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Fresh Picks: Cute Rain-proof Boots

Mother Nature can be totally unpredictable--sunny one day, then downpours the next. For those of us who don’t like being caught off guard with the wrong shoes on a rainy day, a pair (or a few) of stylishly practical waterproof boots is essential! We think a little rain should never get in the way of looking your best.

Below are some of our picks for cute boots that can withstand rain or snow without ever sacrificing style over function:

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1. Martino The Cool Boot, 2. Hunter Original Short, 3. UGG Sabene, 4. Chooka Top Solid, 5. Kamik Noela, 6. La Canadienne Trenton, 7. Khombu Marker Fur, 8. Sperry Top-Sider Pelican Too, 9. Sporto Sparta

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New Brand Spotlight: Aigle

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We're all about things that stand the test of time. That's why we're so excited to launch the brand that stakes its claim as being the "original rain boots"--Aigle. Their high quality rubber boots are still handmade in France with superb attention to detail. Over 150 years later, Aigle boots have managed to stay true to this tradition of reliability and performance. Your whole family will love them!

Check out Aigle Kids available now! Aigle for men and women is coming very soon. Stay tuned!

About AIGLE:

Established in France in 1853 by the American Hiram Hutchinson, AIGLE ('EAGLE' in English and pronounced 'Eh-gleu') today stands for uncompromising quality combined with superb design and craftsmanship. Aigle boots has a rich heritage in the French farming population.

Check out the "bear" from their fall/winter campaign making an appearance in an Aigle store in Paris!

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La Canadienne: Boots That Can Handle the Weather

It may be hard to believe now, but before we know it, it’ll be wintertime once again, and with that comes the rain, sleet and/or snow! Anyone who’s ever been stuck in inclement weather in the wrong shoes knows all too well the importance of the right footwear in any cold-weather wardrobe.

La Canadienne boots are not only guaranteed waterproof; they have an anatomically correct insole and flexible traction outsoles. Plus, their sleek, modern design makes them perfect for staying in style no matter what Mother Nature has in store.

Check out a few of our favorites from La Canadienne in the season’s most noteworthy styles:

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1. La Canadienne Passion, 2. La Canadienne Rimes in Cherry Crinkle, 3. La Canadienne Malvern, 4. La Canadienne Megan, 5. La Canadienne Gaetana, 6. La Canadienne Klara

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New Brand Spotlight: Martino Boots

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Wet, snowy conditions don’t have to mean leaving your style out in the cold! Martino boots are not only 100% waterproof and handmade in North America to give your tired, cold feet the comfort they crave, they look great with tons of outfits! Their collection of classic yet stylish boots are perfect for work, weekends and everything in between.

So whether you live in the snowy streets of New York, or a wintry suburbia in the middle of the country, you never have to sacrifice comfort and dry feet over looking good. Martino boots has it covered. Literally.

How to Care for Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are one of those non-negotiable pieces of necessary equipment for hiking and climbing.  You need to maintain them properly to ensure they protect you well and have a long life. Your first step in caring for new hiking boots involves breaking them in. Many experienced hikers recommend wearing new hiking boots for short walks, either around town or in the wilderness. Once your boots fit comfortably, the task of conditioning and maintaining them begins.

Step 1
Condition your hiking boots. Waterproof your hiking boots before and after a trip. Apply three coats the first time, then two coats each time after that. Some products condition and add moisture to the boots as well. With leather boots, applying boot conditioner keeps the boots from drying and cracking.

Step 2
Clean your boots after every major excursion. Allow caked mud and moisture to dry, and then use a rag or brush with soft bristles to rid the exterior of mud and debris. Wipe out the insides of your hiking boots to keep sweat from building up and staining the fabric.

Step 3
Allow hiking boots to dry naturally. Using a hair dryer, oven or campfire to accelerate drying can shrink the fabric, break down adhesives and damage the boots. Instead, allow boots to air-dry, avoiding direct sun. Leather hiking boots can crack if they dry in high heat.

Step 4
Keep your hiking boots laced while walking around. Your laces help your hiking boots maintain their shape. In addition, you avoid walking on and damaging stray laces if you keep them laced and tied.

Step 5
Store your hiking boots during extended periods of non-usage. If you put away your boots for the winter or rainy season, do not place them in moist areas. Boots also should not sit in extremely hot or cold rooms when stored for a long time. Store them in rooms with comfortable temperatures and little humidity or moisture. Try them on during the off-season to keep them shaped correctly for your feet.

Boot conditioner

To safely accelerate drying your hiking boots, stuff them with crumpled newspaper. Allow the moisture from the boots to soak into the newspaper, and then remove the paper and add fresh, dry newspaper.

Do not use soap to wash leather boots because it can cause leather to become brittle and crack.

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Stylish Boots that Withstand the Winter: Hot Chocolate Boots

Drink in winter with abandon-- in a pair of hot chocolate boots. Brown is the mid-winter season color that will add spring to your step before the flowers bud and trees show tiny signs of green. With winter stretching its cold and icy fingers deep across the country, mid-season winter boots have never looked so hot. Even if black is your staple wardrobe color, the new winter browns will seduce you into trying something new. With color names like dark chocolate, hawk, and velvet brown....some winter boots are simply irresistible.

Worth Your Salt

Dark brown boots that are made to withstand the harsh realities of winter should not only be waterproof and warm, but they need to be stain-resistant. With snow and ice comes something potentially more damaging to our footwear, road and sidewalk salt. Look for a pair of boots that won't be damaged by salt or calcium. Internal features of boots like the Bastien's will make you wish for cold days. With cozy fleece and heat-retaining material, you won't want to take these off until sandal weather arrives.

Winter Boot Musts

High Tech - When your feet are trapped in your favorite brown winter boots, you want to be able to remove them with confidence at the end of the day. If you are concerned about foot odor, look for boots with antimicrobial technology. This technology will fight both odors and bacteria.

Polartec - Polartec lining keeps feet warm and dry. Velvet brown Patagonias have Polartec lining as well as chic trim.

Thinsulate - Winter boots with synthetic fiber installation keeps your feet warm without weighing you down.

Waterproof - Brown winter boots with waterproof suede and leather keep the water from seeping in where you don't want it. Waterproofing will allow you to wear your boots on not only the days of fluffy snow but on the days when the snow has turned into a slush fest outside your door.

What is the Difference Between Waterproof & Water Resistant Boots?

When shopping for boots, you may have seen the words "water resistant" and "waterproof." This may have reassured you that the boots keep your feet dry, but there is a difference between the two. Choosing the boot with the right label can make the difference between dry, comfy feet and soggy, cold socks.

Many boots are covered with a film the will keep the boot dry. A water resistant boot will repel water so that it soaks into the boot more slowly. Waterproof boots are made of a material that doesn't soak up water at all. So, when water comes in contact with a waterproof boot, the water doesn't sink into the fibers and the feet stay dry.

Each type of boot works well for different conditions. Water resistant boots are best used when walking through dew or occasionally damp areas like wet streets. A waterproof boot is designed to keep feet dry through larger amounts of moisture, such as snow and mud puddles.

Most boots have water resistant or waterproof on the label. If they don't, waterproof boots are often easy to spot. Usually, they are made out of rubber or vinyl material or they have a smooth, shiny surface on top of the leather material. To find water resistant boots, look at the label stitched to the inside of the boot or at the material list in the boot's product description. Look for water resistant materials called neoprene, nylon or polyurethane.

Waterproof and water resistant footwear is given a IP Rating Scale rating to show their level of water protection. In combination with the tips above, you can use this rating to help you find a boot that offers the level of water protection you require. The lowest rating is IPX-0. This means that the boot offers no water protection. The highest rating is IPX-8, which means you can submerge the boot in water and your foot will still stay dry.

There are many styles and types of water resistant and waterproof boots. Some waterproof boots are meant to be pulled over the top of a more vulnerable shoe to protect it. These are called rain boots. Hiking boots and snow boots are usually water resistant or waterproof so that they can stand up to wet terrain. Some dress boots, such as boots made of suede, are also given a water resistant layer so that they will last longer.