Style Files: Boot 101

It wasn’t long ago when boots were strictly winter pieces. For the remainder of the year, they remained stuffed in the backs of our closets, itching for that first cool wind to signal their return. It’s no secret that a great boot has become an all-season staple. We believe there is no such thing as too many. This is great, considering we could never choose between our ankle, riding, spiked heel, stacked heel, all-weather, embellished, or cowboy boots. They say you don’t play favorites with your children, this is no exception! All jokes aside, pick the right style and you are good to go for every occasion! Here is our analysis (take it or leave it as you will):

The Ankle Boot:

Nothing says “I’m cool, casual, and know what I’m doing” quite like a well-sported ankle boot. This style is inherently fashionable without screaming high-maintenance. Low and high heeled styles are common, ranging from casual to ready to meet the president.  Normally hitting just above or below the ankle bone, they look awesome with just about any ensemble. One of our favorite tricks is to show just a hint of skin between the hem of a slim fitting pant and the top of the boot. Here’s our ankle boot pick

Sam Edelman

Sam Edelman “Petty” via Piperlime

The Mid-Calf Boot:

This style is a toughie, it just is. While adorable, it is all about the proportions. Generally, this style hits mid-calf or just below, which is where the challenge presents itself. The point at which the boot stops often emphasizes the largest area of the leg. They are best styled when the top of the boot is wide and loose with a flat heel.

Frye “Veronica Shortie” via Zappos

The Knee High Boot:

This might as well be considered the go-to classic boot. This style hits from mid-knee to just below the knee cap. It is highly versatile, pairing well with skirts, dresses, and skinnies or leggings. Low heeled, equestrian inspired styles are popular, as well as styles which add a little height. With casual and formal options available, this is always a promising option. Investing in a good quality, neutral hued pair will pay off in the future—you’ll always look polished and put together!

Lucky Brand “Andria” via Zappos

The Over-the-Knee Boot:

The over-the-knee boot has recently become a mainstream style choice. Previously, it seemed as though only models and rulers of the fashion world dared to don such a statement piece. Granted, this look is not for the fashion timid, but it certainly looks smashing when pulled off well. This style goes over the knee and may reach as high as mid-thigh. It pairs well with skirts, dresses, skinny jeans, and leggings. Since they are typically form-fitting, consider adding a bit of volume to your wardrobe on top to avoid a slick look reminiscent of Cat Woman. If you break out boots like these, they truly command a presence and need no competition for anything else you may be wearing; let them take over and shine. Over-the-knee boots are available in a range of heel heights, but there is something we love about the contrast of a low, demure heel with the sky high shaft of the boot.

Coach “Palmera 2” via Zappos

The All-Weather Boot:

Just because you traipse around in the snow in them or accidentally took them for a swim at the lake doesn’t mean they can’t be cute. This style is really dependent on you needs. There are many great options ranging from ankle to over-the-knee. We suggest looking for good insulation and a thick sole with good grips. Make sure to give them the attention they deserve and treat them to a cleaning after every hard, slushy, salty, winter season.

L.L. Beam

L.L. Beam “8” Special Edition Red” via L.L. Bean