I grew up living the cliche — walking a quarter mile in snow back and forth between my high school and the nearest parking lot. Back then, a mixture of vanity and stupidity (and the fact that my locker was too small to fit dripping snow boots) meant that I regularly wore high heels to class...sometimes without socks. But because of that, I learned to navigate black ice and snowdrifts as high as my head in shoes that are barely considered "walkable" on indoor carpets.
This is not really a brag, because every time I think about what I must have looked like — in my giant coat, balancing a heavy backpack bulging with books and an overstuffed duffel with sports gear for volleyball practice, slide-walking across the parking lot in Chinese Laundry pumps, like a California raisin in drag — I want to crawl into a hole. But this is an explanation for how amped I was to discover, when I moved to New York, the concept of the chunky, heeled, lace-up bootie. They were everything I liked about wearing heels in winter: They made me stand up straight (even in the biggest of puffer coats) and walk in long, confident strides. But, these didn't flop off if I had to book it down the street; if I was wearing a really rugged pair, I wouldn't even hesitate before stomping into a slush puddle. I bought and destroyed maybe a dozen of these boots over the past decade I've lived in New York, and can't imagine doing winter without them.
And despite the ebbs and flows of footwear trends, chunky, heeled, lace-up boots never seem to fall out of favor, no matter if all the other shoe trends are composed of delicate, single-soled fripperies. So, here's to another decade of the best antidote to the winter blahs.