The top 10 stores for rain boots and gear in Toronto
Shopping for raincoats and rain boots in Toronto is the key to getting through our drizzly springtime weather in style. Much as we'd like to ditch the winter boots for strappy sandals and suede sneakers the second the mercury inches past 5 C or so, a little practical transitional dressing may be in order.
Here are my picks for the top stores to buy rain boots and gear in Toronto.
Toronto only has one store devoted entirely to wet-weather fashion statements. This concourse-level boutique under the Holt Renfrew Centre doesn't have a terribly hip vibe, but they make up for it with mod bubble umbrellas, cute rain trenches in stripes and wallpaper florals, and on-trend Aigle rain boots in a variety of hues, all at reasonable prices.
The strong lineup of brands at this Queen West fave means nobody in town balances current trends with functional designs quite like they do. Where rain gear's concerned, they've got rubber boots from Tretorn, Bogs, Hunter, Palladium, and even those awesome new waterproofed rubber Converse.
True to the name, this shop on Lawrence is packed with all kinds of outdoorsy gear - not terribly high-fashion, but you could easily work one of their rainbow-hued K-Way packable jackets into a weekend look.
It might be outside the average Torontonian's budget, but if you love to splash out on locally-designed fashion, head to Holt's to check out the slick slickers from Toronto line Trout Rainwear - their trenches and capes ($535 and up) have an undeniable retro charm.
If you get up to some serious stuff on the weekends (hiking, camping, bear wrestling), you're going to want to check out what the King West location of this rugged sportswear retailer has in stock. Their outerwear pieces may be on the pricier side - but you'll be still be wearing that jacket to the cottage in 10 years.
This should be your first stop for shoes in Toronto, at any rate, and their wet-weather gear is no less stylish: They carry Hunter, Aigle, Native, and occasional rain-ready boots from higher-end lines like Ilse Jacobsen. (Another recent find: Rubber Doc Martens, the ultimate in chic rain boots.)
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Another sure stop for outdoorsy folks, MEC would make this list just for having a raincoat called "the Aquanator". Though their footwear tends toward the lug-treaded side of things, they also stock some minimal (and rather cute) waterproof Tretorns.
If yoga-chic is your thing, you'll dig the rainwear at Lole's Yorkville boutique, which features rain slickers in athletic colours and styles - perfect for a rainy-day run, the trip to and from the yoga studio, or throwing on on the way to brunch.
At this north-end repository for all things athletic, you'll find rain gear from North Face, Hunter, Patagonia, Canada Goose. Their overall style is sporty-neon, but you'll also find some nicely streamlined pieces from Fjallraven and Helly Hansen.
This Toronto-bred duo of stores focuses more on boutique-y, mid-priced shoe lines; where rain gear's concerned, they've got boots from Aigle, Cougar, Tretorn, and a good selection of the ever-present Hunters, along with Sorels and some waterproofed leather Ugg riding boots.
Did I miss any? Leave your favourite place to shop for rain gear in the comments.
Photo by Scott Snider via the blogTO Flickr pool.
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