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Rain boots are a no-brainer when it comes to soggy weather, but sometimes your old rubber wellies just won't cut it fashion-wise. For days that you need a more stylish or warmer choice, it can be difficult to choose the appropriate footwear. The boot you choose depends both on how wet you're gonna get (are we talking splashing in puddles on purpose or just trying to walk into work from the parking lot?) and the fashion requirements of your destination.
Whether you go faux for the animals' sake or your wallet's, faux leather is usually extremely durable and at least a little waterproof. Like rubber rain boots, these synthetic materials are not nearly as porous as leather. Will they prevent your feet from getting damp while standing still in 4 inches of water? Probably not. Will they get you in and out of the grocery store without being destroyed? Yes, ma'am. Just be sure to set the boots somewhere to dry at the end of the day if they've gotten wet on the inside; that faux leather will prevent the interior from drying out quickly. The best thing about faux leather boots: Because they're less expensive, it's much more reasonable to pick up the trendiest styles each season without a major splurge.
High Heels and Platforms
High-heeled boots are an ultra-fashionable choice for wet weather, and will keep you surprisingly dry. First off, higher heels do a better job of keeping your pant-legs out of the rain, preventing that uncomfortable wet-ankle phenomenon. Knee-high boots that allow you to tuck your pants in are even better for keeping dry. Finally, platform boots -- ankle booties, for example -- add some extra distance between your feet and the pavement, but are easier to walk in than standard heels.
Leather and Suede
As a general rule, leather boots -- especially suede -- shouldn't get wet if they haven't been treated for the wet weather. If you're caught in an unexpected shower, regular leather will probably be OK -- just wipe it dry once you're back indoors. Suede will not fare as well. Once the rain turns to snow, take additional precautions. All the salt that's used to melt ice on sidewalks and roadways can wreak havoc on your leather boots.
If you've invested in a pair of real leather boots, it's probably worth your money and time to buy a good waterproofer and apply it liberally every season. A natural or synthetic waterproofer will protect your boots from rain, snow, salt and that girl who spills her drink on your shoes at the bar. Spray-on products are easiest to use, but will wear off fastest, while rub-on treatments may darken the color of your leather. No matter what route you choose, be sure to select the product appropriate for the materials involved -- smooth leather, suede or leather and fabric.