It's a dilemma which presents itself around this time each year: what makes a good 1940s/50s style winter shoe - one which will look cute and stylish but will also be appropriate for wet weather, or frosty mornings and icy pavements. As always, I turn to the Sears catalogues for inspiration.
The chunky-heeled Oxford certainly rules as king of the sensible shoes, in plain leather, mock croc and classic saddle variations - sturdy enough to face any weather. The "Authentic Norwegian Casual Style" loafer also looks like it could face down a slippery pavement or two, and is still a classic style today.
For most of the winter I usually end up in either high heel lace-up Oxfords or in my Mary Janes, although the low front isn't very wet weather friendly. I could rather go for those Victorian-esque lace-up ankle boots with their sturdy medium heels. Shearling lined, better still! Chelsea boots are also widely available today.
Knee boots seem to be quite the thing for country walks, although they wouldn't normally be appropriate for town wear. These on the right look very modern, a bit "biker boot" - right on trend for 2012 (I think my sister has a pair just like them!), exactly 70 years after this catalogue was published.
Most of the boots in the 1940s catalogues seem to be galoshes-type "over-boots", worn to protect one's shoes from the rain and snow - there's a "heel guide" to help find the right height heel to fit over your shoes. Some of the styles are easily glamorous enough to be worn in their own right, though - I love those buttoned-over styles, both the boot (which again has a slightly Victorian air) and shoe versions.
Finally, though the heels might not be the best for the odd snow day, the higher throats on these pumps at least make them a bit more "splash proof" for rainy outings.