Folks, it's time we have a serious discussion about Doc Martens. They are the best boots. I love them. I have had several pairs since high school, including the classic 8-hole leather boots with yellow contrast stitching and a pair of burgundy 3-hole shoes, both of which are as important to me as air.
But as a journalist, it's my job to speak truth to power. Doc Martens are not winter boots. They just aren't. Deep inside, we all know this. They don't provide enough traction, they are not lined for warmth, and they are really, really not waterproof. Every year, I forget that Docs are not winter boots, until I step into a pile of slush and face a cold, harsh reality.
Satire site The Hard Times hilariously parodied this annual bittersweet truth, writing, "Local punk Alicia Lane is spending another long, slippery, water-soaked winter in her insufficiently winterized Doc Marten boots, friends close to the uncomfortable woman confirmed." This article appears on my newsfeed every winter, but this year I am vowing not to be Alicia Lane. The soggy Docs cycle stops now.
Here are some winter boots that still retain that classic punk appeal that makes Docs so treasured — and keep your toes dry.
Sperry Saltwater Winter Luxe Duck Boot, $149.95, Sperry
OK, punks. Duck boots can be cute. These Sperrys feature a ridged gum sole for traction, a rubber upper to keep water out, and a quilted leather shaft for the most image-conscious punks. These boots work equally well in the snow and at the DIY basement noise show.
Wolverine Floorhand Steel Toe Boot, $95, Wolverine
Wolverine boots can withstand even the harshest winters. These leather waterproof boots feature a moisture-wicking lining and reinforced eyelets, as well as a steel toe to protect your feet when you slip on ice. Just don't bring these into the mosh pit — that steel toe can really do some damage.
Timberland Courmayeur Valley Waterproof Boots, $169.99, Timberland
These Timberland boots are as gorgeous as they are functional. With thoughtful design touches, like that gray contrast sole stripe and gunmetal silver hardware, you'll forget all about your Docs until March. Plus, that shearling collar will keep you so warm.
Blundstone Thermal Boots, $224.95, Blundstone
Everyone loves a good Chelsea boot silhouette, and these Blundstone beauties are the winter-ready stylish boots you need. Reinforced loops make it easy to put these on and take off once you get inside, and a Thinsulate lining and removeable sheepskin insole will keep you feeling comfortable enough to fight capitalism.
Columbia Minx Shorty III Boot, $100, Columbia
Goth in the streets, cozy babe in the sleets. These Columbia boots are the quintessential winter boot — a reflective Omni-Heat lining, contrast faux fur collar, and heavy-duty laces take the discomfort out of lugging your guitar to band practice in the snow.
Sorel Tivoli IV Boot, $130, Sorel
These are niiiice. The black-and-white design will match every punk's Joy Division T-shirt, while that serious rubber sole will keep you from losing control out on the ice. That waterproof suede and leather upper is tearing me apart in the best possible way.
North Face Ballard Lace II Suede Boots, $120, North Face
These North Face boots are good for London and Seattle punks who endure rainy weather. They're made of lightweight waterproof suede, so you can stay dry even when there's no snow on the ground. I know you love your Docs, and I love that you love your Docs, but I want your feet to be comfy.
Ugg Kesey Boot, $160, Ugg
Yes, I know, no self-respecting punk would ever wear a pair of Uggs. But you don't need to wear the pink suede cloud boots that symbolized every Regina George in high school: Ugg makes perfectly lovely winter boots, like this waterproof leather pair with a wool lining and ~edgy~ ankle harness strap. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone that they're Uggs.
Dr. Martens 1460 Kolbert DM's Wintergrip Boots, $155, Dr. Martens
If no one can pry your Docs off your cold, soggy feet, at least get a pair of actual Dr. Martens winter boots. Yes, the iconic boot company makes winterized versions of its famous 1460 8-hole boots, and though they don't have the distinctive yellow stitching, they do have a faux-fur lining and are made from salt- and water-resistant leather. Stay warm, look good, and smash the patriarchy.
Smartwool Medium Striped Hiking Crew Socks, $21.95, Smartwool
No matter what kind of winter boot you choose to wear, wool socks are the secret to staying warm and dry. This black-and-gray-striped pair will look smashingly goth with any of the boots on the list. And if you insist on wearing your old Doc Martens this winter, at least give your feet some protection. Trust me, you'll be happy you bought these socks instead of a vinyl record.