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How Sorel Won Winter By Making Rugged Boots Girly

Once a workman's essential, Sorel is now coveted footwear among fashionable urbanites
Inside the Sorel store in New York City's Meatpacking district.
Source: Marilou Doube/Sorel via Bloomberg

A boot once known as an essential for rugged outdoorsmen has gotten in touch with its fashionable, feminine side—and sales are spiking.

Sorel boots, distinguished by their polar bear logo and warm lining, this winter turned up more often than ever on the feet of fashion-conscious, urban women. The brand enjoyed a staggeringly successful cold weather season: Sales rose 40 percent in the final quarter of 2014 as women raced to get their hands on a pair in the fall and early days of winter. In 2014, Sorel sold more than $166 million worth of boots, slippers, and liners, nearly a 30 percent jump compared to the previous year.