Best Fall Boots Reviewed & Rated
As the air turns from humid to crisp, and the leaves begin their kaleidoscopic change, you find yourself putting away your summer clothes and tugging out your warmest flannels, snuggest sweaters, and knit caps. The centerpiece to any fall ensemble cannot be neglected, however, and manifests in that singular item that conveys both function and fashion; fall boots.
Whether you live in a place where autumn means plenty of precipitation, or where the sun is always shining, the right fall boot will mean the difference between having a fun fall season or suffering through that transitional period that is neither here nor there, wearing footwear that is inadequate and leaves you frustrated at the end of the day. There are lots of features to consider before making a purchase, as different climates will require different types of shoes. You may want to get a pair of boots with thick soles for good traction, or you might be considering whether a lace-up tall boot for the outdoors will fit your needs better than an efficient slip-on ankle boot for work.
- Red Wing Iron Ranger
- Oil tanned leather
- Nitrile cork outsole
- Dr. Martens 1460
- Hard Synthetic Sole
- Durable upper
- Top Moda Coco 1
Whatever route you go with your fall footwear, make sure it speaks to your personality, has the key features you want most, and has a price tag that is reasonable and reflects the quality and durability of your boots of choice. To help you prepare for this fall season, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best fall boots to make your decision easier.
15 Best Fall Boots
1. Red Wing Iron Ranger
These boots are made from oil-tanned leather from the S.B. Foot Tanning Co., and are water, stain and perspiration resistant. This type of leather uses less additional materials in the production process, allowing for a more natural look that is still very practical. When your boots are still new, they will feel comfortably tight on your feet, molding to your foot shape through wear and time.
Nitrile Cork Outsole
The outsole of these shoes is made out of nitrile cork which is oil and water resistant, and provides better traction than leather, and more durability than rubber. Thanks to the cork components, it also provides you with better padding and shock absorption, and it will mold to the shape of your foot over time. The insole of the Red Wing Iron Ranger is made out of leather, for durable, all-day comfort. Red Wings are constructed using a Goodyear welt which ensures that you have a durable pair of shoes that won’t come apart at the seams.
Cost and Value
While this pair of boots isn’t the most expensive on this list, they will require an investment. Red Wing boots are made to last and to get better with time, and with the proper care, you could be looking at a lifetime spent in them. You will love wearing them in spring and fall, however, the outsoles won’t provide you with good enough traction in icy conditions, so you may not get much use out of them during winter.
- Oil-tanned leather
- Water, oil and perspiration resistant
- Good traction on most surfaces
- Double layered raised toe cap
- Leather lining
- Require a break in period
- Run about ½ size large
2. Dr. Marten's 1460
The 1460 came out in 1960, and has never been out of production. It has an 8 eyelet upper that comes in numerous colors, and is made out of the classic Doc smooth leather. These boots are tough, and you can rest assured they won’t scuff easy, with an air-cushioned sole that makes them surprisingly comfortable. The leather ensures that over time and with proper care, they’ll begin to mold to your foot. They’re resistant to oil and fat, as well as being slip and abrasion resistant. Made with Goodyear welt like the best tactical boots, the upper and sole are heat sealed and sewn together, which means they won’t come apart as easily as most other boots.
Dr. Martens are incredibly versatile, despite being popularized mostly by the punk elite in the United Kingdom in the late 1970’s. They have the commanding presence of a boot that can be used to make a feminine outfit more masculine or, because of their polished exterior, give an edge to a finely tailored suit. Have them stand out by cuffing your stovepipe jeans like 60’s British dock workers, or have their round shiny toes peek out from under a long flowing skirt. Because they come in a variety of colors as well as prints, the sky is really the limit with this incredibly versatile and popular fall boot.
Cost and Value
Dr. Marten’s aren’t cheap by any means, but then again, they had been assembled in the same factory on Cobb Lane in Nottinghamshire up until very recently. The quality of the brand is well known and can be seen in the great styling of the boot, its thick lug sole, and eye-catching yellow stitching. After you find the perfect pair for your personality, you’ll get years of wear out of your Docs. Just remember, the break-in time takes some time but after a while, they’ll fit you like a second skin.
- Quality materials
- Thick lug sole
- Polished full grain leather
- Comes in a variety of colors/prints
- Air cushion outsole
- Take a while to break in
- Quite heavy
3. BEARPAW Emma
The upper of the BEARPAW Emma is made out of cow suede which is soft to the touch, yet durable and breathable. These boots are lined with a sheepskin and wool blend lining, making them warm, without the use of synthetic materials. This means that you can rest assured that odors are less likely to develop, while moisture generated while walking will evaporate more easily.
The outsole on these boots is made out of TPR rubber, and is a low profile outsole that can easily be worn outside and inside. An additional feature is that the outsole is non-marking, making these shoes the perfect choice if you need to keep the surfaces you walk on daily nice and clean looking. Even more, the TPR rubber provides the wearer with plenty of flexibility, making these boots suitable even for use around the home.
Cost and Value
Depending on size and color, you could get the BEARPAW Emma for a relatively cheap price. Nonetheless, these are real leather boots, and some styles might cost you more than the average item on this list. These boots could be the perfect fall boots for you if you are looking for a style that is comfortable and warm, but which you don’t plan on wearing in rain or snow, seeing as they are not water resistant.
- Cow suede upper
- Wool lining
- Flexible rubber outsole
- Variety of colors
- Available at low prices
- Not water or snow resistant
- Soles might get slippery on some surfaces
4. Ariat Heritage Roper
The outsole on these boots is made out of Duratread rubber which will not only last longer than regular rubber outsoles but can also stand the test of barn acids. There is a lightweight composite shank that will provide you with additional stability, while the midsole features generous gel cushioning, lined with soft, breathable leather that has moisture wicking properties for a fresh feel all day.
Great for Any Foot Shape
These boots come with a round toe and a square toe variation, which means that you can choose the model which will serve you better. People who have wide feet will especially appreciate the square toe, as well as the soft leather upper that will perfectly mold to the feet over time, providing a fit in the upper that gets better with every wear.
Cost and Value
These boots cost average when compared to the other items on this list, and depending on size and color, you can even get them for relatively cheap. With the durability and wear resistance they provide, you will be able to use them for quite a long time without having to worry about damaging the leather upper. If you plan on wearing them in wet weather, it would be a good idea to treat them with a water-repelling agent to prolong their lifespan.
- Gel cushioned sole
- All natural leather upper
- Excellent for wide feet
- Duratread rubber outsole
- Breathable leather lining
- Inconsistent sizing
- Pronounced stitching on the inside of the ankle
5. Skechers USA Mariner
The lug outsole on these boots is thick, and so is the padded collar, giving your feet a solid but comfortable fit no matter where you are. Perfect for yard work and camping with friends and family, these boots can be worn on a variety of terrains. The extreme tread on the sole ensures that you won’t lose your balance, but doesn’t detract from the overall appearance of a well put together shoe.
The Mariner Utility boot offers a deep toe box for wearers that might have wide feet or prefer not to have their toes pressing up against the tops. It also has a supportive instep, in case you plan on doing a lot of activities on your feet this fall. Another great feature of these boots is the excellent shock absorption provided by the midsole. Because these boots don’t go over your ankle bone, there is no rub and they let your feet breathe a little more than typical taller boots.
Cost and Value
For a boot that you won’t want to take off this fall, the Sketchers USA Mariner Utility Boot is a perfect blend of functionality and comfort that comes at a very affordable price. It will allow for all day comfort with a deep toe box, supportive instep, and a low ankle design that ensures breathability. Its deep tread will help you grip rough terrain better as well as give you superior shock absorption. Definitely a great investment in a mid-range boot that will last for several seasons.
- Deep tread
- Shock absorbing outsole
- Deep toe box
- Supportive Instep
- Good breathability
- Not waterproof
- Run large
6. Timberland Premium
Favored by everyone from construction workers to rap artists, Timberland boots are renowned for their durable exteriors that can take a beating. They have a tread that provides excellent traction on a variety of terrain, and the use of the same leather materials around the entire body of the shoe ensure that no portion of it wears down faster than the other, which can be the case when synthetic blends are used.
These boots have a removable insole that allows for comfort customization, and the extra padded portion of the collar is robust enough so that the ankle doesn’t get chaffed where it touches the shoe. This is particularly handy if you plan on wearing your Timberlands for prolonged periods of time. The stitches don’t wear out along the inseam of the heel, since it’s made out of one solid piece of leather.
Cost and Value
In 1973 Timberland introduced its first ever waterproof boot, and they have been in production ever since. Known to represent quality materials, craftsmanship, and superior protection against the elements, their boots represent a commitment to the outdoors and their customers that enjoy them. Though they can be pricey, it's well worth the investment considering the superior performance you'll get out of them well into the winter.
- Removable insole
- Padded collar
- Quality leather
- Thick tread outsole
- Run small
- Will show signs of wear
7. Teva De La Vina
Originally known as a company that designed the first sport sandal, Teva conveys the practicality of its footwear in its design, and the importance of athleticism. Its shoes are known to help you traverse canyons, foot trails, and mountain passes with ease. The Teva De La Vina Boot, though arguably more of an urban boot, helps you tackle the urban jungle with the same sense of purpose, as though it were just another adventure-rich environment to explore. It’s WP leather upper and canvas lining provide durability and comfort while it’s Spider Rubber sole offers superior traction and stability.
Great for Larger Calves
As an outdoor shoe company committed to enjoying nature, it only makes sense that Teva would invest in making their shoes as comfortable as possible. These boots have a roomy toe box for extra wiggle room, arch support, and even extra fabric at the top of the shaft to allow for larger calves. Best of all, you can tour rainy Europe or the snowy Appalachians and these boots will keep your feet warm and dry, but still providing you with a stylish look
Cost and Value
A company like Teva knows the value of a well made, dependable boot that looks as smart as it is functional. If you decide to purchase these boots, you’ll know the value of this combination as well the moment you slide on the Teva De La Vina boot. Not only is it comfortable and maneuverable, it provides superior traction and water resistance. It also has a sophisticated but tough aesthetic that is just as appropriate in an adobe canyon as it is at a lunch date.
- Spider Rubber sole for traction
- Buckle details
- Can fit larger calves
- Roomy toe box
- Can run big
- Some users found them to be too stiff
8. Thorogood American Heritage
The upper of these boots is made out of oil-tanned leather, and is available in four different colors. The 6: height of these boots will cover your ankles, giving you both support and stability, while also ensuring some additional warmth when the weather starts turning chilly. You will definitely appreciate the cotton drill vamp lining which is there to give you a softer feel around your ankles.
Durable, Ready for Work Outsole
The outsole of these boots is a Single Density Polyurethane MAXwear Wedge Outsole with a composite shank for added stability. It is slip resistant, s well as abrasion, oil heat and chip resistant. The midsole is made out of rubber for good shock absorption which will protect your joints, while the insole is a Poron comfort cushion insole with a removable shock absorbing footbed.
Cost and Value
Considering the fact that these boots have been made in the USA using genuine leather and plenty of safety features, these shoes come with a very reasonable price tag. If you decide that the Thorogood American Heritage is the right shoe for you, you are bound to get a pair of boots that you will want to wear all year round, and that is sure to serve you well for a long time.
- Goodyear storm welt construction
- Removable cushioned insole
- Leather upper
- Excellent grip on all surfaces
- Shock absorbing midsole
- Not waterproof, but can be treated with water repelling products
- May require breaking in
9. Clarks Christine
The upper of these boots are made out of genuine premium leather and is embellished with hardware accents and pleats. The zipper closure is a great feature for making it easier to put these on and off, even when you’re in a hurry to get out the door. They are lined with fabric, ensuring that you get a soft, yet breathable material touching your feet, ensuring your comfort.
Lightweight Rubber and EVA Outsole
The outsole of the Clarks Christine is made out of flexible rubber that is durable and won’t wear quickly. An EVA foam midsole ensures that you have plenty of support in the arch area, while also providing good shock absorption so that your ankles, knees, and back don’t suffer from every step. The footbed is cushioned for added comfort, making these boots perfect for wearing them on a daily basis.
Cost and Value
While not exactly cheap, these fall boots come at a price that is on the lower end compared to the other items on this list. You will especially appreciate these boots for the combination of comfort and quality they provide, and you are bound to use them in versatile situations. Due to their comfort and support oriented features, they are also a great choice for anyone who needs a bit more under their arches, or a flexible upper that won’t squeeze or pinch in the front.
- Premium leather upper
- Versatile style
- Good arch support
- Flexible rubber outsole
- Zipper closure
- Run narrow
- Colors online not identical as in reality
10. Sorel Cheyanne Lace
In climates that warrant a lot of seasonal precipitation or just for the occasional rainy fall day, the Cheyanne Lace Rain Boot will leave your feet warm and dry due to their insulating lining. It’s not so heavy as to be uncomfortable during humid rains, and can be worn with regular wool socks for added protection against the elements. Its full grain leather construction is fully waterproof, and its liner is seam-sealed, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about a leaky rain boot at the end of your day.
As far as rain boots go, these have all the durability of other Sorel products, but without being as cumbersome as a high top boot. These boots fit more like a rain shoe, and because of the addition of a thinsulate feature, as well as seam-sealed lining, the superior protection from the elements they offer will make you forget you’re wearing them. Fitting true to size, they are as practical in the woods as they are on the streets, and don’t look out of place in either environment.
Cost and Value
Like all Sorel products, the Cheyanne Lace Rain Boots represent the very best in the functionality, durability, and comfort of outdoor footwear. They offer maximum features for a fair price point, and even come in a variety of colors to choose from. They are a smart looking boot that looks both utilitarian and fashionable, capable of proving themselves in any environment, whether it be urban or woodland.
- Thick tread for traction
- Thinsulate liner
- Lace front
- Easy to clean
- Rubber can crack if not treated
- Tight around ankle area
11. Stuart Weitzman 5050
Due to the imposing length of the boot’s shaft, the 5050 gives your leg as much protection as it provides a lengthening effect. The 5050 will make sure that any environmental factors that coincide with your fall activities - snow, cold, moisture - don’t make their way to your feet. With a little Scotchguard, they’re water resistant in no time. Not having to constantly wear more layers on your bottom half and being able to just rely on pulling on a tall boot can make crisp autumn days so much more bearable.
Elasticized for Comfort
The extremely elegant length of the 5050 boot can seem intimidating at first, especially for those with wider calves. Though the leather construction makes it a rather slim fit, there is elastic fabric at the crook of the knee that allows for an easier fit and more flexibility of movement. It is best to use your body weight to help you put on the boot from a standing position and then, when removing, to peel it from the top of the knee down so that it’s inside out because tugging it off from the heel could prove to be too difficult.
Cost and Value
Stuart Weitzman boots are known for being elegant and timeless luxury goods. They are an investment in quality that is proved by their extreme wearability year after year. Not only can these thigh high boots be worn to dress up a casual ensemble, but they can compliment an already dressy one. Despite being quite expensive, they are a head turning boot that is as functional as it is sophisticated.
- Great Fit
- Quality leather materials
- Elastic fabric behind knee for flexibility
- Elegant design
- Provide plenty of warmth
- Run 1/2 size large
12. Hunter Original
The upper of these rain and wet weather boots is handcrafted from 28 parts, using natural vulcanised rubber, and is fully waterproof with an adjustable strap on the very top that’s there to ensure the best possible fit. With a 16” shaft, these boots can even be used in more extreme situations, such as for nature walks when you need a comfortable but dry footwear.
Original Calendared Outsole
The outsole of these boots is rubber, with a calendared lug pattern that performs excellently on all types of terrain, providing you with plenty of grip on concrete, tile or even mud. One of the great things about these boots is that they are lightweight enough, so your feet won’t get tired even if you plan on spending the whole day in them. And the textile lining will ensure you don’t get too hot while wearing these.
Cost and Value
These being the original Hunter Tall Rain boot, they will definitely set you back more than a cheap knockoff, but with purchasing these, you are paying extra for the quality make and durability that these boots offer. They’ll do great both for city use as well as in nature, and are sure to keep your feet completely dry without being too hot.
- Adjustable calf strap
- Natural vulcanised rubber
- Excellent traction
- Not too hot
- Numerous versatile colors available
- Not suitable for wide calves
- Run large in the foot area
13. Lucky Brand Basel
These boots come in many various designs for which the only thing in common is the quality leather upper and rubber sole. One pair may have dozens of tiny triangle cut outs that dot the entire body of the boot. Another may be entirely covered in paisley. One may have a soft metallic gold finish, while another will have a wild leopard print. There are classically demure options like black suede, or daring options like grey snakeskin. There is an option for every wearer, provided they can decide on just one.
One would ordinarily expect these sort of shoes to pinch your toes or possibly slice into your ankles seeing that the toe box narrows to a point. However, the leather upper of these boots is soft enough that it molds to your foot shape with little break in time. These boots have a stacked block heel that distributes your weight more easily, and a pull-on loop near the entry to the boot that, combined with the side-zip, lets you get them on and off without any fuss. They can be walked in for several miles without fatigue, but those with wider feet will feel discomfort until they are perfectly broken in.
Cost and Value
These ankle boots will cost about average compared to the rest of the items on this list. Being that Lucky Brand is associated with all things Rock ‘n’ Roll, and that the brand is devoted to the pursuit of individual style and making customers feel authentic, it’s not surprising that these boots have the wide variety of design options that they do. Whatever aesthetic you enjoy, there’s a Basel boot for your taste. These are not advisable to be worn in harsh weather conditions or any climate that gets a lot of rain and snow.
- Wide variety of designs
- Modest heel
- Good traction rubber sole
- Show signs of scuffing after a few weeks
- Not suitable for wear in rain and snow
14. Top Moda Coco 1
With their rounded toe, slightly scrunched appearance on the toe box and shaft, and cute buckle accents, these boots boast a lot of attention to detail. Their tall, elegant riding boot design makes them perfect to be paired with leggings, jeans, dresses, or skirts. The buckle accents give them a little tough edge over traditionally streamlined riding boots, making them on trend with the moto/biker style that is so fashionable. They also come in a wide variety of colors, from soft mauve to taupe.
The topic of durability doesn’t come up much when discussing boots designed more for fashion than function, but suffice it to say the fall season lasts many months. If you plan on putting these boots into regular rotation in your closet (especially seeing that they look so good, they might as well become your favorite pair), you want to be sure they can withstand mileage you’ll be putting them through. These hold up wonderfully for snowy/icy climates, and while not waterproof, can be reinforced with the application of some Scotchguard.
Cost and Value
For the price of a week’s worth of pumpkin spice lattes, you can own this boot. Where they impress on price point, they also impress on versatility and durability. They can be worn with a variety of outfits for many different occasions, and will even hold up in extreme weather conditions. Their quality is top notch and their design details and accents make them appear much more expensive than they are. It’s not surprising why these boots are one of the top picks for fall.
- Tall shaft
- Moto buckle accents
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Durable in harsh climates
- Affordable price
- Not waterproof
- Scuff easily
15. Steve Madden Troopa
These boots have a rounded toe and roomy toe box, ensuring hours of wear during your fall days. Their low heel means less foot fatigue, and lace up front means that unlike smooth shaft boots, the fit of the Troopa boot can be customized. Their all leather design ensures that they will mold to your foot over time. Though they don’t offer much arch support, they take foot inserts very well as they run half a size larger.
The Troopa boots reach slightly less than mid-calf and are crafted of sturdy leather with a rubber sole. They won’t allow for your feet to get wet, even if you step into puddles or wear them on rainy days. In addition, due to their slightly distressed exterior, these boots will hide scuffs from any outdoor activities very well. Their side zippers are located in the inside and use YKK zippers, ensuring stability and structural integrity as you take them on and off all season.
Cost and Value
Steve Madden is a brand known for innovative takes on traditional footwear, updating known looks into new trends. Since the mid 1990s, it has been a brand synonymous with style, quality, and affordability. These boots are a mid-range priced boot that are able to be worn with a variety of outfits, so they are worth the investment as an autumn season favorite.
- Fine quality leather
- Side zip on the inside
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Lace up front
- Not a lot of arch support
- Run 1/2 size large
When the season’s change, so must your footwear. Shorter days, colder air and more precipitation all mean that it’s finally time to put away your open-toed shoes and lightweight sneakers in favor of some boots with Thinsulate liners and over-the-knee coverage. This list of the 15 best fall boots proves that comfort and style can pair very well with functionality, allowing you to have a pair of autumnal footwear that will not only keep you warm and dry, but will also look good, whether in a casual, dressy or professional environment. Depending on your needs and the price range you want to shop in, you can opt for features such as extra traction for when you’re out raking leaves, complete waterproofing for places that get wetter during October and November, or a higher shaft for added warmth. Some of our favorite boots will even combine more than just one of these features, making them the perfect choice for versatile use no matter the weather conditions. With this buying guide, you are sure to have plenty of information about a variety of fall boots, that will help you make an educated purchase. In case you find you need any additional information, make sure to read up on our Criteria for Evaluation, as well as the Frequently Asked Questions section at the end of this article.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Fall Boots
Unsurprisingly, one of the most important features you want to look for in your next pair of fall boots is waterproofing. You may be surprised how few makers will produce footwear that is both warm and can keep water outside, making shopping for a good pair of fall footwear a task much harder than it should really be. If you live in a climate that sees any level of precipitation during the months of October and November, you need to make sure that your boots of choice will be up to the task of keeping you dry and comfortable.
One of the things that will influence the way a boot performs in wet weather is the material it is made out of. Most companies will make fall footwear out of leather, seeing that it is a great material that is both stylish and functional, and it provides the wearer with unique comfort and plenty of wear time. However, one of the downsides of leather is the fact that it’s not waterproof, and can even be damaged when exposed to rain or snow. If you have chosen to purchase of leather boots for autumnal wear, make sure to treat them with a water-repelling agent that will not only keep you dry but will also prolong the life of your shoes.
Rubber rain boots are another excellent option for fall, seeing that they are completely watertight, and you can rest assured that you can go through any puddle without fear of ending up soaked. However, they do have two downsides. One is related to warmth, as a great number of rubber boots are not insulated, meaning that they will work better for mild climates with heavy rainfall. The other one is the fact that rubber footwear is not breathable, and can become quite the breeding ground for bacteria and odor, especially if you spend a lot of time wearing this type of footwear. This means that rubber rain boots are not suitable for everyday wear, and you should only opt for them if you already have a pair of fall boots that will do well on dry days, and will provide you with a warm but breathable fit.
Last but not least, you could opt for one of the techier models on this list, and go for a pair of shoes that are weathertight, have a gore-tex lining or that are seam sealed. Having these options will ensure that your boots have an outer that looks good, just like any other pair of shoes, but your feet will get the benefits of complete waterproofing, no matter the situation.
It is very important to consider the weight of your next pair of fall boots, especially if you intend to spend a whole day in them, or if you are purchasing them for outdoor, hiking use. As a rule, the heavier a pair of shoes get, the more tired you will feel after having worn them for a few hours. So, for example, if you are in the market for a pair of fall boots that you can wear to your job, you need to consider the fact that you will be spending over 8 hours wearing these shoe, making it really impractical to choose something that is clunky. Instead, try to opt for footwear that is as light as possible, but still offers the features you need, including a lining to keep you warm and weatherproofing to prevent you from having to walk around with damp socks all day.
While some people will need the protection of a higher shaft, fall boots can be a great choice when it comes to weight, seeing that they are often made as ankle boots – giving you the perfect combination of protection and warmth without the unnecessary, heavy addition of a high top that can be saved for winter and colder days.
While durability and a cheap price are not always mutually exclusive, it is important to decide how much you are willing to pay for a pair of boots based on how long you intend to wear them. Some people prefer spending less and purchase new boots every few months, while others will be willing to pay a higher price and have a pair of boots that will last them a lifetime. Whichever your preference is, there is a couple of things you need to consider. One is the reliability factor of your chosen autumn footwear. While you may be tempted to go with the least expensive item you find, it’s important that you don’t waste your hard earned money on something that will fall apart or start leaking after just a few wears. On the other hand, you might find that investing a couple hundred dollars could actually buy you a pair of boots that you will wear for the next twenty years.
Whether you are shopping for just one season or for a lifetime of wear, it’s good to consider the reputation of the brand before making your final choice. For example, boots made by Red Wing, Wolverine, Timberland and L.L. Bean are all excellent choices as they make footwear that is ready for any challenge, providing you with plenty of wear time. Dr. Marten’s is also excellent, as are brands that make footwear for the Armed Forces such as J. Crew and Alden.
Leather is versatile and looks great on anything people can wear. But water, snow, and salt are leather’s enemy as these tend to age it too quickly and turn it into a cracking, unrepairable mess. Basically, what this means is that leather is not the best choice of material to wear out in places where there’s more snow than solar panels. You can preserve said leather by cleaning it with saddle soap. Or you can buy boots, from any sporting goods and cold weather clothing store, that have been made from the ground up to survive in the cold. Waterproof membrane, Thinsulate, leather mixed with silicone during the tanning process, or even a mixture of these choices. Be prepared to spend a lot of money for a good pair of long-lasting anti-weather boots, though, seeing that high performance such as this can set you back quite much. It’s a great idea to look at brand reputations for making high-quality weatherproof footwear, and starting with names like Baffin, Sorel, Woolrick, KEEN, and Kodiak is a good option.
Ground Traction (Thickness Of Tread)
While some places get a dry but chilly fall season, others will have to deal with plenty of rainfall that makes life (and choosing footwear) quite difficult. One of the most important things you need to consider when choosing a pair of fall boots is the outsole they are made with. Leather will not perform well on wet or slippery surfaces, and it is your best bet to avoid it. A rubber outsole will give you more grip, so choosing a pair of shoes that has a rubber sole is a safer bet. In addition, rubber and rubber compounds will do well with wetness, snow, and can even be used in the workplace if you need to walk on oily surfaces. Furthermore, rubber will prove to be more flexible and will give you the benefits of better shock absorption and cushioning, overall improving your wear experience. Materials that also work well for the fall season include nitrile cork, polyurethane or even some combinations that include EVA foam.
It’s also important to consider the pattern on your outsoles, seeing that a flat surface will generally not do as well as one with more lugs. If you need to walk on wet pavements, in muddy conditions, or if you want to extend the use of your fall boots into the winter season when you’re looking at snow and ice underfoot, it’s better to opt for a shoe that has more grooves on the bottom, allowing you to confidently take each step without having to worry about slipping and hurting yourself.
There is footwear that is drab and boring and is made only with productivity in mind. And then there are fall boots that look so cool and stylish that you want to wear them even when the cold weather has passed. It’s a great thing to be able to choose a pair of shoes that are as versatile as possible. This not only relates to style – as we all want a comfy pair of shoes that look good both with a casual as well as a more dressy outfit, but also to functionality. The perfect pair of fall boots will perform just as well in rain as in dry weather and will be comfortable to wear in both cold weather and on those days when the sun decides to shine through the clouds. If you manage to find a pair of boots that can even work in the summer, such as the Ariat Heritage Roper, you can consider yourself to have made a really great purchase.
Another thing to consider about fall boots is that they offer a versatility of use outside the autumn season, and if you’re someone who needs a pair of shoes for those long hikes, rock concerts or even a good pair of protective work gear, fall boots will prove to do well on these occasions.
Ultimately, a good pair of shoes is only worth as much as the benefits they provide you with. While durability, waterproofing, traction, versatility, and warmth all come into play, you still need to consider what makes a perfect pair of boots perfect for YOU. Some people might prefer a thigh-high style for aesthetic reasons, while others appreciate it because of the added warmth they supply. Designers and popular shoemakers have wised up with their potential customers, recognizing the need for footwear that will both look good and perform well in certain types of situations. A great example of this is calf width and how it relates to boot construction, as well as the need for more orthopedic features for maximized comfort and support. Having zippers on tall, over-the-ankle boots was probably the best idea ever; getting rid of the time it takes to fit the feet into them whilst avoiding the moving of cushions on the insoles. Amazingly, great looks don’t need to be compromised in exchange for functionality, which is our definite favorite part of each and every one of our top 15 fall boots. There are not many things that are as great as getting to wear boots that match your wardrobe to a tee, yet can still keep your feet dry, warm and protected.
Whether you’re strolling through the woods with your loved one, or you’re walking through the rain between a corporate office and the light rail station, wearing fall boots that can keep your feet dry and comfortable can be worth every dollar or extra dollar spent. Cushions that circumfuse around the bottom of your feet, materials around the ankle that give you support and don’t cause any chafing, the use of Thinsulate and waterproof material in the boots – these are all crucial aspects of any pair of footwear, especially if you have to wear it for longer periods of time. Based on your needs, possible foot conditions and preferences, you can actually choose a style that will work best for you, keeping you both pain-free as well as happy knowing that your fall boots match your outfit perfectly.
Unlike the earliest individuals who inhabited the same spaces you do today over hundreds of years ago, you have the advantage of facing cruel winters and bitter rain storms knowing that you’ve got the footwear that will keep you nice and warm. While traditional footwear used wool and animal hide, which are widely used today as well, you have the advantage of available technology (despite its side effects on the environment) to create insulation. Like 3M’s “Thinsulate” – a thin and highly insulating fabric made from polypropylene fibers. 3M had trademarked that name and it can be found in most fall and winter boots. A few other companies would try either to create their own style of insulation or will use straight-away polyurethane foams which also provide good protection from the cold.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should you avoid “cheap” fall boots? / Where to buy fall boots?
A: You might want to avoid buying fall boots from any well known big-box stores, seeing that boots from these type of stores run the risk of being ill made or hurriedly-manufactured. Even if you’re only using these boots for a year, don’t be afraid to spend more money on something that can last you more than just a season. Do some research; visit the multitude of sporting good stores, specialty shoe stores, “premium outlets,” and online company-based shops. Even if your favorite music artists promote certain brand named boots, there might be something better on the other side of the noise.
Q: Zippers Or Laces?
A: Remember that one Levi’s pants commercial where two guys were using the bathroom stalls after snowboarding? The words “Zippers Freeze” came up and then one of the guys were screaming? Fortunately for people today there’s “non-freezing zippers,” a piece of technology that’s used by the Armed Forces. However, laces have always been the definite way to go over using zippers. (Velcro has also seen its use in fall boots, but not so much.) For those who’d choose boot laces, there are several ways and styles to tie your laces. So, when you have the time, be adventurous and see how far you can go in style and functionality.
Q: How do you wear fall boots with pants? with dresses?
A: While there isn’t any official “wrong way,” the “play of the game” is to make sure what you’re wearing doesn’t look too tacky or out of place. The type of fall boots you wear at a punk rock concert or masquerade ball won’t fly too far at a convention center or large social gathering. The general idea, for boots that go above the ankle and towards the knee, is to wear them with your pants legs inside the boots. If the boots don’t go far from the ankle, some people tend to roll up their pants legs to make cuffs, being sure they don’t hit the top of the boots. For dresses; the fashion tips of the day are 1) not to wear all black (because it’s dreary), 2) not to be afraid to show a little leg (even if you’re wearing stockings or thigh-highs), and 3) to lighten up and use a variety of colors.
Q: What are ankle boots good for?
A: “Ankle Boots” are boots that go up either around the ankle or about an inch over it. They’ve been around since the early 19th century and have been making a comeback because of their versatility. And while there have been ankle boots for men, the list and choices for women’s ankle boots are much bigger than for men. A bit of advice here is not to wear ankle boots with heels that are too high or have a stiletto heel. It should also be noted that ankle boots should be avoided if you have bad or injured ankles. They might make these problems even worse.
Q: What are tall boots good for?
A: Tall boots, like ankle boots, can be worn for style points if done correctly. There are companies that make tall boots that work well as fall boots (i.e. Hunter, Fergalicious, Bearpaw, Durango, Ariat, and Aerosoles). But the lot of them are created for fashion and not functionality which can cause some problem. One case is that the top of the tall boots is too wide and forms a gap around the thighs. So the boots end up moving around the legs as you walk. Another case is when the top lands on the thickest part of the thighs, thus making the legs look wider. Tall boots should fit snugly and comfortably around your legs. If your thighs are your “problem area” then you should opt for tall boots that reach up or over the knees
Q: Do combat / hiking / mountaineering / hunting boots make for good fall boots?
A: The simple answer is yes. These types of boots are made to keep your feet comfortable whilst in the most extreme conditions. With most users, lace hooks are preferred over closed eyelets as they make it easier to get your foot out of the boot if it gets injured. Whether you’re suddenly fighting rebel forces in some unknown land, travelling up and down a mountain, or laying low with your rifle in the hopes of getting your next week’s dinner, even for looking good on the busy streets of New York, these types of boots can be a great choice for fall wear.
Q: …okay so what’s the difference between them?
A: Hiking boots are light boots for traveling along rough terrains, woods, and fields. Mountaineering boots are heavier and have better-gripping outsoles. They’re obviously made for climbing mountains and near-vertical terrain. Hunting boots are specially created to keep your feet warm and dry while you’re hunting for game or waiting for it to appear; whether you’re out in the cold woods or snow, or out on the extreme prairie or desert. Combat boots are specially designed to keep your feet and ankles safe from sprains and other damage; keeping yours from failing on a mission or in the thick of a firefight.
Q: Do western/cowfolk and motorcycle boots make for good fall boots?
A: Boots worn by cowboys and cowgirls have been the staple of the “wild frontier” and career that involves riding on horses. Of course, they’ve been specifically created to keep your feet and lower legs warm and secure. So wearing them during the cold seasons is a non-issue. In fact, it’s a little more difficult to wear them out in the heat. So it’s best to make sure your socks are able to take up a lot of sweat you’ll be producing. Motorcycle boots are specially designed for people who ride motorcycles. About half of them either have short laces or avoid them altogether (using either velcro or straps) because they’ll get caught in the engine parts. They have that unorthodox look of them, which makes motorcycle boots pretty cool. And they still work as functioning boots.
Q: What are Chelsea boots? Chukka boots? Ugg boots?
A: Chelsea boots are elastic-sided, ankle-high boots. They appeared during the era of the United Kingdom’s Queen Victoria (circa 1876-1901) and took root in the country’s “mod” (modern jazz) scene. The Beatles (in 1961) wore them with tailored suits. Chukka Boots, (alias “desert boots” or simply “Clarks”) also had their roots in the UK. They’re lightweight and grippy leather boots with rubber soles and around 3 eyelets. And they were first seen on the British forces during the Western Desert Campaign of WWII. Ugg boots are unisex sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand during the 1960s. They were worn by surfers for the warmth they gave their feet; being popular amongst surfers in Australia, New Zealand, and California. Ugg boots are still popular despite issues with animal rights activists, trademark disputes, and being tied to the unfashionable or social outcasts.
Q: Are boots with wooden soles/heels any good?
A: Wooden soles and wooden shoes are not really a good idea. They are popular in places like the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan. But wearing them is not good because your feet can’t get any feedback about the ground. They’re already on something solid, the wood itself. Plus they destabilize your foot arch and contribute to toe ailments like hallux valgus, bunions, tailor’s bunions, hammertoes, and clawtoes. Wooden heels, however, are slightly better. Wide wooden heels to be exact. It’s important to have stable footing while you’re in your shoes or boots; to make sure your ankles don’t roll or you don’t slip. Having rubber under the wooden heel can also help a lot.
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