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SUNDAY BRUNCH | the stuff

El Nino Watch

September 28, 1997|BETTIJANE LEVINE

Splish splash! Tips are pouring forth from all sorts of experts on the allegedly imminent El Nin~o rains and how to cope with their effects. You can find hints on flood insurance, hillside containment and essential household items needed to stem the incoming tide.

But get this: No one yet has addressed El Nin~o's probable effect on L.A.'s most vulnerable and fragile asset of all: its feet.

Here, a quick look at the closest you'll get to web feet, in a variety of prices and styles.

Best buys: Traditional tall black rubber boots, the kind worn by workmen and women around the world. These knee-highs are totally waterproof and not particularly pretty . . . but they do the job. There are versions at Home Depot stores, $12.97, and at Orchard Hardware Stores, $14.99.

Affordable classics: Grass-green, knee-high Wellington rubber boots. They're $59 from Smith & Hawken; phone (800) 776-3336 for delivery within three working days.

Elite feet: The classic women's penny loafer is elegantly rendered in real rubber that looks like leather. In black or cordovan, $80, at Cole-Haan, Beverly Hills.

Trendy treads: Calf-high, zipped and buckled all-rubber boots with truck-tire treads. By Guess, $122, at Bloomingdale's.

High and dry: Ferragamo's featherweight, shiny-black waterproof boots zip up the side. They're $285 at Neiman Marcus.

Fabulous favorites: Tall, lace-up hiking boots of weather-proofed sueded leather are the preference of many fashion models of both sexes on both coasts. From $145 to $250 at Timberland stores in the Beverly Center and South Coast Plaza.

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