Did you think that you would have to shelve your sneakers in favour of more weather-optimal footwear this winter? You don’t have to shiver at that thought anymore! Read on for all you need to know about the best winter trainers.Read more men's Style Guide Features and check out our Store.
We believe you have a wardrobe full of warm and cosy clothes, but without a good footwear game plan heading into winter, you’re setting yourself up for a wet fall. Fear not, you don’t have to wear boots all the time. Winter footwear for men is more versatile than ever thanks to big sneaker brands making their best-selling trainers more winter-ready. Designers across the high street, sportswear and even luxury sectors recognised the urgent need for trainers that will keep your feet dry and stylish at the same time.
Traditionally, winter footwear for men used to be very stiff and uncomfortable. Large sneaker companies try to create cold-weather-ready trainers with some features of performance footwear. Many of these corporations have already adopted synthetics over natural materials to provide more resilient performance at better price. Best trainers for winter should be more flexible and they should also have more streamlined silhouette.
Can Winter Sneakers Be Stylish?
If you wish to balance technical detailing with stylish aspects, we believe that winterised trainers are the best option for casual winter footwear. It’s important to note that your winter sneakers will never last as long as your Gore-Tex boots, but they should also provide you with a high level of protection.
Since mens snow sneakers are an emerging trend in the shoe market at the moment, you can choose from various styles and designs. Winterised sneakers are often preferred to boots because of their comfort and flexibility. We’ve listed a few tips on how to choose best trainers for winter which will last you a couple of seasons.
Best Winter Sneakers
Nike Air Max 95 Sneakerboots
A few winters have passed since Nike released some of the best trainers for winter; their sneaker boot collection. However, the Nike Air Max 95 sneaker boot is the perfect trainer for the winter weather. The neoprene bootie boasts a warm lining but has the classic appeal of the 95's style. It's high-abrasion skeleton makes it perfect for winter walks and with a reflective heel you don't have to worry about not being seen. Wear casually with jeans and a puffer coat for the ultimate winter street style look.
Adidas EQT Adventure
These trainers have some of the best winterised soles on the market. The thick sole makes them trail ready and the stylised look will work off-terrain as well as in the streets. Wear these winter proof trainers with some black skinny jeans or joggers and when it comes to coats, something casual and relaxed will work best.
Best Waterproof Sneakers
New Balance 1500 “Re-Engineered”
When you're looking for winter trainers, keep an eye out for a bonded heel. This traditional technique keeps the water out, more so than waterproof materials. The New Balance 1500 Re-Engineered are the perfect bonded heel that don't stray to far into the "hiking look" trainer. Pair these trainers with some dark blue jeans, jumper and bomber. These are the ideal trainer to wear when it just starts to get a little colder.
One of the reasons your feet probably ended up soaking wet last winter could be because of the use of traditional sewing techniques. The old-fashioned techniques result in seams with small openings that allow water to seep through. To prevent that from happening, two fabrics need to be sealed together. Sealed seams, also known as bonded seams, should result in 100% waterproofing and on top of that, these seams provide a cleaner aesthetic.
Waterproof fabrics that have been treated to become resistant to penetration by water and wetting. These fabrics can be both natural and synthetic and they’re laminated or coated with a waterproofing material such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU) and rubber.
Water Resistant vs Water Repellent vs Waterproof
Water resistant shoes are able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. This type of trainers is designed to not be easily harmed or affected by water and to not allow water to pass through easily. Entirely, easily – doesn't sound the most convincing. Water resistant sneakers should withstand a light rain shower but definitely not snow. They’re best used when walking through dew or occasionally damp areas. This is the lowest level of water protection of the mentioned three.
Water Repellent is a step up from water resistant. Water repellent trainers are not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such purpose with a surface coating. These shoes are treated with a finish that resists but is not impervious to water.
The definition of "waterproof" is really straightforward. Waterproof shoes are impervious to water. Waterproof trainers are made of materials that don’t soak up water at all. So when your waterproof sneakers come in contact with water, the water doesn’t sink into the fibres and your feet will stay dry even if you submerge your shoes in water.
Most shoes will have "water resistant" or "waterproof" written on the label. You can easily check your trainers’ level of water protection because waterproof and water resistant footwear is given an IP Rating Scale. The lowest rating is IPX-0, which means that there is no water protection. The highest rating is IPX-8, which means that your feet should always stay dry.
First of all, definitely stay away from leather soles as this material doesn’t provide enough insulation when temperatures drop and you would end up with cold feet. During the winter months, snow and slush are prevalent, making surfaces difficult and often slippery to walk on. Winterized soles should consist of rubber and lugged treads which have the ability to lift you through wet conditions and icy grounds without becoming ruptured or collecting dirt.
There are various effective options to choose from when it comes to winterized soles. The most popular option is, however, a rubber-composite sole which is stitched to the upper using welting techniques. Some welting techniques are better than others - we recommend looking for Goodyear, stitch-down or Norwegian welt.
These welting techniques give you the ability to pick the stitch to remove a shoe’s outsole. This means that you don’t have to buy a new pair of snow sneakers every year as you can simply replace the sole after it has worn out. You should glue a new outsole to the upper one with waterproof adhesives.
How To Choose The Right Size Of Winter Trainers
So your new reflective winter trainers are waterproof and have winterized soles as well? Perfect! So why do you still wear your old boots? No matter how expensive and winterized your new trainers are, you know you won’t wear them unless they’re a perfect fit. We emphasised the importance of protection features but it’s equally as important to purchase the right size. Read our few tips on how to buy the perfect size of winter sneakers to make sure they won’t end up forgotten in the back of your closet.
1. Have Your Feet Measured - You can have your feet measured in many shoe stores. While there certainly will be variations in size depending on the type of shoe and brands, having your feet professionally measured will give you a closer idea of the size you need.
2. Don’t Shop For Shoes In The Morning - Your feet swell from use, and therefore, you should shop for your winter sneakers at the end of the day to get truer size.
3. Leave Space For Thicker Socks - Wear or bring the right socks to the store. If you wanted to purchase smart shoes, you wouldn’t try them on with some chunky winter socks, would you? It’s important to make sure you try your winter sneakers on with thicker socks or the type of socks you plan to wear in winter.
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