How to Tell if Boots Are Right for You

Boots are some of the most versatile styles of shoes, with various styles, colors, lengths, and heel heights to choose from. With so many boot styles out there to complete your outfit, there are many factors to consider before you don the right pair.

Materials

Leather and man-made leather are very common materials for boots. Real leather, made from tanned animal skin, is often more expensive, but more durable. Leather boots are often stiffer to start with, so buying the proper fitting boot is key for comfort as you break in the boots.

Man-made leather can also be called fake leather, faux leather, pleather, or vegan leather. Man-made leather is made of synthetic fibers, making boots comprised of man-made leather less expensive but more prone to abrasion damage that leaves scuffs and marks.

Heel Height

Image via Flickr by lievedreesen21

Heel height is a key factor in the comfort of boots. The higher the heel, the more pressure that is put on your toes. If you are used to wearing heels, or if you’re considering boots for a more professional or formal occasion, a high heel can give a boot a sleek look and lengthen the look of your legs. If you’re considering boots for a lot of walking or hiking for casual occasions, a short heel or a flat boot will be a better choice.

Shaft Height

The height of the boot shaft (the part of the boot that covers your leg) can vary greatly by style as well. Boots can have shafts tall enough to cover your ankle, calf, or knee. Knee-high or over-the-knee boots are commonly worn over bottoms so the entire boot is visible, while ankle boots pair well with wider leg pants over them. Shafts come in different widths for differently sized calves.

Color

Boots can come in every color of the rainbow, thanks to techniques for coloring leather and man-made materials. Some of the most common colors for boots are natural colors for leather: tans, browns, and blacks. These neutral colors are likely to go well with many differently colored outfits. A bolder, less natural color, like a red or blue boot, can also serve as a pop of color for a neutral outfit.

Embellishment

A simple boot with minimal decorative elements is the most versatile boot to add to your shoe rotation, as it can go well with many outfits. Boots can have a variety of decorative embellishments, however, for the more adventurous boot-wearer. Western-style cowboy boots are a bolder choice all on their own, but add in some decorative stitching into the leather and they are made for a casual country outing.

Casual boots made to last may have a toe plate to improve the durability and also to provide visual interest. Boots may also have different textures, from crocodile to ostrich skin.

With so many options for boots, there is a perfect pair for everyone and for every outfit. From a casual cowboy boot to an over-the-knee stiletto boot, there are boots for every occasion.

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