Why This Half-Sneaker, Half-Rain Boot Deserves Space in Your Closet

(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- Since Nike brought it out ahead of the 35th anniversary of the Air Force 1 in 2016, the Special Field Air Force 1 has earned a cult following as attractive, lightweight, wet-weather footwear. The $175 women’s sneaker-rain-boot hybrid draws on the legacy of the AF1— a perennial favorite among streetwear enthusiasts and one of the best-selling shoes of all time—while borrowing military details from the brand’s more technical collections. A high collar in ballistic mesh nylon keeps feet dry while adding some Mad Max flair.

The Competition

• For more outdoorsy types, L.L.Bean duck boots ($135) have the classic appeal of the brand’s Maine heritage, but their rugged outsoles are too hefty for everyday wear.

• While Hunter’s original rubber boot is a festival favorite, the $150 slip-ons still require a second pair of shoes for the office.

• Doc Martens’ 101 Smooth ($135) combines workwear-inspired utility with a stylish leather profile that comes closest to Nike’s proposition.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to water resistance, nothing quite matches this combination of fashion and function. Their height will protect your feet from puddles, but it also nods to Burberry designer Riccardo Tisci’s knee-high AF1s. An optional rope accessory, now a removable woven strap in the shoe’s latest release, cinches them tight in a downpour. They’re lightweight enough for urban pavement-pounding but also durable, thanks to a full-grain leather toe box that makes for a more substantial shoe. Perhaps best of all is a zipper that doubles as a tongue, eliminating the need for laces. From $175; stadiumgoods.com

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