Any suggestions for boots to keep warm and dry and beable to walk all over Paris in December/January?
Parisian women wear leather knee high, or ankle length boots, with either high heels, low heels or wedge soles. The motorcycle boot style is very popular also. Stores are full of them right now. UGGs are popular also. I wear them in winter, but of course not in the rain. Lots of stores sell colorful rubber boots, which would be good for walking in heavy rains. You probably don't need to bring them though. I have managed without them.
BG is spot on! Paris can be showery in the winter, but you are more likely to get dry cold, so I wouldn't opt for a rain boot just because you want to stay dry. It isn't the Highlands of Scotland. Instead, I'd make sure I got something waterproof that was not a Wellie-style boot. They just do not have the oomph and support you will need in the sole. Which leads me too... I also wouldn't opt for a rain boot because what I find is paramount in Paris is a COMFY SOLE, with GRIP, that can do well on all manner of really foot-and-ankle-punishing cobbles. We go to Paris almost every year for Christmas/New Year's, and the only really perfect boots I have found - thick enough sole to keep my feet warm, waterproof, grippy on treacherous surfaces, still cute enough for Paris - are Doc Martens, believe it or not. If your style is not "middle-aged lady being all steam punk," as mine is, I'd suggest a fashionable Frye or M.C.-style boot (real leather - waterproofed - thick soles, low heel if any) or something similar. One year, I got all fancy and packed heels. Thick, chunky heels. Sensible loafers with a nice rubber sole and a 3" clunky heel. And I still racked the everlovin' whats-it out of my ankles, and had sore, sore feet at the end of the day. It's the blasted cobblestones. They are all different heights, textures, and levels of rough/smoothness. Type "Paris cobblestone streets" into your friendly local browser and search for images. Now imagine walking on those bad boys in something other than the thickest, cushiest, grippiest, most sensible sole.
Thanks Kira, and good advice from you -- particularly mentioning the cobblestone streets, which you happen upon a lot -- particularly if you go to Versailles!
For me, the warmth factor is really important, too. The first couple of winters I lived in Europe I thought my feet would freeze, even though I wore nice thick boots or shoes and wool socks. Then I discovered lambswool insoles. I bought several sets. Having that extra layer between your feet and the street makes so much difference. And being able to change them into whatever boots or shoes I'm wearing that day is a big plus. You may want to consider this option, regardless of what boots you end up with. I bought mine at department stores over here, but I know you can buy them online as well. Do a search for fleece insoles.
I was just looking into this. I found merrell boots "misha" style and thought they seemed pretty comfy and warm. Anyone have experience with merrell?
I was thinking of you when flipping thru the Lands End catalog that came today. They had some cute waterproof boots as well as water resistent boots.
A&A, I just bought those boots last night for my trip to Germany at the end of November. (I had been wanting boots like that anyway.). I have always had great luck with Merrills. These boots are cute and warm and waterproof and very comfortable. I'm going to try them out on my treadmill to make sure they are comfortable for long walks. Will let you know if they don't work out.
While not the Merrills mentioned in a post, I have the ankle high tetra and it is by far the best shoe for me. Warm, waterproof and stylish.
My Keen Palermos and uggs gave me the worst plantar fasciitis with heel pain.
Thank you all for such great feedback. I have not been to Europe in the winter. And I have spent a lot of time on Zappos looking at a lot of shoes! I think I am in the right direction.
Carroll I am really interested to see what you think. Are the laces in the back an inconvenience? Judy best of luck and let us know what you pick. I want to buy mine for this winter as a trial run for my trip next winter.
I ended up ordereing from Zappo's the Rieker Eike 70 black leather waterproof. They seem to be in style with what all the readers said, and they have a little lift. They were $150.00, which after looking at other boots that is about mid price for leather boots. It is hard to find something fashionable that you can walk in all day. I know that the Rieker shoes run a bit narrow. I have a narrow foot with skinny ankles and some of the boots look like I am going into battle. Also they are fleece lined.
A&A, The boots are a lite harder to tie in back, it it's not a big deal. Plus you can tie them in the front if you prefer. I will be away this weekend so I won't be able to do a long treadmill trial until the following weekend.
Okay, I've had a chance to test out the Misha boots by Merrill. I found them pretty comfortable, but I think they need a little bit of breaking in. Maybe it's just because I'm not used to wearing boots this time of year. At first I thought they seemed a little heavy and stiff, but after half an hour, I was used to them. I had no problems with blisters or rubbing or anything like that. They are not as comfortable as athletic shoes, but I am happy with them. I should mention that I use custom orthotics with all my walking shoes/boots, due to problems with plantar fasciitis. But before I got plantar fasciitis, I found Merrills to be very comfortable without orthotics. Obviously everyone has different feet, so you'll have to give them a try.