Ah, South Bend, Indiana in the winter… Is there anything more beautiful and temperate?
LOL SIKE (Does anyone say “sike” anymore? What does it even mean?)
South Bend is notorious for “Lake Effect Snow,” Seasonal Affective Disorder, and below freezing wind chills. With all of these wonderful things to look forward to as winter break rapidly draws to a close, there’s nothing quite like a little retail therapy to spruce up your winter wardrobe, lest last season’s shoes find their way to the quad.
I know snow, I know January in the Midwest, and therefore I have compiled a list of the most essential shoes every colliegette needs in her closet to conquer the cold!
1. Snow Boots
It might be obvious as we had a few inches of snow before we left for Christmas break, but some sort of warm boot with excellent traction is absolutely necessary for life at Notre Dame between November and March. These really must be waterproof with good traction, as slush and ice make sidewalks a nightmare and every building entrance a death trap. An alternate to snow boots (which are a really solid investment) could be buying fleece liners for rain boots. I have both because I’m obsessed with shoes, but in all honesty, snow boots are the better option. I recommend Sorel and L.L. Bean for stylish, high-quality boots.
2. Sperry Top Siders
Ask anyone who has seen my extensive shoe collection and they will point out the obvious: I have an affinity for Sperry Top Siders. I have a wide variety of styles and colors. As I consider Sperry’s my go-to shoes. Although I’ve never been boating (call me a poser; that will not stop me from wearing boat shoes on dry land), I have worn out my fair-share of these comfortable kicks. The colder months are no exception to this habit; fur lined Sperry’s are my best friend when the temperature drops! I highly recommend waterproofing with leather spray before braving the elements in these South Bend staples.
3. Knee High Riding Boots
I’m not sure I know a girl who does not own a pair of riding boots. They pair fabulously with leggings and add a layer of warmth to the calves if you insist on wearing leggings out in the winter. A small heel also helps to keep your foot out of the slush. Again, if the riding boots are leather, be sure that they are properly waterproofed before wearing them in the snow!
4. Cozy Slippers
Remember when Ugg moccasins were huge? Or was that just my high school? Oh… Anyway, Ugg had the right idea. Comfy slippers that can pass for shoes are the perfect accessory for every colliegette. Slippers are crucial for walking around the dorms. My slippers keep my tootsies warm and comfortable when I need to run downstairs to print something, down the hall to the bathroom, or upstairs to chat with a friend. And just because they don’t get worn outside the building, doesn’t mean they can’t be adorable. (I definitely received the ones pictured above for Christmas as my mother has a weird habit of buying me sequined things. I don’t hate it.)
5. Heeled Booties
Fashionable and functional, heeled booties are great paired with cuffed jeans and a pea coat for a night out or a regular Wednesday (or any other day of the week, I’m not discriminating). The heel keeps the foot out of the snow, depending on how many inches we’ve received, and wearing booties allows the riding boots to take a day off. I’m a huge fan of booties; they’re cute and classy without overtaking an outfit. Once again, I remind the dear reader to please waterproof leather products properly or sadness will ensue upon wearing them outside.