Do the shoes you choose really matter? Science says yes: research shows that people actually judge us based on the shoes we wear.
We can use that information to our advantage. If you need to impress a business-casual crowd, a timeless pair of loafers will do the trick. To stun on a dinner date, you might reach for your favorite stilettos. And to show how fashion-forward you are, you can strap on a pair of shiny new duck boots.
Wait a minute — duck boots? Yes, you read that right. These once-practical items have become a full-fledged fashion statement.
Wondering how to try duck boot style for yourself? We’ve got it all right here. Keep reading to learn all about duck boots and how to wear this statement-making trend!
What Are Duck Boots?
Duck boots are a type of waterproof shoe with a rubber shoe portion, and an upper made of leather or textile. They have laces and sturdy soles and tend to come up to the ankles or calves.
Duck boots are designed to be durable, comfortable, and waterproof. They’re typically found in neutral shades like browns, blacks, and olives.
What Are Duck Boots Good For?
These utilitarian shoes once seemed a far cry for a fashion choice. But today’s fashion world has adopted everything from combat to hiking boots, so it should come as no surprise that duck boots have followed.
Traditionally, people chose duck boots for rain or light snow. They would also wear them for outdoor activities like gardening or farming, especially when a waterproof choice was called for. These boots are durable and have non-slip treads, so they’re easy to wear in all conditions.
Today, people still benefit from all of these practical uses — fashion lovers not least of all. Who doesn’t need an option that’s as stylish as it is comfortable from time to time?
Duck Boots in History
Where did the duck boot come from?
You might hear duck boots alternatively referred to as “Bean Boots.” Originally, this boot style was developed and branded by Leon Leonwood Bean. He would later become known as L.L. Bean of the famous outdoor clothing store.
The first duck boots, with their rubber-and-leather construction, were a hit when they debuted in 1911. Bean loved outdoor activities like hunting and wanted to create a boot that would keep his feet dry and warm on every hunting excursion.
He realized that if he married rain boots with the traditional leather boot, he’d have the perfect waterproof hybrid. By adding the rubber base of a rain boot to a leather upper, the first duck boot was created.
The boots quickly took off with hunters and outdoorsmen. But they also become a fashion statement in their early days. Bean’s company was based in Maine, and the men of nearby New England prep schools latched on to the duck boot as a status symbol.
Who would have thought that decades later, this iconic style would enjoy a fashion resurgence?
Duck Boot Outfits: Modern Styling Tips to Try
In the years between L.L. Bean’s day and now, duck boots were long worn for practical purposes only. But over the last few years, they’ve returned to fashion circles, offering lots of creative new ways to wear them. Pick up a trendy, modern pair like the Sperry duck boots and get styling!
With Skinny Jeans or Leggings
Duck boots offer the perfect place to tuck your skinny jeans or leggings into the top. This gives your overall outfit a sleek look. If you wear duck boots with baggy pants, you run the risk of looking like you’re going hunting yourself.
With Thick Socks
You can add another layer of interest (and warmth) by letting a pair of thick, heavy-duty socks show over the top of your duck boots. Now, you’ve got a solid barrier between your feet and the elements, for a fashion-forward look that works all year.
With Cropped Denim
If you want an alternative to the skinny styles, you can pair your duck boots with a pair of cropped jeans, or just roll up the hems on your favorites. Let bare ankles or chic socks show between your jeans and boots.
While you can wear duck boots all year round and look great, there’s no denying that they evoke the fall and winter months perfectly. Embrace the seasonality, and pair your duck boots with a plaid shirt on top.
You can make the look a little more chic with a trendy faux-fur vest or coat over the top. This look is warm, and it will also take you seamlessly from hiking to happy hour.
With a Thick Sweater
Styling duck boots are all about proportions. Since they’re a heavy item, they often look good contrasted with a skinny pant. But you can add balance by adding more weight to the top of your look, such as with a thick knit sweater.
When to Wear Duck Boots
You don’t just need to wear your duck boots outdoors anymore. But if you want to make a fashion statement, when will they work best?
Although they’re trendy, the duck boot still doesn’t lend itself well to formal occasions. This look is best worn for casual fun, such as post-work drinks or a laidback weekend outing.
They’re also ideal for activities that take you straight from outdoors to inside. Think a fall pumpkin patch followed by spiked hot chocolate in a cozy restaurant, or a stroll in the park followed by afternoon coffee.
However, if you wear yours outside, take care that they don’t get too dirty and worn out. A beat-up looking duck boot will no longer make a fashion statement and should be replaced.
Duck Boot Style: Ready to Get Your Own?
Now that you know the basics of duck boot style, you’re ready for a pair of your own. Use these tips to get started, but don’t be afraid to experiment with creative, quirky looks beyond the ones listed here.
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