NEW YORK — On rainy days men have the advantage of sturdier, full-coverage footwear. But suede bucks or calfskin brogues can easily be left with water stains, and soggy loafers are one of life's small tortures.
Here are five smart rainy-day options for men that will keep feet dry and stylish.
1. Ever wonder what happened to the galoshes your grandfather wore over his shoes?
They're back, and they're ultra hip, which Prada's rubber-dipped shoes made official at a Milan fashion show.
And Norwegian John Ringdal created a modern galosh with his company SWIMS, after spending a few winters in Manhattan. SWIMS galoshes ($85) are great looking, come in every color, and shine your shoes while you wear them. Keep them at the office or in your bag in case a storm rolls in unexpectedly. If you want to try them on, Brooks Brothers sells them.
SWIMS' water-resistant sneakers, made from high-density nylon and the company's signature rubber, are very cool and sold at Kith ($100). And they also make snappy rubber loafers sold at Scoop, which are practical for hot summer days.
2. Slip-on rain boots are convenient, but when I see a man in Hunter Wellingtons, he reminds me of Paddington Bear. An ankle boot version is the way to go, and Tretorn's are very well done. The Strala has a sneaker vibe, and the Gunnar ($85 at REI) resembles a hiking boot. Both have slip-free rubber treading.
3. The most elegant option on a rainy day is a Cordovan shoe. Cordovan is a uniquely beautiful, often burgundy-colored leather that sheds water easily. Look for Cordovan shoes with soles by the manufacturer Dainite, or the more rugged-looking "commando" soles, which are rubber treads attached to double-leather soles. When it comes to dress shoes, Dainite and commando are the only soles to wear in the rain. Leather soles on their own tend to look better, but they're porous, so if your shoes are soaked, your feet will be wet.
The American company Alden of New England makes beautiful Cordovan shoes, which can be found at their store on Madison Avenue, and at Barney's ($600-$1,200).
If Cordovan is a bridge too far, opt for waxed leather. The English company Crockett and Jones, which has a store on 56th Street, always takes weather into account, and makes the handsome Snowdon boot, which is a plain-front derby boot made with the water-resistant Veldtschoen construction.
4. A military boot or a heritage worker boot looks better with a little wear and tear anyway, and if you choose one that's not overly clunky, you can sport the boot with a suit. On the high-end, Gucci makes the rakish Daumier Lace-Up Military Boot ($660 at Bergdorf Goodman).
Red Wing makes the more humble and very comfortable Beckman Boot ($144 at Bergdorf's). Put a couple of wax polishes on them, and let them dry after every wear and you'll have a good rainy day shoe.
5. The duck boot is still a good look — and it's comfortable and completely waterproof. L.L. Bean's version is classic and makes an updated version with a waxed canvas upper.
Sorel makes a Cheyanne boot ($115 at Barney's) made with Thinsulate insulation that's good for winter. Keep a pair of ducks by your door, and you'll always feel prepared for the elements.