Places + Travels + Vanity + Wearables

Snow, melting snow, ice, and the stupidest/best boots.


I swear I’m getting closer to having my second Stockholm post finished up (I edited my photos down from 2000+ to 66! Progress!), but in the mean time, here are some really stupid boots I bought! OK, they’re actually not stupid at all, but since I can hear the creak of eyeballs rolling out of their sockets right now, I might as well acknowledge that they do appear to be the footwear choice of complete idiots.

If you (a) live in New York, (b) following someone who lives in New York on any form of social media, or (c) live in the US and own a computer or a television, then you are probably aware that we’ve had a whole lot of snowstorms here this winter. None of them have been devastatingly huge individually, but the sum total has been…well, it’s been exhausting, even for an avowed snow-lover like myself. Sanitation trucks can’t fit down the streets with alternate side parking suspended, so there are trash bags frozen to the sidewalk layered with snow and ice and more trash bags and snow with cigarettes and coffee cups on top (for garnish). Trash bag parfaits, if you will. It’s disgusting. It’s also tough to navigate the massive slush puddles* at every corner and the ice-encrusted streets, especially with wind and snow whipping at your cheeks and eyes.

*Bill Cunningham’s photo essay of men attempting to jump slush puddles is fantastic.

Anyway, yesterday it hit 51°F, and all of these giant hills of snow started melting with a vengeance, creating rivers of salt-brine and filth. And you know what? I was PREPARED. I was prepared because last weekend, in a fit of madness after discovering that my decade-old, much-loved brown Frye boots were apparently starting to dissolve from constant exposure to salt and snow, I ordered a pair of rain boots. Super-ridiculous high-heeled rain boots, mind you—Sorel Medina Rain Heels, to be precise. Short review: They are AWESOME.

I have a pair of serious snow boots that I wear when I’m upstate, but wearing them in the city is kind of silly. They’re overkill, and I wind up avoiding wearing them because my feet get hot and I don’t feel like dealing with changing in and out of them at the office (and carrying shoes with me, etc.). I don’t find regular rain boots comfortable enough to walk in for long distances, and again, I don’t really want to sit around in them at work all day long. Basically, if I can’t wear a pair of shoes from the time I leave my apartment to when I come home at night, they’re just going to sit in the closet.

The difference with these Sorel boots is they look like regular footwear, yet are totally waterproof (aside from the gusset, they’re completely rubber—even the heel is rubber-wrapped) and have excellent traction on the soles. I walked across patches of ice, went down slushy subway stairs, and stepped in deep puddles, and my feet and ankles felt steady and stable the whole time. No sliding, no slipping. (Funnily enough, the only time I had an issue was in my office, where the rubber soles skidded on the flat carpet and I almost tripped.) Because the shoe has a hidden platform, the heel height doesn’t actually feel very high—it’s comparable to walking around in my favorite boots in the whole world.* I’ve only walked about two sidewalk miles in them so far, but I don’t doubt that I could spend a whole day on my feet in them, just like I can in my Leslies.

*For some horrible reason, Frye has discontinued the Leslie Zip Booties! Tragic. They are the best boots. You can still get them on sale in a few sizes on Amazon, though. Sigh.

I have no doubt that these guys are going to become my go-to footwear every time it’s wet outside, regardless of the season. We get a lot of rain in New York, and I’ve gotta stop killing my leather boots—which I expect to have and wear for decades—by constantly subjecting them weather conditions they’re not designed for. High-heeled rubber rain boots, welcome to my world. Let the people laugh at us, I don’t care. I hope to get many years of use out of you!


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  • Reply Cristina February 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I’m terribly sick of snow and terribly in love with those boots! How fabulous!

  • Reply L February 22, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Those boots are AWESOME!

  • Reply Christa February 22, 2014 at 10:24 am

    “trash bag parfait” — made me snort-laugh. your boots are darling.

  • Reply Marlene February 22, 2014 at 10:49 am

    That video is truly hilarious–and Bill Cunningham sounds like a real gem. LOVE that you have found something both practical and stylish, hard to do! Also, you crack me up. “coffee cups and cigarettes for garnish”–genius.

    In all seriousness, I hope you New Yorkers don’t get any more snow this season! We had similar mountains of it a few years ago in Boston–it was miserable!

  • Reply Monica February 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Now this would be embarrassing if I bought a third pair of shoes on your recommendation… (<3 you, Leslies)

    • Anna @ D16 February 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Would I steer you wrong, Monica? 😉

  • Reply FAKEBLONDE February 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I’m loving those boots! We get snow here maybe once every two years., but they’d be fun to have and look at 😉

  • Reply Simone February 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I hope the Swedish designed Swedese stools that look like Aalto 2014 are amongst your 66+ pictures, they are really beautiful (name and designer blackout I’m afraid). For a moment I was afraid you had some sort of flu (planes have a lot of bugs in their airsupply system and apparently as travelers people have no right to fresh air on flights). Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Anna @ D16 February 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

      I definitely saw the Swedese stools on display, but I don’t think I took any photos.

    • Simone February 25, 2014 at 4:04 am

      There is a nice post here about the stool and the designer:

  • Reply Debra February 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Boy, do you deliver a complete package, with links that work! The tread on the Medina’s shows up better on Zappos. I am on the verge of taking your word, and hope I don’t wind up on my butt. I slip really easily, but hate carrying shoes around as well. Plus, you are right about those Fryes. Not sure whether I can afford to follow this blog. Well done.

  • Reply Stephanie February 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Oh wow, I was laughing so hard as I read your story about the frozen snow/garbage turning to slush/garbage. I can relate as my husband and I lived in NYC for six years before we returned to the Pacific Northwest. We experienced a lot: blizzard, transit strike, garbage strike, etc. There’s nothing quite like dirty snow in New York!
    I was wondering if you could share the name of your “serious” snow boots?

    • Anna @ D16 February 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Stephanie, I actually can’t find a brand label ANYWHERE on the snow boots! I changed out the insole a long time ago, and I think it must have only been there. They’re similar to these, but I can’t find anything exactly the same. I bought them 7-8 years ago, so I’m not sure they even still exist.

  • Reply knirkus February 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I actually loved the look of those boots, and when you said they were rainboots, they became perfect! We tend to have three out of four seasons being rainboot seasons here, so I now have a new number one shoe too get my fingers on. I thank you, my hubby probably not so much 😀

  • Reply Sue Erneta from Sue at Home February 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I have the same ones and though they feel a little silly, they have saved me many evenings this winter when wearing nice shoes would have looked stupid and wearing snow boots would have looked lame. I’m 5′ 1″ with a 6’2″ husband so evenings out require heels in a big way! I first fell in love with them when we shot in Ladies’ Home Journal. (I’m the fashion editor for the magazine.)

    • Anna @ D16 February 23, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I think they make me about 5’10”, which is great! I love being taller on the subway. 🙂

  • Reply Chris February 23, 2014 at 12:15 am

    these boots are SO FUN!!!

  • Reply jja February 23, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Wow those boots are beautiful!

  • Reply susan hutchinson (@fleurishing) February 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Oh I love those boots…no judgement here! Loved the Bill Cunningham piece-hilarious!

  • Reply Natalie / Half Asleep Studio February 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Oh my gosh, I know exactly what you’re talking about! I used to have boots a lot like these… everyone thought I was crazy because I’m not really a high heel wearer (although I prob. should be because I’m only 5’3″) but I always wore high heeled boots like these out into the snow so I could tower above the dangerously cold slush puddles and not get wet. But eventually the ‘slip grip’ wore off the bottoms and I started falling on the ice a lot though… so be warned!

    • Anna @ D16 February 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      I’m pretty diligent about bringing my boots (all of them) in for maintenance, so I’ll definitely have the sole replaced when/if necessary. 🙂

  • Reply Londen February 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Funny post. I have ruined many a shoe here in Chicago land and finally got a little smarter about our winters. Last year I bought a pair of ugg ashdale waterproof warm and cozy shoes. Not the prettiest but I ended up loving them and wearing them a lot. I like your boots, I missed them on my waterproof hunt.

  • Reply Nicki February 24, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Oh man, those snow/trash mountains are serious business! I had to walk over a huge snow pile a few days ago to get into a cab, and I thought, “wow, it must be really frozen, I didn’t sink at all”. Then I realized I was walking on a giant pile of frozen garbage covered in a blanket of snow. New York is so glamorous, right?

  • Reply Danyelle February 25, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I considered getting these boots when I was doing pre-snow-mageddon-pocalypse shopping. But since I’m 5’10, I like to stay a little closer to the ground for stability. I got the lower heeled ones instead and I love how I can wear them during warmer weather as rain boots.

    • Anna @ D16 February 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      I was going back an forth between those and the ones I bought. I recommended them to someone else who was asking about a lower-heeled version, too. They’re so cute!

  • Reply karen March 1, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Ugh, so sorry about the troll.

    I enjoyed this post a lot – that Bill Cunningham video was so hilarious! My parents are from Buffalo originally, with a number of years spent living/working in Chicago. I can vaguely remember my dad wearing rubber galoshes over his dress shoes for work…back in 1975. They are retired to Phoenix now & can’t say enough how much they adore the weather there compared to winters in New York!!

  • Reply Anna @ D16 March 2, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Dear people who for whatever reason can seem to stop themselves from reading all of my blog posts, tweets, and Instagram comments despite disliking pretty much everything about me:

    That’s enough. I get that you feel like heroes when you bravely tell me off while hiding behind your fake email addresses, but I don’t care. I really, truly do not. It bothers me more that there are people in the world who would aggrandize someone’s blog to the point of feeling the need to TAKE ‘EM DOWN! than anything you’re saying about me does.

    You are not a hero, you are not clever, you are not saving the world from my evil, evil, ways.

    I may be a hypocritical juvenile sellout with bad taste and leather shoes, but I’m not stupid—and I have no interest in appeasing you. Go. Away. Find something you like. Don’t worry about me. I’m nothing. You’re wasting your time.

    (Yes, I deleted the comments that were here before. I replied to them all. If you missed them, too bad. I tried to email them to you as well, but all of your addresses bounced. Naturally.)

  • Reply Alis March 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Ew, that last picture. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to get a magic carpet to navigate around that nastiness. The boots aren’t stupid at all, in fact they look pretty good! I didn’t even notice they were rubber until closer inspection. I hardly ever wear my rubber boots in the city (so uncomfortable when stepping indoors) and found that patent leather is actually quite waterproof 🙂

  • Reply Stacey March 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Those are some kick ass boots!

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