Fall can be punishing on footwear. One moment your canvas sneakers are sparkling new, the next, a three block walk in an unforeseen downpour has splashed them with grease, mud, and road salt. It’s better to have something more sturdy.
You could turn to leather, but maintaining it can be a chore and the initial cost makes them more of an investment purchase than a seasonal upgrade. Enter rubber shoes. This old-school shoe material is making a comeback thanks to its easy maintenance, relatively low price, and unique aesthetic.
Whether you’re raking leaves, heading to the pumpkin patch, or just walking to the office, be prepared with these six rubber shoes.
Hunter Men’s Original Rubber Lace-Up Boots, $185
A little bit punk rock and a little bit boot-camp, the Original Rubber Lace-Up Boots from Hunter give off the vibe of a military brat who’s just discovered the Dead Kennedys. These rubber shoes are practical to the point of stylish aggressiveness and will transition perfectly into the even colder weather of winter.
Calvin Klein Jeans Navid Boot, $120
The more urbane cousin of the rubber boot, the Navid Boot from Calvin Klein works perfectly with jeans or chinos and won’t leave you looking like a paratrooper if the rain doesn’t come.
Sperry Men’s Avenue 3-Eye Duck Shoe, $100
These rubber shoes evoke a certain Norman Rockwell-era vision of American footwear. Rock these with a sturdier trouser, a chunky, hand-me-down flannel, and a loyal hunting dog and you’re ready to hit the countryside.
Tretorn Gunnar Canvas Rubber Boots, $95
The Swedish company Tretorn has been making rubber boots for over a hundred years and that probably explains how the Gunnar Canvas Rubber Boot gets so much functionality out of what essentially looks like a pair of beefed up Chuck Taylors. Canvas is laminated to a fully-rubberized and waterproof upper that will keep your feet dry even if you have to deal with Sweden’s miserable weather.
Native Shoes Unisex Apollo Rain, $64.99
Are these shoes sort of bizarre? Maybe. The Apollo Rain shoes from Native look like a specie of running shoe that was stranded on the Galapagos Islands and forced to evolve a protective rubber carapace. Are bizarre things sometimes cool? Absolutely.
Converse All-Star Chuck Taylor High Rubber Boot, $55
Speaking of bizarre, it doesn’t get much goofier than an all-rubber set of firetruck-red Chuck Taylor’s. While everyone else will be rocking muted Martha Stewart colorways, you can let your shoe game pop while keeping your feet dry and warm.