We're officially stepping into that dreaded period of annual festivity, a time that comes with stressful shopping assault courses, social (often drunken) embarrassment and the weather roulette wheel that delights in the occasional blizzard with a dash of flooding, sleet and that firm British weather favourite, 'bloody horrible.'
Now we can't really offer you much in the way of the first two problems other than maybe shopping on the internet if you're a secret sociopath and avoiding anyone that is or could be an intern or your superior at work parties. For the latter issue though we can offer some gentle guidance by urging you to be prepared with some solid footwear that won't leave you looking like you've just left the Somme or like a Dad moonwalking at a wedding.
Here are five boots that caught our eye that will also keep you dry.*
Montacute Lord from Clarks £79.99: www.clarks.co.uk/
Straight from the wonderfully reliable and Sabotage favourite Clarks. These are a brogue style pair of boots with a solid rubber sole that means business. As always with a pair of Clarks they are also comfier than a night out with a billionaire. Built from good quality leather with a Harris Tweed lining, they're made for durability and will last you a long long time, as a bonus they also look cracking.
Flood rating: Hertfordshire
'Ellis' Hi Cut Boot from Topman £55.00: www.topman.com
With boots you generally get what you pay for, especially when what you're paying for is an item that's supposed to be getting you through apocalyptic weather conditions. Scrimping can often very quickly see you having a sock turnover akin to Howard Hughes at the height of his OCD. That said, if you're looking for a cheaper option you can do a lot worse than these efforts from Topman. 100% leather with a contrasting suede tongue and detail around the sole topped off with a lovely chord lining to keep you comfy. You wouldn't necessarily take these on a hike owing to the more practical style of rubber sole but if you're not venturing out of the city or town these will suit you just fine.
Flood rating: London
The Yodeler Boot from DVS £80.99: www.tactics.com
Not only a very on trend style at the moment but also a boot that, for the price packs a pretty weighty weather resistant punch. Equipped with protective tongue gussets to keep water, snow, commuter coffee and other nastiness from getting inside it also has a special integrated lycra sock to both secure and insulate your tootsies. Your feet will be snugger than a bug in a massive rug in front of an open fire.
Flood rating: Durham
Tammerrack WP from Cushe £100.00: www.cushe.com
A hardcore pair with comfort and practicality first on its list of priorities. It's got a ventilated mesh lining that should go someway to avoiding the stench of trench-foot, along with an extremely insulated integrated sock.The sole is made from moulded Vibram rubber which will give you more grip than a tyre and the whole thing is made from premium waterproofed leather and suede. The kind of thing you'd expect Bear Grylls to wear before he goes to sleep inside the rotting carcass of a lama.
Flood rating: Yorkshire
Mark McNairy for Timberland £190.00: www.mrporter.com
Finally we've got Timberland's tie-up with the esteemed Mark McNairy who's put his stamp on the brands classic 6" boot. A little more expensive than the others on the list but at the same time you're essentially getting two very reliable and stylish brands in one here. McNairy is renowned for his style aesthetic adding a touch of class to everything from the classic brogue to chukka boots and Timberland are pretty much an institution in themselves. The updated version of the classic comes with yellow ankle support detail contrasting with taupe suede uppers and the usual chunky sole we're used to with Timberland. It goes without saying that these are also waterproofed and insulated within an inch of their life. An absolute classic.
Flood rating: Anywhere in the 1990s.
*Rhyming couplets unashamedly intentional.