• Wed, Mar 30 2011

Fashion Rant: Why Rain Boots Suck

Some style decisions just drive us nuts. Sometimes we keep them secret, sometimes they’re worthy of debate, sometimes they cause us to rant. Perhaps irrationally. Today, some of us love rain boots and some of us hate them…

I want to let my undying and incredibly strong hatred be known for what one becomes reduced to wearing when the weather gets a little shitty: rain boots. They are the bane of my existence and an incredibly annoying fashion item that boggles my mind whenever I see someone wearing a pair. Tucked into jeans, under a long coat, with a skirt, however you wear them, I will never approve of them so don’t even try.

I for one, do not own a pair of rain boots, nor do I ever plan on owning or wearing any type of rain boot. In my obviously highly regarded and often law-basing opinion, they are ugly and they will never look good on me, let alone the millions of people who go out of their way to pay good money on pieces of thick, shiny, heeled rubber.

I’m five-foot-nothing, and my legs do not take well to plastic and rubber fondling my feet. I can’t even wear rubber flip flops without my entire foot ending up as one big, painful blister. I can only see one professional field in which wearing thick soled rubber rain boots is appropriate: fishermen. They wear galoshes because they are knee deep in water. I am not a fisherman and YOU are most definitely (probably) not a fisherman.

First off, I do not understand the amount of work that they 1) take to put on and 2) take to get off. Rubber seems to be very conducive to suction, especially when water is involved (go figure). Who wants to spend 20 minutes forcefully pulling a pair of boots off like a stubborn eyebrow hair? And even when they come off with relative ease, it’s like peeling a condom off your lower leg and I guess some people are into that, but that’s a big NO THANKS for me.

I am aware that rain boots can actively mimic the look and feel of regular, normal leather boots. That being said, regardless of texture, color, material, height, heel size, etc, nothing will come close to how great a nice pair of classic leather boots look on a cold day. Why replace a good boot (which exist to keep your feet warm on days when the weather isn’t so nice) with a pair of squeaky, absurd looking rain boots?

I’d also like to address something that gets more of a rise out of me then just someone in rain boots and jeans. For some reason, people seem to use terrible weather as an excuse to dress only for convenience and practicality (which, to be fair, are two words not found in my fashion vocabulary). While walking around my college campus, there seems to be a unique (see: ridiculous) trend of shoving sweatpants–or even worse patterned pajama pants–into rain boots… and calling it a day. What does that even accomplish?! You look mental. This kind of laziness paired with the obviously obnoxious and bizarre choices of patterns that lend themselves to rubber rain boots just spoils my taste for these apparently popular feet coverings..

Okay, so maybe not everyone puts as much thought into an outfit as I do, but come on, at least have the decency to realize that the Tinker Bell pajama pants clearly don’t go with the pink polka dot and heart boots you’ve vacuum sealed to your feet. Yeah, we get that you don’t want to get your feet wet because it rained three days ago and the puddles haven’t dried up, but why does that over rule any sense of sanity or cohesiveness in an outfit?

Going back to the whole regular boot idea, here’s my advice for those wanting to keep their feet dry during the bad weather currently dumped on us. Shoe companies strive to make better boots, ones that people will come looking for when the weather’s undesirable, so just stick with your go-to boot. Put down the black patent Hunter boots and walk swiftly but calmly in the opposite direction. Nothing to see here.

You can reach this post's author, Jillian Lucas, on twitter.
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  • Maggie

    When you have to walk through 8-12″ of snow, boots like that are wonderful. Unless, you want to bring a change of clothes everywhere you go.

  • emily

    So… basically your reason for disliking rainboots is because you personally can’t wear rubber/plastic. Not that they may actually be unattractive footwear or functionless. What exactly do YOU wear through puddles?
    Also, real leather is ruined by water. Hence the reason rainboots can mimic the look of a leather boot, without sacrificing the material. Duh?

  • Courtney

    I tossed my rain boots at the end of college feeling they were “too childish” for the real world. Wow I was MISTAKEN. New York City had a TON of snow dumped on it this winter and I absolutely RUINED a perfectly good pair of black leather boots trudging through the winter. I invested in some bean boots midway through winter and couldn’t be happier. For those of us with jobs and such that REQUIRE stepping outdoors during inclement weather, I would suggest a good pair of weather-wise shoes. You don’t want to go throwing your money away on a new pair of boots every single winter…especially when that money was so hard earned!

  • Lisa

    Couldn’t you just waterproof the leather boots instead of buying a whole other separate pair of boots for rain?

    • Courtney

      HAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah…did that. Turns out when the puddles are two feet deep and unavoidable and the snow is bordering on three feet high, water proofing stuff doesn’t exactly do its job. And this was in NYC….a metropolitan area.

    • Heather

      I live in the pacific northwest and the combination of salts, oils etc on the roads plus all of the water can ruin a nice pair of “waterproofed” leather boots in no time. The only sure-fire way to waterproof leather is to actually oil them, which can change the colour of the boots and add a bit of a a streaky look (I do this for hiking boots because they don’t matter). So when they came out with nicer looking rainboots, I was super happy.

  • Jo

    I kinda hate it when people rant against practicality. HELLO, IT’S PRACTICAL. I have spent many days with my feet drenched due to nyc rain/slush. It is possible the worst feeling of all time. So, to be honest, I couldn’t care less if some bitter woman with damp feet is judging me for my lack of style.

    I’ll will admit that I don’t LOVE rainboots. Yeah, they’re stiff, I’m also short and it’s hard to cross my legs in them, but they are still a million times better than the alternative.

  • porkchop

    Sorry the girls on your college campus are such slatterns! Around here, the rain boots are only worn when it’s raining, and usually as a charming part of a charming outfit.

  • joanntheredhead

    But they do keep your feet warm and dry. They may not be sexy…but either are the runny noses and hacking coughs that come with colds. LOL.

    To serve their actual purpose (to keep you dry and warm) rain boots must be made of strong, durable materials. If you want to combine both attractivenesses AND practicality, selecting the right pair is about age-appropriateness. I am a nontraditional (read: “older”) college student, and rain boots are all the rage here on campus. The polka dots, plaids, and bright colors on some of these rubber/vinyl boots are adorable–on cute 19-yr-old coeds. I do wear rain boots myself, but I stick to more subdued colors/patterns. They are practical, and serve a purpose–and, at the very least, clean-cut and understated. Yes, some clothing is made for the sake of being fashionable, but the fundamental purpose of clothing is to protect us from the elements. An ideal piece of clothing is both fashionable and functional. But in freezing, damp, cold weather–I wanna stay healthy (because that is the best look of all).

  • Ella

    When you live int he country side and you’re ankle deep in mud rain boots are amazing.
    They also make ones that are lined so they’re easier to get on than normal boots.

    You shouldn’t judge something that you don’t even need to wear!

  • Rk

    Obviously you don’t live in a city like Vancouver where having rubber boots is just the practical, comfortable thing to do. Wet feet or damaged leather is just unnecessary. I’ve never spent 20 mins taking my boots off (Hunters are so easy to get on and off) and when I get to the office I throw on my dress shoes. While I adore fashion, I value myself enough to not have to suffer for it.

    • Jo

      I have Hunters and they usually require the help of my boyfriend to get off :\

      I agree with you otherwise though!

  • Amy

    During the winter, my Hunters are staples. Walking to work in Boston snow/rain demands waterproof footwear, and I’d imagine it’s the same in NYC… unless you don’t walk anywhere? I keep regular shoes and boots at my office and change when I get to work. It is possible to think about your outfits AND wear rain boots. As for the pajama pants tucked into boots on your campus? Enjoy it while you’re young enough to get away with it. A woman in her 30s doing that is another issue entirely. :)

  • KB

    Why are all of the guest authors such snobs about clothing? Sweats? Rainboots? Maybe they should go outside once in a while.

    • Anonymous

      Amen. I was looking for an article to help me and instead I found this ranty crap.

  • Jenn

    You will never take my hunters away from me. When I lived in Texas, rain boots were not necessary, but here in NYC, they are a must.

  • Eileen

    I like my rain boots because they keep my feet dry. No, they’re not my favorite shoes, but they aren’t ruined by water (like leather is) and they allow my feet to stay warm and dry, and I can’t concentrate when my feet are cold. And yes, mine (a birthday present chosen by my 75-year-old grandma, by the way) are kind of cute – pale blue with patterns – but I don’t ever wear them as a fashion statement, just as a more attractive version of something I’m going to wear anyway.

    On another, tangential note – can we please stop calling female college students “coeds”? I can’t be the only woman who finds this demeaning. The women in college now are a few generations removed from the time when women were a novelty in traditionally men’s schools, so I don’t see at this point why we’re any more “coed” than the men are.

    • Holly

      I never knew “coeds” referred just to women. I thought it just referred to all students in a coed school. Not saying I’m right, that’s just what I always thought…

  • anonymous

    stop being so such snobs and judge other base on their clothing. being someone who’s getting her PHD in chemistry in a top notch university and working in lab 15 hours a day, i wear comfortable clothing. The fact that I wear sweatpants has nothing to do with my knowledge in fashion and my ever expanding wardrobe of designer clothing. if you equate comfort clothing to laziness, then i have to say you are one of the most shortsighted person i’ve every met in my life.

    • Holly

      You can be comfortable without being sloppy. That is an overused excuse… not just by you, but LOADS of lazy people. They may not be lazy in every respect, but with regard to their personal appearance, yes… they are lazy.

  • Arnie

    Ah, I love my gumboots. Mine are mostly for when I go camping. If it’s cold and rainy (which inevitably turns to mud), then I need something to stop my feet from being soggy for days on end. They’re also big enough that I can get them on and off without even needing to touch them.

    I think Fred Dagg puts it beautifully; “Gumboots they are wonderful, gumboots they are swell, ’cause they keep out the water, and they keep in the smell.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rqZfTJN7d8

  • Dizzy Dino

    Not only do I not understand the hatred for rainboots, but I feel like someone at The Gloss should have thought “Lets not post this article ONE hour after we posted this article about buying rainboots.” : http://thegloss.com/fashion/shopping-guide-16-excellent-rainboots-at-every-price/

    • Ashley Cardiff

      I don’t understand the hatred for rain boots either (and am in love with my Hunters), but posting them on the same day was the plan.

    • Lindsay Cross

      Never again should two different people who happen to write for the same website have different opinions. We must all agree, all the time. Except for Jen, who frequently can’t even agree with herself.

  • jamie

    i loathe ostentatiously patterned rainboots….polka dots, plaid, you name it…on anyone over the age of 13, but there is something to be said for a chic pair of black hunters. the jimmy choo croc embossed ones are actually gorgeous. i’m not about to ruin leather boots splashing through puddles, just like i wouldn’t wear sandals in the snow…it’s all about dressing for the weather and looking as chic as you can while doing so. just because your lbd looks great, doesn’t mean you aren’t going to put a coat over it in winter…just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t (and should) be beautiful.

  • jamie

    shouldn’t*

  • Rebekah Mae

    I hate rain boots, I think they’re horribly ugly,and horribly uncomfortable. but I do own a pair if only for the reason that even though they are ugly and uncomfortable, it’s better then wearing a pair of non waterproof shoes.

  • rain boots

    this kind of boots remind me to the one of comedy drama produced at singapore titled “Phua Chua Kang”. He is a contractor but always wear yellow <a href="http://idealrainboots.blogspot.com&quot;rain boots anywhere.

  • Holly

    Rain boots are hideous and overpriced hunks of plastic. They are also completely unnecessary unless you are walking around in a hurricane-induced torrential downpour that causes flooding, or you’re walking through cow shit. By the way, that is what “rain boots” were originally designed for… for farmers in Wellington to be able to walk in cow shit on their farms. That is why they’re nicknamed “wellies.”

    So yes, unless they are being used for a practical purpose, I do abhor “rain boots.” I wonder how many people would still buy them if they were called “shit boots” as they should be called, since that’s what they were originally designed for. Unless the rain you are encountering is intense enough to cause flooding, rain boots are just totally unnecessary. And if it’s that bad out, why would you even be outside in the first place? Answer: You wouldn’t.

    In addition, they are not the least bit sexy unless paired with some kind of Halloween costume. They are completely unflattering, just like Uggs, crocs, and all the other stupid footwear trends that men watch in horror.

    Also, considering that I live somewhere that receives lots of snow and is very often below zero degrees (Fahrenheit) in the winter, I would like to correct a commenter’s WRONG assertion that rain boots are appropriate to wear in snow. Your feet would freeze and you could possibly even get frostbite and lose your toes if you wore rain boots in the snow for any prolonged period of time. They are NOT snow boots. They are PLASTIC (or rubber) and have NO lining. Anyone who thinks rain boots can be used as snow boots clearly doesn’t have much experience with actual snow.

    In conclusion, just say no to rain boots.

  • Christine

    It seems like most people who dislike rain boots are bitter ones. Not Our fault you can’t find boots that fit you properly and now you butch about how you can’t stand it on anyone. Keep seething over how the rest of us can wear our obnoxious patterned boots.

    • Chris

      This is exactly what a delusional female who wears rain boots would say. Keep wearing them thinking you look good, meanwhile everyone else thinks you look like a moron who belongs in the fishmarket.

    • kurkuqoka

      preach!

    • KG

      I don’t own a pair either but you just proved her point by angrily calling her names.
      Go find a more compelling conversation elsewhere.

  • Christine

    Also, not everything women wear has to do with impressing men. if we want to wear our rain boots, crocs, uggs, Birkenstocks etc, we will wear it and it doesn’t sexually arouse you then we don’t give a damn. If you’re a female and you have have a problem with these shoes because you’re so concerned about what men will think, then you have some serious personal issues.

  • Lily

    What I don’t understand is all the hate for something that doesn’t (or shouldn’t?) affect you. Do people wearing rain boots offend you some how? It’s a completely inconsequential thing on which to judge somebody by. It’s totally valid to not like rain boots paired with pajamas. But whats with bashing and judging of those who do? Who cares??

  • kurkoqoka

    ITT: women offended about someone being offended about rainboots
    ITT: women
    Grow up

  • Lee

    I admit rain boots rate significantly low on the fashion scale. However, if you’re a college student who has to navigate around campus during rainy weather they are an essential. Take it from a person who decided to where knee high flat leather boots on such a day and ended up getting moldy boots the next. I would rather swallow my stylish pride to spare my lovely knee highs and other shoes.

  • mel

    I completely disagree. I think rain boots (the right ones) can be practical AND add to an outfit.

  • Manhattan Man

    Manhattan Man here. This article utterly misses the mark. Hunter or LL Bean boots are not only utilitarian, but dead sexy, especially when paired with high socks–knee high or cute wool, warm leggings or skinny jeans. Just saying.

  • Jess

    Okay. So. This is a personal example that obviously doesn’t apply to everyone everywhere, but I have to share it anyway. I live in Oregon, and furthermore a part of Oregon where it rains heavily, all the damn time. You NEEEEEED them in order to survive the fall/winter/spring seasons. If you don’t own a pair of rainboots here, people will assume you’re a clueless tourist. Yeah, I prefer other boots or flats over rainboots too, but sometimes you just gotta suck it up. Unless you don’t care about water damage or cold feet, I guess.

    Also, have you ever worn a pair of good rainboots? If you find a pair that are lined with fabric and are sleek rather than chunky, they can be pretty chic (as far as rainboots go) and are just as easy to take off/put on as any other pair of boots. You just have to shop around. I swear to you that they are out there.

  • Olivia Wall

    I wear them when I walk from my car to my job then I change shoes… I have to park far from the building but I wouldn’t dare wear them all day unless I was working in my garden and it was wet… or yard… I have the dark blue mid calf/ankle ones and green ones… and for work I wear the ones that look like flats when I walk to the door so I do not ruin my work shoes…

  • McG

    Here is the part of this article that told me not only this woman is a snob, but will continue to forever be angry at the word for just about anything.
    ” In my obviously highly regarded and often law-basing opinion, they are ugly and they will never look good on me, let alone the millions of people who go out of their way to pay good money ”
    Guess what …. You made yourself sound like a pretentious angry snob. For the rest of us who are educated and have money too, you my friend give us a bad reputation. Get off your high horse and be a human being.

  • Julianna Buczkowski

    Also there ARE other work fields where people need to wear rain boots, like Postal Mail Carriers, both male and female. It doesn’t mean we ENJOY wearing them but it’s a must since most people don’t shovel their snow and when that shit melts, guess who gets to walk in those massive puddles. We do.

  • Vi

    Shut up, Jillian, nobody cares.