Our guide to picking the right boots for you

It’s one of life’s great mysteries. You see a friend in a pair of FAB boots only to go in, try them on and realise that they’re just not for you. So, what should you be considering the next time you go shopping for that perfect boot? We have our guide to picking wisely so you need never feel the heartbreak of a bad boot again.

 

What shape are your legs?

This might sound a bit obvious but legs come in all shapes in size. If your pins tend to be slim then you could have difficulty finding knee boots or over the knee boots that will cling to your calves. Likewise, if you’ve larger calves or an athletic build you can find it hard to get boots that will fit you perfectly. Our top tip is to visit a number of shops and try on all their styles of boots – yes the shop assistants will just love you. That way you get an idea of how well that brand fits with your body shape. Alternatively, there are some great online shops that cater specifically for those with legs that need a little bit of a more specific fit. A good way to cheat if that’s not your thing is to invest in a pair with elasticated or adjustable sides that can be made bigger or smaller. In terms of your foot, it should have enough room that it’s not being chafed or pinched. That’s how bunions come about and you do not want those.

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Where are you going? And what are you doing…

There’s a huge difference in buying a pair of boots that are for car to bar clubbing and those to take a hike up through the hills of Ireland. Yes, they might be the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but be sensible. Will you be able to walk in that heel comfortably? Are they fit for purpose? This is also true when choosing the material of your boot. You can never go wrong with leather, especially in the changeable Irish climate. It’s hard wearing and keeps out the elements. Things like suede look pretty as heck but can be destroyed with rain if you don’t invest in a good suede treatment product beforehand.

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The ankle boot

This is the all-rounder of the boot world and can be worn in winter right through to summer – just ditch the tights when the sun comes out. When picking an ankle boot, you can’t go too far wrong. Just make sure it doesn’t sit too snugly on the ankle itself as this can lead to chafing. If you’ve short legs you can go for an ankle boot that sits a little lower on the ankle to give the illusion of length. Apart from that it’s all about accessorising them with whatever you’re wearing. Smart but casual? Go for a dapper looking Chelsea boot. Want to take your look from day to night? Go for a fitted ankle boot with a stiletto heel. Got a hankering for a grungy look? Opt for something like a classic Dr Marten.

The knee high boot

Buying knee high boots can be a tricky business, not least because leg shapes and lengths all vary. What you ideally want is a boot that comes to just below your knee but is not chafing the knee itself, or gathering around your ankle either. When trying boots on, take them for a walk up and down the shop to see if they’re sitting too high on the calf or aren’t snug enough. If you normally wear trousers or skinny jeans then try them on over these for fit too. A heel can stop a knee high boot from looking too much like an outdoor utility boot, like a riding boot or wellies – unless of course that’s the look you’re going for. Right now 1970s-style knee boots in suede are back. Team these with a midi length for a more retro look. Or be daring and go for a miniskirt in a matching colour and fabric.

The over the knee boot

Possibly the trickiest boot to get right. These have come back in vogue in the past two years and there’s no sign of them going anywhere any time soon. The trick to getting this look right is fit, so trying on pairs is key here. Have patience. They should sit just over the knee and, unless you’re tall, a heel is mandatory here to elongate the leg and stop it being swamped by the boot. Again, when buying, look out for dreaded ankle bag which can make legs look wider at that point than they are. Purchase your pair in soft suede and team with a pair of skinny, skinny jeans.

 

And finally… Don’t be afraid of splashing the cash. With boots, quality is everything, so be prepared to spend a little more and you’ll have them for years to come.

Written by: Aran Sweaters Direct