Men in deck shoes, women in heels, children in converse. Do these people have no concept of the dangers of walking around a ski resort in unsuitable footwear? Bruised bottoms, twisted ankles and wrenched wrists abound; allow me to help...
I was first put on a pair of skis aged two, and have been addicted ever since. For the past eight years I have spent time ski-instructing in Austria and skied all over the world. The big packing dilemma though is which shoes to take. I can still remember being dragged up a hill by two friends because my boots didn't have enough grip to gain traction (and I was tipsy). So I shall begin with the first major faux pas...
Usually if Olivia Palermo deems a clothing item worthy, I will follow whole heartedly; where the Moonboot is concerned though I feel I must bow out. The grip of the sole is appalling. Aside from warmth, the biggest factor in deciding which shoes to wear in a ski resort is their ability to keep you upright on icy surfaces. The Moonboot was fashionable in the 80's and designers of winter 2015 collections may have tried to bring them back, but I feel it's more from a sense of nostalgia than design quality.
There are plenty of other options out there though and the key thing to look for is thick rubber soles with a good grip and a water-proof material (ideally leather) upper layer. The following are on offer this winter:
Sorel have often been the go to for those cute snow boots that make you feel like a kid again. In recent years though they have raised their game and made some boots that could equally pass muster in the city, even collaborating with Chloé. The above Torino boots are modern takes on the design Sorel are synonymous with; because who doesn't want to play in the snow like a child again. If you are looking for something that can get you safely around the city in winter as well as the ski resort, look no further than this seasons Farah boot, a beautiful design with waterproofing technology. Both designs come in short or tall options, a range of colours and half sizes (such joy).
I hadn't heard of Teva until 2015, but apparently they have been the go to option in Scandinavia and the US for years. The brand focuses on designs for the spontaneous adventurer who needs a shoe that they can pull on and go; this is reflected in their boot designs (maybe don't browse their sandal range). Their parent company also owns Ugg, so I'm hoping for a blend of the two boots any time now. The above designs are from the De La Vina range and come in ankle, low calf or lace up variations.
My sister swears by a Timberland boot, and having on many occasions held her onto her arm in a vice-like grip whilst going down a hill, I feel I can swear by them too. As you can see above they are no longer reliant solely on the popularity of their iconic 6-inch boot. They now have pull-ons, fold-downs, heels and knee-length lace-ups poured into the mix. With the exception of the heeled boot all of these are waterproof, though if you're going to wear heels in a resort I reckon Timberland are the safest bet. There has been an increase in personalisation of ski-wear in recent years and Timberland have engaged with the trend - you can now even design your own boot!
CAT boots may make you immediately think of workmen on a construction site, but they have also been producing high-quality casual boots for decades. If the Timberland heel boot leaves you suffering from a touch of vertigo, CAT have a lovely alternative in the Destiny boot (pictured left). They also have the Jory and Randi boots, offering ankle or calf length casual pull-on options in several shades and differing widths. What sets them apart from the crowd is their soles; these are thicker and sturdier than most others on the market thanks to their history in producing long lasting work boots.
For those of you who are sitting there saying "boots just really aren't my thing" (heathens!), there are other options. In most ski resorts in Europe you can identify ski instructors or seasonnaires by their ownership of a pair of Salomon XA Pro or Lite shoes. These come in an array of colours and are of a superior quality. Though they might not be perfect for the bar in the evening they are ideal for every other time of day thanks to the waterproofing technology and all-terrain grip.
And lastly, the one you might not have thought of, Boden. Run with me now. I actually have the tan pair above and they are perfect for winter; warm, fashionable, go with everything, and above all have a thick rubber sole with great grip. This season Boden have upped the anti and introduced the fold-over design and added the colourful zipped tassel. Word of warning, these boots do come up small so order a full size bigger than usual.