I've lived in Chicago my entire life. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for winter so I could wear my moon boots - elastic topped affairs with removable warm foam inserts. I felt like an astronaut. Fast forward to adulthood, and winter has become a dreaded affair. Cold winds, dirty brown-black salt water filled puddles and icy sidewalks await my morning commute. After years of dealing with it - the wet sock, salt stained jeans and cold ass feet, I decided to strike back. I bought these:
Simply the best money I've ever spent. The shearling lining (and Thinsulate insole) keep my feet warm, and the dark brown color is much preferred to the normal. The 10 inch height allows my pants to stay salt free and the bottoms do actually provide traction. They even look something (at least I can imagine there is a resemblance) like WW2 era high altitude boots:
Bring it on, snow!