A few years ago, something unexpected happened: Sorel boots moved from après-ski essential to coveted everyday accessory. Celebs sparked the craze in 2012, when Zoe Saldana, Liv Tyler and Emma Roberts were snapped frolicking in their Sorels at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Sorel now claims other A-list fans: Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Olsen and Blake Lively, who recently sported a pair as she strolled the streets of Sudbury, Ont., with her husband, Ryan Reynolds. But can the brand famous as a winter staple retain its identity as it moves toward sleek silhouettes this fall? “We’re never going to walk away from function or protection,” says Erin Sander, global product director at Sorel, “but style should always come first.” Take this season’s Joan of Arctic wedge—leather embellished with distressed hardware—as proof that the brand is stepping in the right direction.

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True north. Sorel was founded in Kitchener, Ont., back in 1962. In 2000, Columbia sportswear Company—based in Portland, Ore.—acquired it, transforming Sorel into a global mega-brand.

Style spinoff. Inspired by the popular Joan of Arctic winter boots (you know the ones—faux-fur cuff, rubber foot), this fall update features the same criss-cross lace-up detail.


Are you ready, boots? Blame it on Nancy Sinatra, but boots have become a symbol of power footwear. As Sander notes, “We all walk a little taller when we feel good about how we look.”

Fall classic. These boots are
 made of waterproof full-grain leather 
and have a rubber bottom for guaranteed grip. Consider them an edgier
 alternative to your rainy-day wellies.
 No #polarvortex necessary.

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Best foot forward. Leather “Joan of Arctic” wedge mid-boots in dark fossil ($270, sorelfootwear.ca)

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