After a few false starts, this year’s mercurial weather seems to be settling into default British mode: grey, damp, chilly. Delightful. Winter is coming but I’ll cling onto bare ankles as long as possible because I’m stubborn like that.
Fashion’s hold over showing some skin sees some stylists venturing out during NYFW’s legendary February snowstorms with bare legs. Ok, they dash from overheated show venue to Town Car to showroom but there is still snow on the ground! The fashpack are hardcore when it comes to the cold. Yet sometimes, when I’m frozen to my bones, practicality triumphs over fashion and I cave to comfort and snuggle into a chunky boot.
This Autumn, hiking-style boots are totally on-trend – especially if you update them with authentic red hiking shoelaces – while cowboy boots are having a moment too, thanks to their appearances on Calvin Klein, Fendi and Dolce & Gabanna’s catwalks.
Although I’m having a LOT of fun with styling my shoes with the current crop of quirky socks (look to Falke and Wolford for Eighties-esque 10 denier versions speckled with polka dots or metallic lurex styles), boots are certainly back – but there’s still one issue. Whatever trend you fancy dipping your toe into, it needs a supersize sock to add a layer of warmth when temperatures dip, surely? Without resorting to stealing your boyfriend’s football socks, what is 2018’s solution to looking chic and not getting chilblains?
At the start of this century, wearable tech was hailed as the future of fashion. Garments that heated up or cooled down depending on our ambient body temperatures. Clothes that could placate our moods or at least predict them. A flurry of fashion/tech hybrids merged style and function and while the concepts heralded a new way of dressing, they just didn’t look good. Smart watches and Fitbits transcended the surge to become wildly successful but clunky battery-operated heated wellies have thankfully been forgotten. They were hardly worthy of a #shoefie.
Hold up, though! The idea of a boot that heats up your feet is pretty, er, cool. And at last, using a fusion of slick design and 2018’s most cutting-edge technology, get ready to future-proof your footwear with the launch of Jimmy Choo’s Voyager boot. Light years away from wearable tech’s early experiments, these bad boys come with wirelessly heated in-soles. There is a hidden USB port on the actual boot and the temperature controls are via an app on your phone.
Naturally there are controls for each foot and you can vary the temperatures, ranging from a balmy 25°C through to a tropical 45°C. Depending on how Baltic the weather is, the heat lasts up to 8 hours and the technology tracks your step count, too. The boots are sleek yet tough-looking and obviously water-resistant (nothing chills your feet more than rain-sodden shoes) and come in shiny black or white leather and black or navy nubuck versions, all trimmed with snuggly sheepskin. Winter? Bring it.
Jimmy Choo’s Voyager boot, from £1250. jimmychoo.com