It's wintertime, and for men that means it's time to break out the heavy coats, gloves, hats and boots. But what about dress shoes?
Many men are at a loss when it comes to dressing their feet for the office during the winter months. Sure, dress shoes look great with a suit – but no man looks stylish when he's slipping on ice and soaking up rainwater during the morning commute.
In today's article, I'm breaking out how to wear men's dress shoes in the snow and ice without ruining them or your feet.
Here's how to stay warm and look sharp in dress shoes this winter season.
Invest in Slip-Resistant Soles
The first step in staying safe this winter season is investing in a pair of men's dress shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles.
Many men don't realize that the classic leather sole on most men's dress shoes provides virtually no traction when walking outside in the snow and ice. Which is fine for 90% of the year … but when winter rolls around things can get pretty dangerous.
Investing in men's dress shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles is the best way to ensure you won't slip and fall on a patch of ice. Just make sure that your dress shoes still fit within corporate dress code prior to buying them.
Another option is to invest in clip-on sole enhancers for your own dress shoes. These sole enhancers attach to the bottom of your dress shoes and provide much-needed traction when walking in slippery conditions.
They only cost a few bucks but can make all the difference when walking on hazardous ice.
Apply Waterproofing Products
Another way to make men's dress shoes more winter-friendly is to apply waterproofing products to the leather.
Waterproofing sprays, creams and waxes can help keep your men's dress shoes safe from harsh winter elements like ice, snow and rain. It might not seem like a big deal, but snow and rain can actually have a pretty bad effect on the quality of your leather shoes.
When leather gets wet, it can become brittle and crack along the upper. Snow affects leather in the same way, but 100x more quickly.
The best way to avoid this side effect of winter months is by waterproofing your men's dress shoes prior to wearing them in wet conditions. This will help protect the leather and keep you safe from wet feet when walking outside.
Wear Thick Socks
Sounds obvious right? Well, you'd be surprised how many men go outside in the winter wearing dress shoes and thin socks and then wonder why they've got cold feet.
In order to keep your feet warm during winter months, it's important to wear thick socks when wearing men's dress shoes. Thick wool socks are a great option as they'll help insulate your feet while providing extra comfort.
A word of warning – don't go TOO thick. If you're heading to work in a suit and dress shoes, sport socks and thick boot socks won't match your outfit. Stick to thinner wool socks for the most part – there are plenty of materials out there that provide great insulation without bulking out around your ankles.
Uniqlo's Heat Tech range is a great example of this.
Finally, make sure your socks are tall enough to cover the ankles of your men's dress shoes. This will help keep snow and cold air from seeping in around your feet.
Scuff The Soles Of Your Shoes
It may sound strange but scuffing up the soles of men's dress shoes can help provide extra traction when walking on slippery surfaces. Think about it – good traction is a result of friction. The deeper the tread in your shoes, the greater the friction and thus the greater the traction.
That's why dress shoes are so slippery on ice and water – they lack the appropriate tread to create good traction.
As a quick fix, take a knife and score the soles of your men's dress shoes. This will create more friction and thus more traction when walking outside in the snow and ice.
It isn't a permanent solution and you'll likely have to invest in clip on soles in the long run, but if you find yourself in a sticky situation and need immediate traction, then scuffing your men's dress shoes could be your saving grace.
Invest In Toe-Warming Inserts
I'll be honest – I had no idea this was even a thing until I started the research for this article!
Toe-warming inserts are an incredible way to keep your feet warm and dry during winter months. These inserts slip into the toe of your men's dress shoes and provide insulation from the cold and wet, while also wicking away moisture when walking in rain or snow.
They're kind of like tip of a sock – only covering your toes as they sit in the end of your dress shoes.
However, that doesn't mean they don't make a difference when it comes to warming your feet. Do your research and you can even find inserts that are heat activated and provided up to 8 hours of warmth throughout the day!
Try Heated Insoles
Along the same lines, there is also such a thing as heat activated insoles that you can insert into your shoes for long-lasting winter warmth.
The technology in these insoles is incredible – they're able to provide up to 8 hours of warmth with a single charge and are perfect for men's dress shoes.
Simply slip the insoles into your men’s dress shoes, turn them on and you'll have an instant source of heat whenever you need it. They won't make your men's dress shoes waterproof, but they will keep your feet warm when the temperatures drop and the snow falls!
Some even come with a remote … what more could you want?
Want to learn more about keeping warm? Check out my article about the scarf knots every guy should know.