When it comes to investing in key winter pieces in Happy Valley, we think it’s imperative to purchase a pair of Hunter rain boots to match our long, down North Face winter jackets and yoga pants. Though Hunter boots are functional and will enable you to fit into the Penn State crowd seamlessly, $140, as a starting price for the most basic pair, is a lot to shell out.
Since State College does see a decent amount of rain in the winter months, waterproof footwear is a must. However, paying $140 for a pair of boots everyone else wears is not mandatory. There are alternatives to the Hunter Boots.
The Shoe Box, in Downtown State College, offers a variety of all-weather boots. Kamik, a Canadian boot brand, has rain boots in the $50-$60 price range. These boots come in mid-calf height and full-calf height. The mid-calves come in yellow, blue and black and are perfect to pair with any daytime outfit. The full-calves are a little wackier, coming in a pretty cheetah print and blue plaid.
The Shoe Box also sells Sperry Top-Sider rain boots for $70. These boots are only offered in two colors. They are a girly pink, blue and green plaid and a more subdued red green and cream plaid. The two color choices have distinct personalities but are still tasteful. And because they are made by Sperry, which is a boat shoe company at heart, they will surely protect your feet from the winter rain.
Metro, another downtown clothing store, has a small selection of rain boots as well. It sells Hunter-inspired boots. They are less flashy than the ones sold at The Shoe Box, but serve the same purpose. Metro’s run at around $38. These boots come in the basic black with a variety of details. Some are adorned with simple buckles. Others are lined with sweater material around top cuff, much like the Hunter add-ons. They’re mostly in a matte black color, but one pair comes in a faux patent leather.
If you are looking to splurge on all-weather boots, but want to break free of the Hunter trend, go for a pair of Sorel boots. They are sold at both The Shoe Box and Barefoot for about $130. They have a timeless appearance and look like you can wear them hiking through a snowy trail. They are super cute and will definitely keep your toes warm and dry through the winter months. Even though they appear heavy-duty, they come in bootie height and are perfect to wear to class with a pair of jeans or leggings.
Photo by Victoria Oberdorf