When the rain or snow starts coming down in earnest, men have to change the way they assess boots. Though brogue-style Allen Edmond's ankle highs are great, they may not be ready for puddles. Wellington boots, on the other hand, can definitely cope, but they look foolish at a restaurant or in an office. Shoes that offer a decent compromise between weatherproofing and clean design are few and far between, which is why Tretorn's Gärde Stövel Vinter boots are worth taking for a test hike. These boots have a broad toe box that makes them look a bit square when they're on the shelf, but the light and dark leather detailing looks unexpectedly good with dark jeans.
Mountain types may find the Vinters reminiscent of great snowboard boots: The fit is snug, and rigidly constructed interior walls hold the ankle steady. Part of the reason the unexpectedly lightweight boot is so structured is that it features a Gore-Tex waterproof lining that keeps the fuzzy interior dry while still allowing the foot to breath; good structure also permits the boots to have a more thoughtfully considered exterior. Tretorn's sideways V mark is subtly inscribed in the cloth sides. A simple white sole complements the blonde leather streak up the heel and under the arch.
We love these tough mudders on a wet day – wearing them, you'll stay both comfortable and stylish. Leave the Wellies at home. [$190; us.tretorn.com]