The stylish footwear you need to survive winter – from comfy boots to smart loafers

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Oh, the irony of writing a column about shoes, from isolation, when all that has adorned my feet in the past five days are… bed socks.

I have had a lot of requests for shoes. A lot. “Dear Ginnie… how do I find the right shoes to commute in, that I can also wear to a meeting?” or “How do I update my everyday style, beyond trainers?” Shoes are so hard to get right. I maintain it’s my weak spot. So I simply stick to those styles I know make me feel good (ie those styles that I can run around in, that leave me feeling confident, relatively smart and those that, on occasion, are a talking point). You can take the girl out of Vogue…

I can’t cover off every style but I did want to at least share a winter tick-list. Shoes you can relax in around the home, styles you can throw on to make that first journey back to work, shoes that are going to keep you genuinely warm until the first shoots of spring appear.

Here I’m wearing the brown suede biker boots by British brand Really Wild Clothing. I’ll be honest, my last attempt at boots with denim was circa 2004; a pair of cowboy boots from R Soles on the Kings Road, worn with a miniskirt, when I was crushing on Sienna Miller in her boho phase (didn’t we all?). The suede boots over jeans look comes and goes, but I’ve never considered it me. Jeans don’t fit snugly inside the boot, boots seem to strangle calves, it doesn’t really flatter unless you have legs up to your armpits.

At least that was until I tried these boots. And now I’m converted. These fall mid-way up the calf, rather than just below the knee, thus giving the impression of a longer leg (because you see more trouser). They are well cut around the foot; not too clumpy, making them a classic style rather than the current trend of chunky boots. These come with a tassel, which I’ve removed out of personal choice, and they will happily find a home with those skinny jeans you’ve been told are apparently out of fashion (they’re not, the denim brands just want you to buy more styles).

I’ve worn these boots with long day-dresses and tights; I’ve worn them in the city and the country; I’ll wear them to the races. It’s just a shame that it’s taken me 18 years to find them.

Next, the loafers. You will have noticed these in a number of shoots for this column. For me, they are the absolute sweet spot of a shoe. No obvious branding, a deep blue leather which feels quietly elegant compared with classic black, and if you aren’t sure on baring ankles then I wear mine with a polka dot pop sock. The ultimate workwear shoe for those who can’t handle a full day in heels. These shoes promote denim to a smarter status so if you are staring at piles of jeans you know you need to smarten up for work, a loafer would do that for you. Working from home, balanced with a couple of days in the office is the new norm – but those office days rarely now require high heels and pencil skirts.

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