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Choosing the right pair of women’s boots

How to Choose the Right Pair of Women’s Boots

When it comes to picking out a new pair of women’s boots to add to your collection, you’re certainly not short on choice. From low-cut ankle boots through to eye-catching knee-highs and practical winter snow boots, there’s a style to suit every occasion.

While variety is great, figuring out which style fits your needs, preferences and body shape can be a mind-boggling feat for even the savviest fashionista. Never fear – we’re on hand to help make this choice much easier.

Check out our guide to choosing a pair of women’s boots below, including the different types of women’s boots on the market and what’s best for your needs.

In this guide:

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Types of Women’s Boots

Ankle Boots

Ankle Boots

Just as the name suggests, this type of women’s boot stops around your ankle for a flattering, versatile fit. Everyone needs a pair of ankle boots in their wardrobe, simply because they can be styled for every occasion.

Going from the office to the bar? Ankle boots. Date night? Ankle boots. A casual stroll in the park? Ankle boots. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

Ankle boots are available with and without a heel, making them easy to dress up and down. They look incredibly trendy when paired with a floral midi dress and denim jacket, or skinny jeans and a satin blouse for that smart-casual style.

Over-the-Knee Boots

Over-the-knee boots

Daring yet surprisingly easy to style, over-the-knee boots add flair to plain outfits. It goes without saying that this style of women’s boot ends just above the knee, making them the perfect addition to skinny jeans, a cute silky cami and a leather jacket.

This type of shoe is perfect for colder months, adding some warmth to your legs while adding effortless edge to your look.

Dress Boots

Knee-high boots

As you’ve probably guessed, knee-high boots fall just below the knee and are another good option for the colder seasons. They’ll keep your legs warm and snug while protecting your feet from the elements, not to mention the fact that they’re effortlessly stylish.

Achieve a boho-chic look with a floral tea dress, kimono and tasselled knee-high boots. For a more winter appropriate look, we love dressing up a casual puffer jacket, oversized tee and denim skinny jeans with a pair of these trendy women’s boots.

Dress Boots

Calf Boots

Sitting slightly higher up the legs than the classic ankle boot, calf boots offer more coverage and are great for the colder seasons. Looking for the perfect women’s boot style for running errands while it’s chilly outside? Flat calf boots are the one for you.

Pair them with some thick tights, a wrap skirt and long sleeve roll neck top for the ultimate autumnal outfit, chucking on your favourite shacket for a trendy day-to-night look.

Dress Boots

Wedge Boots

When it comes to choosing women’s boots that add height without the discomfort often associated with a thinner heel, wedge boots are the one for you. You can find a plenty of different styles with a wedge heel, from ankle boots to knee-high choices.

They’re another great option for heading from the office straight to a bar for cocktails with the girls.

Dress Boots

Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots are a type of ankle boot that dates back to Victorian times – and yes, they’re named after the wealthy London borough. Despite this, they’re still very much in fashion and have become a staple piece for many.

Chelsea boots are close-fitting and have a distinctive elasticated panel on each side. These boots are usually flat but heeled variations are very popular now too.

Style them with a white blouse, Oxford satchel and tailored suit for a classy office look, or with your favourite wrap skirt, turtle neck and boyfriend blazer for a cute date night outfit.

Biker Boots

Biker Boots

A staple piece in every woman’s wardrobe, biker boots spice up plain looks and add a hint of rock ‘n’ roll chic. Featuring buckles, studs and thick soles, this style of women’s boot is for those who like a bit of edginess in their outfits.

They’re warm and sturdy, plus they’re incredibly versatile – but do bear in mind that even the smartest biker boots will still look pretty casual.

Add a twist to your favourite floral tea dresses with a pair of biker boots and an oversized denim jacket – the perfect combination of girly and rock ‘n’ roll.

Chelsea Boots

Snow Boots

Just as the name suggests, snow boots are designed to keep feet warm and dry in the snow, providing grip in icy conditions. While snow boots are built for function over fashion, that doesn’t mean they skimp on style.

They’ll give you the confidence to strut your stuff even when the streets are laden with ice and snow. This style looks effortlessly trendy with cosy leggings, a chunky knit jumper and faux-fur trim parka.

Pull On Boots

Riding Boots

Riding boots are another classic style originally designed for a very specific purpose – riding horses, of course. Nowadays, they’re worn out-and-about just as much as they’re worn in the stables.

They sit just below the knee and are usually completely flat or come with a small heel, making them ideal for casual days out.

For a cosy yet fashionable outfit, pair these women’s boots with your favourite pair of jeans, an oversized crew neck jumper and a stylish leather backpack.


Which women's boots should I choose?

Now that you know all the different women’s boot styles, you’ve got to decide which is best for you. While our descriptions and outfit ideas may be enough to give you some inspiration, you’ll want to consider what will look good with your features, what you need them for and your personal style.

How to choose the right boot for your body type

While the most important thing is that you feel confident in your choice of women’s boots, there are a few general rules to follow to ensure they suit your body type specifically. Follow our tips to choosing a pair of women’s boots to suit different body types and you’ll be strutting your stuff in no time.

Boots for petite women

  • For added height, choose boots with a heel. These will lengthen the appearance of your legs.

  • Choose boots that hug your ankle and stop either right in the middle of the ankle or an inch or so above it. Equally, knee-high boots are another great style for petite women.

  • Avoid calf length or overly slouchy boots, as well as those with straps or a square toe.

Boots for tall women

  • Tall women are blessed with long legs. Luckily for you, most styles suit you! We recommend over-the-knee boots to extenuate the length without adding additional height.

  • Don’t shy away from heeled boots. Ankle boots with a short heel are perfect for tall women, dressing up your outfit in seconds.

Boots for wide feet

  • As a general rule, women with wide feet should avoid boots with pointed toes as well as decorative details that can broaden the appearance of the foot, like buckles or straps (especially if they sit near the ball of the foot).

  • If you’re worried this means your boots won’t look as feminine as you’d like, counteract a round toe with a slim heel.

Boots for wide calves

  • Needless to say women with wide calves will find that boots with elastic gussets - the detail seen on Chelsea boots - are easier and more comfortable to wear.

  • If you want to slim down the appearance of your calves, avoid boots with wraparound straps or boots that sit at the widest part of your calf.

Boots for skinny calves

  • It’s easy to be jealous of women with skinny calves but when it comes to buying boots, it can be more problematic than you might think. Stretchy materials are generally a good bet as they tend to come up quite slim.

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Choosing women’s boots for winter

How to Choose the Right Pair of Women’s Boots

As much as we prioritise looking and feeling good, practicality should be at the forefront of your mind when choosing a pair of women’s boots for winter.

Heeled boots are a no-no if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors, as you’ll want something that is sturdy and can handle icy paths.

A good pair of walking boots will help prevent you from slipping and sliding should you come across a particularly icy part of the path. Alternatively, those who will largely just be heading from their car into the office can get away with a pair of ankle boots.

From choosing shoes for different seasons to maintaining your favourite boots, check out the shoezone Guides for all things shoe-related.