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Whether I’m watching content creators build the perfect outfit on TikTok or stalking LOTD of celebrities on In the style, there seems to be a common style trend that crosses age or style: lug-soled boots. Chunky shoes have stuck around since 2019, when they made waves as the season’s “it girl” shoe. But as sales of high heels waned in popularity, cleated boots prevailed making a name for themselves as super comfortable shoes on par with sneakers. So when it came time to find my favorite boots last winter, I knew I needed a pair.
My research has taken me far. I wanted to keep up with the trend, but needed an option that could keep up with my daily walks, which often exceed 10,000 steps. Most styles offering this level of support allude to it; they were too wide, too big or just too ugly. But then, like Goldilocks, I found my perfect fit in Vionic’s Karsen boot.
If you know Oprah’s favorite things, you probably know Vionic. Its slippers and slip-on sneakers made its list due to their supportive designs, which prioritize stability, arch support, and cushioning — so it makes sense that they’re also podiatrist-approved. Turns out Karsen boots are no different. Easier to break in than a pair of Doc Martens, they have an EVA foam footbed that molds to the shape of your foot. I wouldn’t describe it as a cloud, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever felt in a pair of boots; a fact backed up by my decision to wear them for a 12-mile walk around New York.
The waterproof leather is another reason I can’t stop obsessing over these boots. It’s not only easy to clean with a damp cloth, but it also makes the shoes a solid choice in bad weather. I’ve put them on through snowstorms, rain showers, and everything in between, with no slipping or falling (despite the 2-inch heel). Once I even went out of my way to step into a puddle of water – just to test the seam-sealed technology – and as I expected, no moisture crept in and my feet stayed completely dry.
Also available in synthetic rubber, the Karsen style offers so much versatility. I wear them when taking my dog for 3 mile walks, but I also like to pair them with a leather skirt or straight jeans for a night out. Needless to say, the big boots have accompanied me to gigs, bars, and dinners at Lilia’s a la Kim K and Pete Davidson. And although Vionic gave me two of the colorways (black and a now sold out cream), I’m now looking forward to adding the Olive color to my collection at my expense.
My only complaint is that the shoes are a little big, and that’s coming from someone with wide feet. The thicker design often means more room, but I found it noticeable enough that I decided to downsize. So while I normally wear a 9, I opted for a size 8.5 for my second pair. I wear the larger size with very thick socks and actually prefer doing it on cold winter days, but I like the snug fit of the slightly smaller pair for regular wear.
All in all, I can’t think of a better way to get into the chunky trend. I get the support my feet need, but I also get the style that makes my outfits worthy of an OOTD TikTok post.