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I can wear them all day without pain or blisters and they have great traction on snow and ice, making them one of my favorite pairs for travel.
As a full-time travel writer who lives out of a 70-liter Monos suitcase, I need shoes that are comfortable, versatile, and stylish enough that I can sport them on the streets of Milan without screaming “tourist.” I also need shoes that are affordable. Spoiler alert: most travel writers I know don’t have a Louboutin budget. That’s why these far more affordable boots from Sorel check all of my boxes, and then some.
If you think the highly rated Emelie II Chelsea Boots look familiar, you’d be right; they are a newer version of the original top-rated Emelie boot which have 2,000 perfect five-star reviews at Amazon. Plus, they come from celeb-loved brand Sorel, which has accrued a fan club consisting of everyone from Oprah to Jennifer Aniston to Kate Middleton. Not to mention, they’re tested and approved by Travel + Leisure editors.
And, right now, my go-to winter booties are up to 58 percent off their $165 price tags in select colors at Amazon. Currently, they’re available in nine colors, but for the best deal, shop the quarry shade (gray) for as little as $70. You can also score discounts of up to 35 percent off the tawny brown color, making them $108. The boots are available in sizes 5 to 12, with half sizes included. I’m a size 9, and I find them to be pretty true to size (although if you’re going to wear them without socks all the time, you may want to go down half a size).
To buy: amazon.com, starting at $70 (originally $165)
Even the chicest of shoes are useless to me if I have to sacrifice comfort for style. Fortunately, with these booties, I don’t. They have high-quality insoles and great arch support so they’re comfortable enough for even the longest days of sightseeing. They’re so comfy in fact, I’ve never even gotten a blister — and I can wear them without socks when I travel to warmer places in the winter!
It’s also worth mentioning that I live in Montana where we see plenty of snow. Plus, I plan on taking these boots on a Hurtigruten Expeditions Antarctica cruise in January. I love that I can wear them on snow and ice. The rubber outsole has a great grip – even on the slickest of surfaces – and the waterproof full grain leather (or suede if you opt for that material) ensures my feet stay nice and dry. They’re also roomy enough I can wear them with thick, wool socks.
To buy: amazon.com, $120 (originally $165)
In terms of traveling, they’re a great shoe to wear to the airport because they’re easy to slip on and off at security. The opening at the ankle is wide, yet supportive, and there are loops in the back to help get your heel in and out. I most recently took them on a trip to Montana’s newest luxury resort, The Green O, where I have 37,000 acres (no, that’s not a typo) to explore. I wore them horseback riding, hiking around camp, and even electric fat tire biking. In fact, I don’t know why I even bothered packing other shoes!
I opted for Dark Amber Tobacco so they’d go with almost everything in my travel wardrobe. For a casual look, I wear them with these super comfy Levi jeans (they’re so stretchy I can even wear them on long flights) and my favorite oversized flannel jacket. For fun and slightly sexier vibes, I pair them with faux leather leggings. Of course, these boots also go with dresses or this must-have travel-friendly midi-skirt.
Given how little wear and tear they show after all I’ve already put them through, I expect to have these comfy and durable Sorel boots for at least another year or two. Then, I’ll have to get another pair. Or maybe, just to be on the safe side, I’ll stock up now that they’re more than half off.
To buy: amazon.com, $134 (originally $165)
At the time of publishing, the price started at $70.
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