3 stylish shoe shops for Seoul's rainy season
The rainy season kicked off last week in Korea, to many a Seoul fashionista’s dismay. While waterproof boots were once merely the footwear of choice among fishmongers, they're now a must among the trend-obsessed.
These three stores churn out an array of designer rubber boots for anyone demanding fashion with their function.
1. Lotte Department Flagship Store: Hunter and Rockfish Corners
On the third floor of Lotte Department Store at Eulji-ro, two British brands compete with colorful displays.
With a 150-year history, Hunter has earned the classics status in the global rain boots market.
As paparazzi shots of Hollywood actresses wearing Hunters circulated widely among fashion blogs, Hunter started selling fast in Korea. Stores are struggling to keep its popular models in stock.
According to Lotte Department flagship store, Korea is second in the world -- trailing only Canada -- for Hunter sales this year.
Hunter’s strength lies in its solid durability and textured rubber outsoles that ensure reliable traction.
The original boots come with decorative side buckles, and are fondly worn by Queen Elizabeth.
Although pricey, ranging from ￦180,000 to ￦200,000, the boots' sturdy quality and brand recognition offset the cost.
Rockfish, another label from Britian, offers more affordable rubber footwear priced from ￦80,000 to ￦100,000.
Completely waterproof, the boots' sturdiness is tested through what’s called a 500,000 FLEX test carried out by research group INTERTEK. The boots’ deep-ridged sole provides extra grip on the wet pavement.
1 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu (중구 소공동 1 ); +82 2 771 2500; 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
2. Aigle Store, Cheongdam Branch
French outdoorwear brand Aigle offers a wide selection of rain boots this season.
The Cheongdam store is the brand’s only shop in Seoul directly managed by the French headquarters. The store is located on the first alley on the left as you walk toward the Gallery Department Store from the Cheongdam intersection.
Supermodel Kim Min Hee is the brand’s model for the season. Hiring her shows how Aigle is intent on gaining more brand recognition in Seoul.
With more than neutral solid colors, Aigle presents an assortment of color combinations -- with bands of color around the tops of theboots, or dotted/striped/checkered patterns.
Also, instead of the uniform knee-length boots, Aigle offers ankle-length and half-calf models.
The boots are relatively lightweight and highly breathable. Prices range from ￦100,000 to ￦ 180,000.
Aigle Rain Boots are also sold on the sixth floor at the Lotte Department flagship store.
96-26 Jeonho Bldg. Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu (강남구 청담동 96-26 전호빌딩); +82 2 542 2003
3. Noon Square: Karim Rashid Rain Boots Corner
Karim Rashid, one of the top artists in the field of industrial design, crafted and launched a line of rain boots in collaboration with French Brand Sydney D. The Karim boots corner can be found on the fifth floor of multiplex shopping mall Noon Square in Myeong-dong.
Karim's heeled boots with digital wave patterns are sleek in silhouette and matte in texture. They are also more feminine and match better with office wear than boots from other brands.
Featuring vivid floral or geometric patterns, Karim boots are made of 100 percent natural rubber. The embossed grids of the soles allows firm grip.
Prices range between ￦100,000 to ￦200,000.
The boots come with “inner socks” that insulate the heat and keep feet dry and warm in cold weather.
5/F, Noon Square Building, 83-5 Myung-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu (중구 명동2가 83-5 눈스퀘어 5층) +82 2 3783 5000; 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.