A good pair of boots is a staple of any fall and winter wardrobe. They keep your feet warm on cold days and protect them against rain and snow.
But like any shoe, they’re practical and fashionable, adding that perfect finishing touch to your fall and winter outfits. Today, the many styles of boots make shopping for them difficult, especially if you don’t know the names of those styles.
That’s why we created this guide covering every significant type of boot you should know. After reading this, you can shop confidently and find the exact right piece for your wardrobe.
Let’s start by looking at the different heights of women’s boots. Not heel height, since these can be anywhere from a flat shoe to a platform boot. The height, or shaft, is how high the boot comes up your leg, measuring from the back of the heel.
The bootie is almost a regular shoe, only slightly higher than a sneaker. The material and cut set it apart from other below-the-ankle shoes, like loafers or oxfords.
Great For: Transitional seasons, like fall and spring.
The ankle boot is a classic staple of many people’s wardrobes. It comes a few inches over your ankle, giving a good amount of protection and support.
Great For: Casual everyday wear.
If you want a boot higher than your ankle but not quite reaching the knee, look for a calf-high boot. Their height makes them look fabulous with skirts and dresses.
Great For: Clothes ending at the knee.
These shoes come all the way up the knee, stopping right before the joint. They’re stylish and eye-catching while still offering warmth and protection.
Great For: Wearing over jeans or with a long coat.
Thigh-high boots cross the line from functional to fashionable. They come up over your knees, sometimes as high as the mid-to-upper thigh, and tend to be form-fitting to prevent them from sliding down.
Great For: A show-stopping statement piece.
Styles of Boots
Now that you know the heights of boots, it’s time to look at styles. Many of these come in any height you like, helping you to find the perfect boot.
Cowboy boots were designed to help cowboys stay on their horses in the Old West. They’re leather boots with no lacing and a low heel decorated with beautiful stitchwork.
Great For: Adding a Western touch to any outfit.
Go-go boots are white slip-on boots with chunky heels and square toes. They were a popular 1960s accessory and continue to be stylish today.
Great For: Mini skirts and other retro outfits.
Rain boots, or Wellingtons, are slip-on rubber boots to protect from the rain. They’re a practical addition to any wardrobe, especially in wet areas.
Great For: Wearing with jeans and long coats.
These shoes protect you from snow and ice, similar to rain boots. They reach anywhere between your ankle and knee, with grippy soles to prevent slipping.
Great For: Your favorite winter outfits.
These are a particular type of ankle boot, with elastic panels on the sides and a loop in the back to make taking them on and off a breeze. They come in neutral colors that pair well with everything.
Great For: A subtle finishing touch to your outfit.
Combat boots are lace-up boots with chunky soles. They’re often decorated with buckles, straps, and studs and can have flat and high heels.
Great For: Edgy outfits or leather coats.
Motorcycle boots, or moto boots, are designed for riding bikes. They have a low heel to work the control, but other than that, they vary in design and height.
Great For: Rugged, ready-to-go outfits.
Shearling boots, also known as sheepskin or Ugg boots, are soft suede boots with a faux fur lining. They gained popularity in the 2010s, but people continue wearing them for warmth and style.
Great For: Days when you want to be extra cozy.
Like moto and cowboy boots, riding boots were designed for a particular purpose, riding horses, but now they’re a fashion piece. They’re knee-high leather boots with low heels to hold onto the stirrup.
Great For: Short jackets and tight pants.
Hiking boots are sturdy shoes designed for walking across rough terrain. They have grippy soles and are super comfortable for all-day wear.
Great For: Wearing with leggings and boot socks.
Peep-toe boots feature a hole at the front to let your toes or stockings peek out. While less functional, they are quite fashionable.
Great For: Night out looks.
Sock boots are made from soft knit materials that fit on your calf like a sock. If you want an ultra-comfortable shoe to throw on, these are a great choice.
Great For: Loose jeans and dresses.
Most boots are leather or rubber, but slouch boots are soft suede that drapes around your leg. While they might look natural, their folds are carefully planned and sewn in place.
Great For: Adding a casual touch to your outfit.
There’s a boot for everyone out there. Now, you can confidently shop online or in person for your next pair of boots.