How to Choose the Right Pair of Women’s Boots

How to Choose the Right Pair of Women’s Boots

Women’s boots come in a huge array of styles – from low-cut ankle boots through to eye-catching knee highs and practical winter snow boots.

While variety’s great, figuring out which style fits your needs and looks good can be mind-boggling for even the savviest fashionista. Our guide to choosing which boots to buy should help you pick the right pair.

To get you started, here’s a quick run-down of the most popular types of boots for women. We’ll talk you through when you might wear them, and how to wear them best.

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Types of Women’s Boots

Ankle Boots

Ankle Boots

You can probably guess that ankle boots stop at your… ankle. That said they might stop just below, in the middle of, or at the top of the ankle. Ankle boots can also be flat or with a low, medium or high heel. Most ankle boots can be dressed up or down as needed, and look as good with a skirt or dress as they do with skinny jeans.

Over-the-Knee Boots

Over-the-Knee Boots

Any boots that stop above the knee fall into this category. They can be tricky to pull off, but look ultra-stylish when you get it right. Pairing with an oversized top that keeps your chest covered and avoiding flat over-the-knee boots unless you’re blessed with long, lean legs are good rules to abide by.

Knee-High Boots

Knee-High Boots

Knee-high boots fall just below the knee. They’re another good option for winter-wear, again if choosing a flat or low heeled boot in a warm and hard-wearing material.

Calf Boots

Calf Boots

Calf boots sit higher up the legs than ankle boots, coming closer to knee-high boots in terms of the coverage they offer (this means they’re great for winter – especially if you choose a flat-heeled boot made from tough material).

Wedge Boots

Wedge Boots

These are boots with a wedge heel, which like any heeled shoe adds height without the discomfort often associated with a thinner heel. Most styles of boots come in wedge heel varieties.

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

Biker Boots

Biker Boots

Originally designed for motorcyclists, biker boots have long since been a staple fashion piece. They’re warm and sturdy, so great for winter, but bear in mind that even the smartest biker boots will still look pretty casual (although they go great with most items of clothing including jeans, leggings and skirts – even dresses).

Snow Boots

Snow Boots

As the name suggests, snow boots are designed to keep feet warm and dry in the snow, and provide grip in icy conditions. While snow boots are built for function over fashion, they can look stylish. Try pairing with skinny jeans or if it’s not too cold, leggings or tights and a skirt.

Riding Boots

Riding Boots

Riding boots are another classic style originally designed for a very specific purpose – riding horses. They generally sit just below the knee and, like biker boots, are ideal for wearing in the colder months. When worn out of the stable riding boots can be dressed up or down but will look great with skinny jeans, leggings or tights and a mini-skirt.

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Which Boots Should I Choose?

When choosing the best boots for you it’s important to consider your body type, how you want to wear them, and what you need them for. For example, you probably shouldn’t choose a high-heeled ankle boot for day-to-day winter wear or biker boots if you’re after boots to wear around the office.

How to Choose the Right Boots for Your Body Type

You might think that boots are one of those items of clothing that suit everyone – regardless of your height, weight or body shape. This is very nearly true but certain types of boots do suit some body shapes more than others. How you wear them is important too.

Boots for petite women

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that since they add height and lengthen the leg, boots with heels will suit you best. Bear in mind, however, that if you’re looking for a pair of winter boots, low heels are much more practical.

Petite women should be careful with ankle boots (especially if they’re flat). While you can wear them, boots that stop at the wrong part of your ankle can cut your legs off, making them look stumpy. Choose boots that hug your ankle and stop either right in the middle of the ankle or an inch or so above it. Alternatively choose a boot with a cutout in the front (this will make your legs look longer).

Knee high boots are another style many petite women avoid, but shouldn’t. As always, choose boots with a heel and team with a short dress, skirt or shorts (your clothing should never overlap the top of the boots).

In all cases, petite women should avoid calf length or slouchy boots as well as boots with straps or a square toe.

Boots for tall women

If you’re tall and slim you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot when it comes to boots – you should look good in everything. Try a pair of over-the-knee boots – they’re not the easiest style to pull off, unless you’re blessed with long, slim legs.

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) or in stretchy materials are easier and more comfortable to wear. Lace up boots can offer extra give, too. 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. They tend to come up quite slim, since they can stretch to fit a wide calf. Alternatively look for boots that can be tightened via a buckle or laces.

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How to Choose the Right Women’s Boots for Winter

How to Choose the Right Pair of Women’s Boots

When buying boots for winter your most important consideration is going to be the severity of the conditions you expect to wear them in.

If you’re mostly just going to be walking from your door to the car, and your car to the office, anything that’s going to keep you warm and dry – a quality ankle or knee-high boot for instance - should suffice.

If you’re going to be doing a little more walking, and snow is likely to fall in your part of the world, ensure to choose waterproof boots with a strong grip. Better yet, invest in a pair of walking boots or snow boots. A low ankle should be fine for areas that get minimal snowfall. If you live very far north and expect deep snowfall choose boots that finish higher up your ankle or stop at your calves.

Looking for a new pair of boots? View our women’s boots or go straight to our women’s ankle boots, biker boots or riding boots.