The Canadian brand Pajar has spent the last 50 years making sure that Canucks can make it through the winter in style. Founded by Paul Golbert, the son of French shoemakers, and named for his children Paul, Jacques, and Rachel, the brand has grown to epitomize a certain type of northern cool. Its new Bermine boots continue that tradition by coupling a slim, modern silhouette with a woolen interior and outfitter-style touches like a thick, lugged sole and a reinforced heel box. Despite being heavy-duty, these boots are light enough to be worn daily and look great with a pair of blue jeans.
Though not ideal for cities – the wool gets dirty and extreme temperature changes between subways, streets, and offices can lead to a lot of foot sweat – the Bermine is absolutely perfect for yard work, walking the dog, and schlepping back and forth from soccer games. The aggressively styled brass eyelets for the laces give the boot a work wear aspect even as the high-quality leather (a dark upper surrounds the ankle and narrows toward the toe) adds a bit of class to the whole endeavor.
These boots dress up well, but they can also be dressed down. Tie the laces below the shin and let the wooly tongue hang forward for a ski-instructor's-day-off vibe. Roll the whole calf portion down if you really want to look like a Canadian cowboy. Our recommendation: Just put them on, lace them up, and stay comfortable. The Bermines are the ultimate easygoing boot, a great gift from our unexpectedly stylish neighbors to the north. [$185; pajar.com]