NEW YORK -- Women have ruined some of their best shoes in rain and snow. And even though winter boots are much warmer and safer than stylish shoes, many women wear shoes even in the worst weather because they don't find boots fashionable.
For these women, there is now a wider variety of stylish, all-weather footwear to coordinate with almost any outfit. These shoes and boots, which come in bright colors, are either water-resistant or molded without seams to be waterproof.
Perry Ellis has designed Sleekers, rain boots made of colored polyurethane or black patent leather. Some styles have zippers or elastic gores. One style is a Western half boot. Sleekers sell for about $48 at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor.
Sporto offers several water-resistant designs. The Beef Wellington, an all-weather boot, is a classic knee-high Wellington. It comes in olive drab or blue with a black rubber sole and costs $49. The Murfi boot is made of polyurethane and lined with imitation fur with nonslip rubber sole. It comes in brown or black, and sells for $45.
Sporto's Boom Chucka is an ankle boot lined in fake fur. It comes in colors like emerald and lilac, spruce and wine, or black and taupe and costs about $40. All Sporto boots are sold at Macy's, Bloomingdale's and selected Nordstrom stores.
Lowell Shoes in Manhattan has several styles of boots for inclement weather. Aspen by Revelations is calf-length and made of a polyurethane-coated material combined with a full-grain, silicone-treated leather that resists salt, stains and water.
The lining is made of polar fleece and matches the accents on the outside of the boot. The sole is rubber with cleats running toward the heel for better traction. To assure proper fit, the boot has a covered gore with adjustable snaps. It comes in black, blue with fuchsia trim and red with blue trim for $82.
Glacier II by Soft Spot is a salt-resistant boot made of black imitation leather with a full zipper. The elastic above the zipper causes it to fit snugly at the calf. The boot is lined in fleece to the calf, with the upper lining in tartan plaid. The sole is rubber with a tread design. The Aspen and Glacier II boots are sold at Selby Fifth Avenue and Tip Top shoes for $46.
Liz Claiborne Shoes has a collection of ribbed "sweater boots" with flexible non-slip soles with treads. They are almost like warm sweaters for the feet, ankles and legs. The sweater boots come in ankle-, calf- and thigh-high lengths. All are made of calfskin or suede in colors like camel, burgundy and red. They will be available at most major department and specialty stores in the fall, starting at around $70.
Also for the fall from Liz Claiborne is the thigh-high Elana boot, in black stretch velvet, about $90.