiting your options.

“Don’t be afraid to wear something that’s a bit different because it’s really fun to express yourself through your footwear," she says. "If you’re in the store and you find yourself attracted to a winterized pair of shoes that you may have not considered in the past or didn’t think was cool, just go for it. If it’s going to keep your foot warm and you like it, then do it."


Culture editor for volume 109 and 110, Samah spends her time bingewatching Netflix and sipping Starbucks while critiquing music, film and social media. She's specializing in Women's Studies and minoring in Creative Writing.

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