Follow our expert tips to find your next favorite pair of boots that transition seamlessly from fall to winter.
- Know Your Needs
Take a few minutes to jot down your footwear needs– be specific and realistic!
Do you live in an area where it snows a lot? Does your commute include a lot of walking, rain or shine? Think about your current favorite shoes – do you prefer pointed or rounded toes? High heels or flats? Also consider your go-to fall and winter outfits — what does your perfect pair of boots need to “go with?” If you normally stick to black or other neutral-colored clothing, try looking for brightly colored boots that provide a pop of color. Also consider proportions: knee high boots work better with shorter skirts, and shorter boots work better with long skirts and pants.
If your chief concern is slogging through slushy conditions, L.L. Bean (creator of the infamous duck boots) carries affordable, fashionable, and waterproof styles such as the Teva De La Vina Boots. The company also has a legendary return policy! If you can’t imagine wearing flats or want a pop of color, Hunter’s fabulous high-heeled booties in all rubber for rain or shine.
Booties, like these Ursula Suede Ankle Boots from Michael Kors, are a great transition item because they pair well with both fall and winter styles.
- Shop Smarter for More Savings
Whether shopping online or in person, knowing your needs (and the designers, styles, and materials you like) is the key to discovering perfect shoes for all seasons.
Online shopping is the easiest way to ensure you stick to your budget while getting exactly what you want, especially if you crave designer boots but cringe at designer prices. Once you know exactly what you need, sites that allow you to sort by price, size, and styles will become your BFF. You can score some great deals on designer items at online consignment stores like The Real Real, or at online outlets like Saks Off 5th. Whether you’re shopping online or in person, know your needs and price limit, and stick to them.
- Materials Matter — Know How to Care for Your Pair
Be realistic about the upkeep your boots will require, and learn how to care for them. Suede requires serious upkeep. Smooth leather requires waterproofing and more time to “break in” for the best fit. Synthetic materials are usually the easiest to maintain. Whatever style you choose, make sure you know how to protect your investment.
- Invest in the Basics
Some styles last forever, and some are here for just a season. Great classic styles that will last from year to year are worth more of an investment, while trend items might be best purchased from lower-priced stores. Classic styles include ankle and below the knee boots in neutral colors such as black, brown, and tan, as well as practical items such as rain and snow boots.
- Try Out Some Trends
Gold and silver are the new neutrals. Bright white boots in sleek patent leather, knee-high boots with thin stilettos, mega platforms, bold colors, and funky details like intricate beadwork and artistically shaped heels also graced the runways. If you’re on a budget, consider looking for affordable versions of designer trend items at more affordable stores such as Forever 21 or Payless.