Dressing for winter is a conundrum in and of itself. There's the issue of layering (at what point do you start looking like Joey Tribbiani from that one Friends episode?), and then there's the question of footwear (do you forego more stylish options for admittedly functional snow boots?). Perhaps more so than anyone else, though, New Yorkers are faced with the added challenge of managing to balance both function and fashion when getting dressed for any day of traversing Manhattan's icy avenues. Living in the East Coast city requires a specific set of city-appropriate shoe choices, which are only magnified during the winter months.
To get an idea of the best and, consequently, the worst winter shoes for NYC, we went straight to the source and asked some of our favorite city-dwelling fashion girls. Maybe you, like me, are curious about which styles could possibly be functional enough for the city and be dubbed a trend. Or maybe you're simply looking for some winter style inspiration from New York. Whatever the case, we had them weigh in on the current shoe trends they'll be passing on for the time being—whether it be cute but impractical feather-adorned heels or the dad sneakers that are simply better suited to warmer weather—and which shoe trends they're putting to the test instead.
From editors to influencers to stylists, keep reading to get inspired by the shoe trends this stylish group of women approves of for winter.
Won't Wear… Feather Heels
Will Wear… Chunky Combat Boots
"I'm skipping the maribou feather trend this season because I've fallen for it in the past, only to find they're not wearable in New York. They don't really get worn as much as I thought they would, plus they fall apart the longer you wear them. They look fun but aren't realistic. Pass. Instead, I'm sticking with my go-to: a chunky, black combat boot. Not only are they trendy, but they're actually practical for trudging around in the snow, and I can wear them with dresses, jeans—you name it." — Alyssa Coscarelli, freelance fashion editor and consultant
Won't Wear… PVC Shoes
Will Wear… Cowboy Boots
"The PVC boot—squished toes and visible sweat, it's a no from me! Ditto to the sock boot in any iteration, but especially the flat thigh style that moving toward something a little chunkier and more relaxed. Instead, I'm really enjoying the cowboy boots trend right now; it's an easy way to incorporate a playful element into my look." — Amrit Sidhu, DJ and creative consultant
Won't Wear… Sock Boots
Will Wear… Classic Pumps
"I'm not into sock boots anymore, because it was a style so tied to last year that it feels too trend based now. Plus, that skinny heel on NY sidewalks is just asking for a heel scrape. Also, my style is evolving to embrace the block heel, which feels more me. I have a couple that spring to mind. One is the Western boot. I love my Ganni croc ankle boots, which go with anything, plus my vintage cowboy boots, which to me will forever stand the test of time. Shoe wise, I'm partial to any Pheobe Philo–esque slip-on pump style with block heels. I still think they're the ugly classic that just won't die." — Karen Blanchard, influencer
Won't Wear… Overly Trendy Shoes
Will Wear… Functional Shoes
"I am skipping anything remotely 'trendy.' I don't think it is smart to shop based on trends, and to be honest, the older I get, the less I am concerned with trends (beyond being able to identify them). I think anyone at the forefront of their respective industry is starting to think a bit this way and moving toward essentialism and what is actually needed. For me, that's a pair of shoes that are functional, good-looking, and easy to wear. Think Blundstone's original Chelsea boots, Prada and Celine (and many other designers) have released shoes modeled after them. They are simple, fuss-free, and get the job done." — Juliana Salazar, creative strategist and stylist
Won't Wear… Dad Sneakers
Will Wear… Platform Combat Boots
"I will be skipping dad sneakers this winter. Paired with all of the bulky clothes needed to keep warm, a more feminine sneaker or a boot will make me feel a little more put together. The trend I do plan on wearing? Dr. Martens platform boots, which I've seen a lot of people in NY wearing recently. They're functional, go with basically everything, and make me two inches taller—what more could you ask for from a winter shoe? I will also never stop wearing cowboy boots, no matter the season." — Michelle Salem, brand manager at Opening Ceremony