Tall boots and knee high boots and ankle boots, oh my!
While boots are generally functional, designed to protect and insulate our feet, ankles, and lower legs from the sleet, slush, snow, and icy water that accompany winter, many types of women's boots are now designed purely for style and meant to be worn even in nice weather.
Whether your wardrobe consists mainly of skirts and dresses, power pantsuits, or casual jeans, there's sure to be a pair of boots that'll make the perfect accent.
The first consideration you'll likely make when purchasing boots is the length of boot you want. Low-cut boots work well with dress pants and jeans, but you'll likely need tall boots to wear with skirts and dresses.
The main boot lengths are:
- Ankle boots: As their name suggests, these boots sit at or just above the ankle. Although some wear them with skirts, they are ideally suited for wear with jeans or pants.
- Mid-calf boots: These boots extend a few inches above the ankle but end well below the knee. Like ankle boots, they are best with pants or jeans, but they can also be worn with skirts or dresses that fall below the knee.
- Knee-high boots: For skirts and dresses that fall above the knee, boots that reach the base of the knee are the best bet. These boots can also be worn over leggings or skinny jeans.
- Thigh-high boots: If you're really daring, thigh-high boots look great with miniskirts or over leggings. As their name suggests, they extend over the knee to cover an inch or more of the thigh.
The material the boot is made out of is also important to consider. This not only affects the look but also determines the value and likely lifespan of the boots. It also dictates how much care the boots will need. For example, suede boots must be kept dry and can be marred fairly easily. Leather boots, on the other hand, are fairly durable with a small amount of care (i.e., weatherproofing and polishing).
Unlike most winter boots, which have flat soles and thick treads for balance on ice and snow, most fashion boots have some form of heel. The height of the heel depends largely on personal preference. Some popular types of heels are:
- Kitten-heel boots: Kitten heels are short (under 2 inches) and usually slender. For a bit more stability, you may find a square or block kitten heel.
- Wedge-heel boots: For a bit of lift without sacrificing stability, try a wedge heel, which extends gradually from the front of the boot and spans the width of the sole.
- High-heel boots: Any heel over 2 inches is generally considered a high heel. High heels may be slender (like stiletto heels) or thick (like block or stacked heels).