Winter shoe protection: SWIMS overshoes — Today was the first I’ve really seen some substantial snow on the ground here in Chicago and instead of turning toward a pair of boots, I opted to just slip on a pair of rubber overshoes.
Overshoes are a great idea if there’s just a mild amount of rain, snow or slushy ground and you are wearing nice leather-soled dress shoes. I’d recommend them for commuters who aren’t going to be walking unreasonably long distances outdoors in urban areas. For one, they’ll give you extra grip when walking. And they do a decent job of keeping your leather shoes protected against the elements.
Cheap options (aka, Ramen Noodle Budget) would be a pair of Tingley’s. The best deal right now is at Men’s Warehouse where Tingley’s overshoes will run you $19.99 with free shipping. And they’re running a deal where you can buy one and get one free — keep a pair at home, another pair at the office. That’s a pretty good deal for a serviceable solution.
For those of you wanting a more colorful option, I’ve reviewed and recommended SWIMS overshoes. They’re more expensive, typically retailing at $100, but you can find them on sale right now at Shrine Haberdashers ($66.50, above) and Brooks Brothers ($73.50). Despite the price, these are my personal preference.
Functionally, I can’t honestly tell you if these overshoes are 3-5 times more effective at protecting your shoes from rain, snow and slush. I can tell you though that they’re 3-5 times more colorful. I personally don’t wear a lot of black shoes and didn’t like the idea of putting a black overshoe on a brown pair of brogues, so I paid for a pair of SWIMS on sale last year and went with a blue colorway.
Whatever your budget, definitely consider a pair of overshoes. If you’ve invested some serious money in nice footwear, then you should also invest in keeping them in the best possible shape. Salty melted ice water in the winter will ruin your leather if you don’t clean them quickly or protect against it. So, do right by yourself and your shoes.