This story was written for Steve Fox’s Multimedia Journalism class at UMass Amherst. It is being reprinted here with permission
By: Jessica Sacco, Michael Mastone, Talene Jermakian
Recently, it has become apparent that rain boots are the new trend. Whether worn around school campuses or out to do errands, this footwear is continuously making an appearance during rainy days. Originally sported by Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, in the early 19th century, these boots have been around for almost 200 years.
With the wet weather season in full swing, many people are rushing to the stores to prepare for what is bound to be a semester filled with showers. UMass students, who are accustomed to the poor and unpredictable weather on campus, have been pulling out their rain gear to help ease the struggle of going to class. Of course, while doing so, why not look fashionable?
Over the past few years rain boots have evolved into a fashion staple. Today, when the weather is unfavorable, one will be hard pressed to find a minute woman who isn’t wearing this rubber footwear. For many, the question of how to stay dry while out in the rain has vanished and is now replaced with how to look good doing it.
For those of you looking to get a pair, here’s an easy guide to help you through the process.
Fashion savvy shoppers with money to burn:
1. Burberry range from $225 to a staggering $450. This site offers a variety of styles including leather, equestrian, plaid, all black, and quilted.
2. Hunter boots range from $80 to $472. With both tall and short styles available, Hunter also offers several colors including red, black, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, silver, and gray.
3. Coach boots range from $108 to $118. With only three styles offered, this is not the place for someone who fancies a cornucopia of choices. There are brown and gray leopard prints, as well a simple two-toned piece featuring a heart-shape Coach logo.
For all you penny-pinchers out there:
1. Target boots come in at a very affordable $24.99. For those with budget weighing heavily on their minds, this is the perfect location for all of your booting needs. With solid, zebra, leopard, and plaid prints available, consumers get the best of both worlds in terms of price and style.
2. At Payless, that is exactly what you will be doing. Ranging from $22.99 to $29.99, these boots offer nothing outside of the typical mold. Solid, polka dot, zebra, and floral prints are available.
3. Walmart houses the largest selection any company on this list with several unique styles that could not be found elsewhere. Among these fashions are python and rain drop prints. While the majority of this footwear comes in at a pleasing $25, there are surprisingly a few outliers priced at $69.99.
The popularity of this trend has skyrocketed on the UMass campus to the point where, when water falls from the sky, one would be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t wearing rain boots.
With a small section of the campus store dedicated to rain protective gear, officials finally decided to stop turning a cold shoulder and take advantage of a previously untapped market. This semester rubber rain boots became available at the school store for the median price of $30. The basic styles (solid and plaid) hold down their own display in the center of the store.