The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: Budget-Friendly Walking Shoes for Winter in NYC

I need some advice on shoe choice for a tourist's trip to NYC. I am going in early February and the forecast should be cold and rainy. I plan to do a lot of walking and would like to find a shoe that is comfortable enough to walk in, durable enough to withstand any rainy conditions, yet stylish enough to go from day to night (nothing dressy, but possibly a Broadway show). Any advice? —Melissa

It might sound boring, but I think a classic black boot by a reputable brand is your best bet. Something classic yet modern will keep your feet comfy and cozy for a full day of walking, climbing subway stairs and trudging through rain puddles, possibly even slush and snow. And you'll look stylish and put together whether you're going to an art museum, shopping in trendy boutiques or catching a show in the evening. There are lots of options out there, but here are 3 picks under $50:

Aerosoles Archive Stretch Boot, $39.99 at

I have always had luck with Aerosoles. Their shoes are super comfy and durable, and you can wear them for 8 to 10 hours at a time. These boots got great reviews, and it's easy to see why: Classic, versatile, tasteful. Check the outlet section for even more fab deals.

Unlisted by Kenneth Cole Women's 'Saddle Up' Tall Riding Boots, $47.99 at

For something with less heel and more edge, these riding boots from Kenneth Cole's more affordable line, Unlisted, will keep feet happy for hours. Again, Kenneth Cole is another brand I've had excellent luck with, so you can shop with some certainty that you will not be disappointed by your purchase.

Bandolino Neeko, $47.37 at

I've owned a couple pairs of Bandolinos over the years and they have never failed me. If tall boots aren't your thing, a low black ankle boot like the ones shown here are another fab option. You can wear them with dark bootcut jeans and a cute top and blazer for a stylish day to night look. Feet will be dry and pain-free, which means you will be a happy traveler.

Dear Readers: What are some versatile, comfortable shoes YOU would recommend that would work for winter in New York City?

Just got back from Boston (similar weather) and had packed 4 pairs of boots got the most use our of:

Merrell Tibet Boot
Hunter Wellington
J Crew Nottingham

Did not find success in my gray suede flat boots, got wet so fast.

Walked around Boston in these over Christmas and they are good for a few hours of shopping/ sights (works your calf a bit though). Excellent for traction in snow or rain which many fashion boots leave out and leaves you on your face.

Also found these cute and super comfy (order a little smaller though): Merrell Tibet boot -

For snazzy - J Crew boots are the best you can get for lower cost & comfort (check ebay or their clearance section on they will not be the best for walking all day but for a few hours you are good to go: (J Crew Nottingham Tall Boot) and they are great in a little bit of wet weather, even a bit of salt.

Best of luck!
#1 G on 2010-01-27 13:47 (Reply)
How cute they are! Comfortable as well as stylish!
#2 Diana on 2010-01-27 15:04 (Reply)
I ordered the Unlisted by Kenneth Cole tall riding boots with some Christmas money this year, and was really excited about the asymmetrical look, and awesome price, but I was VERY disappointed with the overall look when they finally arrived. The faux leather was some of the worst I've seen and the sole was thing, extremely rigid, and had no traction.

They look so cute on the internet but I would warn buyers to find them in a store (my local DSW carried them in black, not brown) and see if they like them first. I found some gorgeous and comfortable riding boots with a similar build for just a little more money at the same DSW.
#3 Rachael on 2010-01-27 19:47 (Reply)
I ordered the Unlisted boots too, from, and I am really happy with them. I got them in brown, though, so I wonder if the quality issues are worse with the brown fabric. I think these boots are really comfortable, but I haven't worn them in heavy rain (just Seattle drizzle), and I don't know if I would trust them. Actually, one other warning: when they arrived, the zipper on one was broken (the inside ankle, not the outside zipper which is just for show) so I had to grab some superglue to get it back together. Now all is well and the boots are really cute!
#3.1 NG on 2010-01-28 12:29 (Reply)
ack, I meant "I wonder if the quality issues are words with the BLACK fabric..."
#3.1.1 Ng on 2010-01-28 12:31 (Reply)
omg I need more coffee... "...worse..."
# NG on 2010-01-28 12:33 (Reply)
May not be as fashionable as what other readers have mentioned but for comfort alone, you should check out Kuru Footwear (
#4 Nathan Mathews on 2010-01-27 20:48 (Reply)
Couldn't agree with you more, BB. Tall black boots are the perfect footwear from stomping around the city :o) Great picks too!
#5 Maddy (Homepage) on 2010-01-28 14:21 (Reply)
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