What are your boots made for?

By this time fall is in full swing… pumpkins are carved, leaves are falling, and if you haven’t already, boots are being purchased. Buying a new pair of boots can be a daunting task. Walking into the shoe department of a store, seeing boots towering over the displays in various shades of brown and black… heel, no heel? Stacked? Pointy? With all of the choices out there, I have compiled my top tips on how to navigate the shoe department and find your perfect boot.

1. Narrow down their purpose. This is when I start signing that song… ‘these boots were made for walking… and that’s just what they’ll do…’ But what are your boots made for? Is it they’re made for dancing? Walking around on the weekend at the orchard or winery? Maybe the answer is work and you want to pair them with suiting skirts. We all want that one pair of boots that can fit all of these functions, but most likely, its not possible. Once you can figure out what function you want these boots to serve, you can focus your efforts.

2. Mark your calendar. Fall is retail’s cash cow. For good reasons, most women love fall and the soft sweaters and beautiful boots that come with it. When those temperatures drop, the stores can see you coming! So be patient and hold off on purchasing this season’s boots until its actually chilly out. Sure, you may have to order them or have them shipped from another store location because someone beat you to the last pair of 8’s, but I guarantee she paid at least 20% more. If you’re a 10 like me, and can hold out until the day after Christmas, you will get them for 50% off, maybe even more.

3. Quality Control. Boots are something worth paying a little more for. Unless you are planning on trudging through the woods in them (remember, I live in South Jersey… it happens) spend a little more on your boots and get real leather. If real leather conflicts with your views and you prefer not to wear leather, take note of the faux leather and avoid anything that looks plastic. A leather boot it going to last you for years where a faux leather boot will need to be replaced each season. I have had the same pair of leather black heeled boots since 2006! I’ve had the heel pads replaced a few times, but they’re still in great shape! If you invest in a good pair of boots, then the following year you can wait later in the season to purchase a new pair and get a great deal on them (see point #2.)

4. Choose your details wisely. Zippers, studs, buckles… they’re all great… but when investing in a new pair of boots, choosing something in a more classic design will make them stylish and not trendy. Wait until the after Christmas sale to get the trendy boots. If its faux leather you’re choosing, the details are so important! Often studs or buckles are made of plastic to look like metal. Cheap details are a true tale sign of a cheap boot. Look for quality details.

5. When in doubt… Wedge. If you are torn between boots, when in doubt choose a wedged version. A wedge boot is great for so many reasons. First, you will never have to worry about the ‘hooker boot’ comment. A wedge is tasteful and more subtle. A wedge is also more comfortable than a heel when walking making them more practical.

6. Calf considerations. Wide calves make you avoid the boot section? Are your calves so narrow that boots are constantly bunching on you? Designers now are creating boots with stretch panels on back. These are great for those with wide or narrow calves and still look luxe. If you’re not into the stretch panel and have wide calves, ask your sales associate to direct you to the styles that come in wide calf. Shopping online? Check out the styles here, here, and here.

Here are some of my favorite boots out this season!

My favorite boots