Doc Martens are one of those fashion trends that were hip in the ’80s then became popular in recent years.

In Harrisonburg, winter is something to prepare for. Wearing the right shoes will always be important, whether the ice makes it dangerous for students to walk the Quad or there’s a desire for utmost comfort on a cold trek to East Campus. Boots can be fashionable while still offering readiness for slushy walks, and these versatile trends keep one in style, so they can walk into 2020 and the new semester fully prepared to take on the next decade. The best thing about these styles is that anyone can wear them. 

Duck Boots 

Everyone needs a sturdy winter boot that can handle the wet, snowy sidewalks. Duck boots have been around for years and offer the perfect balance between fashion and practicality. A popular duck boot is the classic L.L.Bean boot, although it can tend to be on the pricier side. One can find similar styles anywhere, from places like Tommy Hilfiger to Sperry Topsider. These boots have laces, come in various heights and have a sturdy rubber base that provides water resistance. There are even insulated pairs that give one extra warmth on top of a wool sock. 


Timberlands are boots intended for outdoor use, so one surely can’t go wrong with a pair of these babies this winter. This brand is a staple icon for any outside activity. They have steel stitching and rubber soles that are engineered for maximum comfort and warmth. Although these boots typically come in either suede or leather, there are water repellents one can purchase that’ll help to prevent their boots from staining and preserve their material longer. The brand's typically known for its iconic tan model, but the company now offers colors like navy blue and extras like furry, heeled styles, allowing one to have an edgier and dressed up look in their Timberlands. 

Doc Martens 

Fashion trends have a tendency of repeating themselves, for better or worse. In this case, thankfully it did. Docs are one of those fashion trends that were hip in the ’80s then rebirthed in recent years to become “it” shoes everyone wants to rock. When I purchased my first pair of Docs, my mother joked that she should’ve saved hers from when she was in college. Not only do these shoes have a trendy reputation, but they’re sturdy, and although they’re expensive, they’re worth the price. They come in men’s and women’s sizes, various styles, heights, soles and colors. The best thing about them is they’re easily washable with warm water and a paper towel, so one shouldn’t be afraid to get a little dirt on a pair of Doc Martens. 

Hunter Rain Boots 

There’s nothing cuter than a pair of rain boots — something about them is so playful. They’re like superhero shoes, and their power is being waterproof — and yes, even college students can enjoy jumping in puddles. From experience, Harrisonburg receives great amounts of rain, and in Virginia, the winter provides a ton of wet conditions. Although Hunter Boots provide a wider selection for feminine styles, the company’s Original Tall Adjustable Rain Boot comes in men’s and women’s sizes and is fully water-resistant, perfect for what the winter’s weather will entail. Because these boots aren't the warmest on their own, a tip is to wear wool socks or get a Hunter specific insulator for them, which can be separately purchased in various shoe stores or on Hunter Boots website.

Blundstones or Blundstone Style Booties 

A newer trend that’s been gaining popularity is the Blundstone style bootie. This shoe is a laceless, snug, ankle-fitting boot. The Original 500 Chelsea Boot, offered in men’s and women’s sizes, is a suitable pick for the winter on campus. The boot is famous for its breathable, waterproof leather that’s long-lasting. A leathery, tight fit around one’s ankle doesn’t sound the most comfortable, but from the reviews of friends and the quality shoe, it can be excellent for walking. 

A Harness Frye Boot 

Frye boots have rave reviews for their leather that lasts a lifetime. Although they’re expensive, their reputation and proof of hardiness deem them worthwhile. The Harness Frye Boot comes in short or tall and in colors like black, tan and charcoal. The shoe is clean and chic and has options for men and women. My favorite aspect of the shoe is that it's a high-end, designer priced shoe that one can feel free to wear in any weather, including snow. My pair has made it through six dreadful winters and are still as good as new. 

Contact Claudia Vigue at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.