10 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; the fall boot.

Whether you live 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 getting the seasonal blues. There are lots of features to consider, from thick soles for good traction, to whether you want a lace-up tall boot for the outdoors or an efficient slip on ankle boot for work.

Last Updated: September 20, 2017
By Benjamin Tyree III:

Recently added to this page are: “Criteria of Evaluation” for finding and purchasing the best fall boots and “Frequently Asked Questions” about fall boots as well as other boots that can be useful in cold weather. Also added is a “Listing of Sources” that will direct you to more info about fall boots, along with other web pages that pertain to better feet and ankle health.

Featured Recommendations

Dr. Martens 1460
  • Dr. Martens 1460
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Hard Synthetic Sole
  • Price: See Here
Lucky Brand Basel
  • Lucky Brand Basel
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stacked block heel
  • Price: See Here
Top Moda Coco 1
  • Top Moda Coco 1
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Knee-High
  • Price: See Here

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 doesn’t mean you have to forego an outing to your favorite coffee shop. To help you prepare for this fall season, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best fall boots to make your decision easier.

 

10 Best Fall Boots

 

1. Top Moda Coco 1

Nothing says fall like a tall boot. In the Top Moda COCO 1 Knee High riding boots, you’re screaming it. With a shaft that measures 15.5 inches from the arch, these make a striking addition to any autumnal outfit. The heel is modest at under an inch, so they’re comfortable to wear as all-day boots whether you’re going to school, running errands, or getting a popular spiced latte with friends. They also aren’t made out of leather, which makes them both animal-friendly and affordable.
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Versatility
With their rounded toe, slightly scrunched appearance on the toe box and shaft, and cute buckle accents, they 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 this season is favoring. They also come in a wide variety of colors, from soft mauve to taupe.

Durability
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 and if you’re putting these boots into regular rotation in your closet (or especially if they become your favorite pair), you want to be sure they can withstand the walking miles you’ll be putting on them. These hold up wonderfully for snowy/icy climates, and while not waterproof, can be reinforced with the application of the 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 a variety of 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.
Pros

Tall shaft

Moto buckle accents

Comes in a variety of colors

Durable in harsh climates

Cons

Not waterproof

2. Dr. Marten's 1460

pairs with those bright colors quite like a pair of 8 Eye Patent Leather Dr. Martens. These boots are durable enough to be worn at work and jumping into leaf piles, but because of their polished finish and rugged, can be worn as a fashion statement that has a punk edge. The Dr. Marten brand is synonymous with individuals that make their own mark on the world, so wear these and march to the beat of your own drum (coming from a Nirvana compilation).
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Functionality
The 1460 came out in 1960, and has never been out of production. It has an 8 eyelet ox-blood color and the classic Doc smooth leather exterior. It’s a tough little boot that doesn’t scuff easy, with an air-cushioned sole on the inside 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.

Versatility
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 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. Martens 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 soul, 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.
Pros

Quality materials

Thick lug sole

Polished full grain leather

Comes in a variety of colors/prints

Cons

Take a while to break in

3. Lucky Brand Basel

This is a little bootie that packs a lot of punch. With a modest 1.5” heel, it’s easily an everyday boot, and the side zip makes it easy to slip on and off. What sets it apart is the intriguing nature of its design, which allows for breathability as well as a unique look. Ankle boots like this are perfect for office wear or,if after work activities should take place at a swanky lounge, they’ll look just as on point there. They’ll dress up any outfit, which is especially helpful given some fall outfits can be drab if they’re only geared towards being functional.
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Versatility
Comprised of leather with a rubber sole, that is the only way any two of these boots are alike. 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.

Comfort
One would ordinarily expect these sort of shoes to pinch your toes or possibly slice into your ankles, given that the toe box narrows to a point, but the leather 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 first.

Cost and Value
Being that Lucky Brand it 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.
Pros

Wide variety of designs

Comfortable

Modest heel

Side-zip

Cons

Show signs of scuffing after a few weeks

4. Skechers USA Mariner

4. Skechers USA Mariner
No fall boot list would be complete without a utility boot. While it’s necessary to have boots that are fashionably for fall given that the season entails a variety of occasions, it’s just as necessary to have a boot that can withstand temperature and environment changes. These heavily lug soled boots are surprisingly lightweight, and offer great traction and arch support.They have a lightly weathered exterior that gives them a well-loved, “lived in” look perfect for the wearer that doesn’t need their footwear flashy.
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Functionality
The lug outsole on these boots is thick, as well as the padded collar, giving your feet a solid but comfortable feeling. Perfect for yard work outside and camping with friends and family, these boots can be worn in 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.

Comfort
The Mariner Utility boot offers a deep toebox for wearers that might have wide feet or are used to their toes pressing up against the tops. It also has a supportive instep, in case you’ll be doing a lot of activities on your feet this fall. The lug outsole provides excellent shock absorption as well. Because these boots don’t go over your ankle bone, there is no rub and they let your feet breathe a little more.

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. 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.
Pros

Deep tread

Shock absorbing outsole

Deep toe box

Supportive Instep

Cons

Not waterproof

5. Timberland Premium

5. Timberland Premium
Just as the classic 8 eyelet Dr. Marten found its way onto our list, so too does the Timberland that started it all. Timberland boots are known for their quality, rugged appearance that can stand up to the elements coast to coast. The Timberland 6” Premium Waterproof Boot is made entirely from leather with a padded collar, lace up vamp, and has a rubber sole with thick tread. It will get you through the slushy streets of NYC in October and crunching over the falling leaves of CA in November.
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Durability
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.

Comfort
They have a removable insole that allows for comfort customization, and the extra padded portion of the collar is robust enough so that where it falls on the ankle doesn’t get chaffed. This is particularly handy if you wear your Timberlands for a long 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 it for the superior performance you'll get out of them well into the winter.
Pros

Removable insole

Waterproof

Padded collar

Quality leather

Cons

Run small

6. Steve Madden Troopa

6. Steve Madden Troopa
This elegant lace up boot comprised of imported cognac-colored leather by famed designer Steve Madden is the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe, especially if you already have a number of smooth shaft boots. It’s loosely modeled after a WWI tactical boot, with a 1” heel, lace up front and distressed detailing. It’s smooth, buttery exterior has a number of stitching accents that give it a hand-crafted look, perfect for those that like a vintage or character driven aesthetic.
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Comfort
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 mean 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.

Functionality
The Troopa boots reach slightly less than mid-calf and are crafted of sturdy leather with a rubber sole. They don’t leak when introduced to puddles or rainy days, and because of their slightly distressed exterior, 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 foot wear, 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.
Pros

Fine quality leather

Side zip on the inside

Comes in a variety of colors

Lace up front

Cons

Not a lot of arch support

7. Teva De La Vina

7. Teva De La Vina
Strike a styling silhouette amidst the grey backdrop of fall in the Teva De La Vina Boot, a modern take on the smooth shafted tall footwear. Made from fine quality leather with a rubber sole, it reaches to mid calf and has a sleek, smooth exterior with a buckle accent around the calf and a harness accent around the ankle. Designed by a Colorado shoe company known for its love of the outdoors, this is a boot that looks sophisticated but means business, perfect for fall and whatever surprises the season brings.
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Functionality
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. It’s 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.

Comfort
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, as well as look good doing it.

Cost and Value
A company like Teva knows the value of a well made, dependable boot that looks as smart as it does functional, and the you’ll know it too 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.
Pros

Spider Rubber sole for traction

Buckle details

Comfortable

Can fit larger calves

Cons

Can run big 

8. Carlos by Carlos Santana Brie

8. Carlos by Carlos Santana Brie
Made from quality vegan suede, the Carlos by Carlos Santana Brie Ankle booties are a supple and fun embodiment of the energy from the man who shares their namesake. A classic, pointed toe shape for an ankle bootie, their heel is less than 2” and they have an elegant side zipper. They are offered in a variety of colors from creamy taupe to dark brown, and will be a timeless edition to any fall outfit where style and fun are the statement pieces.
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Durability
Because they are made from quality vegan suede, they have a much longer and better wear life. Whereas real suede can become discolored over time, the vegan suede used in the Carlos booties won’t show the same abuse. They have a wooden heel, not rubber, which makes them slightly more structurally stable. The side zipper is the YKK design which makes it both functional and durable, adding a slight utilitarian look to this otherwise smoothly silhouetted boot.

Versatility
Due to the classic profile of this boot and its quality construction, it can be worn in a variety of ways; tucked into jeans for an edgier vibe, or with skirts and dresses for a softer look. Because of the mid-height of the heel, it adds height to shorter wearers, but is still perfect for tall wearers not interested in adding to their height. It’s comfortable enough to be worn all day at the office, during a school day, or out on an excursion with friends.

Cost and Value
The Carlos Santana shoe brand, spawned from a partnership with the Brown Shoe Company, is committed to providing excellent footwear that captures the boundless vigor and effervescence he demonstrates in his on stage performances. Each shoe reflects his raconteur personality, while also evoking classic fashionable shapes. Though these boots are expensive, proceeds are donated to the Milagro Foundation that partners with the non-profit community to assist the needs of children all over the world.
Pros

Wooden heel

Quality vegan suede

Side zipper

Comfortable

Cons

Runs narrow

9. Stuart Weitzman 5050

9. Stuart Weitzman 5050
There is arguably only one boot that makes as much of a statement during the fall season as the over-the-knee boot, and the Stuart Weitzman 5050 Over-the-Knee Boot is one to shame all others. Cutting an imposing figure with a shaft measuring a towering 21” from the arch, and constructed from sleek, polished leather, it will be the boot you don when you want to show everyone who’s boss. Luckily, it has a low heel, meaning that you can go for hours commanding attention without getting the least bit tired.
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Functionality
Due to the imposing length of the boot’s shaft, the 5050 gives your leg as much protection as it does the appearance of length. The 5050 will make sure that any environmental factors that coincide with your fall activities -snow, cold, moisture- won’t penetrate them. 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.

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.

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 be worn to dress up a casual ensemble, but they can compliment an already dressy one. Though they are quite expensive, they are a head turning boot that is as functional as they are sophisticated.
Pros

Great Fit

Quality leather materials

Elastic fabric behind knee for flexibility

Elegant design

Cons

Expensive

10. Sorel Cheyanne Lace

10. Sorel Cheyanne Lace
A very utilitarian boot designed to combat wet autumns, Sorel’s Cheyanne Lace Rain Boot is an aesthetically pleasing rain boot that goes a few inches past the ankle and is made from soft leather and durable rubber. It boasts a classic look with a tawny leather upper, orange and yellow sausage laces, and a big black rubber toe box and sole. It’s the sort of rain boot that can easily be worn with your regular outfit or with rain gear and not look the least bit out of place.
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Functionality
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 the thinsulate liner. 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.

Comfort
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 thinsulate and 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.
Pros

Thick tread for traction

Waterproof

Thinsulate liner

Lace front

Cons

Rubber can crack if not treated

When the season’s change, so must your footwear. When you start noticing the days getting shorter and the air getting colder, you put away your open toed shoes and lightweight sneakers in favor of some boots with Thinsulate liners and over-the-knee coverage. Our list proves that there is no right or wrong fall boot, but only what you feel comfortable wearing and provides the most style and features for your price point. Whether you like extra traction when you’re out raking leaves, or something stylish for a bonfire party, there’s a boot that fits your unique needs. There’s even several that combine the best of both worlds, proving that fall boots, more than any other footwear, can be both functional and fashionable, while also being affordable.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Fall Boots

 

Material (Waterproofing)

best fall-boots-waterproof

One would think that the lot of boots now, even the seasonal ones, would be based on the boots uses by the brave and proud people who fought in our wars, the enemies who fought against them, and those who were surviving the harshest environments the world has to offer. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. A percentage of boots today are made with either leather, Goodyear rubber, some synthetic material that protects oil and chemicals, or some crazy combination of choices. A large percentage of them have rubber outsoles. Some of them even have insulation to keep your feet warm. However; a percentage of them are not waterproof. They’re just made for “style points” and not something a person should wear when a sudden heavy rainstorm hits.

Weight

best fall-boots-weight

Typically, the average weight of hiking boots should be between 1.5 to 3.5 pounds per pair. Or somewhere around those numbers. That’s from a study done between hiking boots and hiking shoes. While hiking shoes are a nice thing, hiking boots give the wearer more benefits. Like more arch support, more control over unstable knees, stiffer soles, higher ankle height for those prone to rolled ankes, and shanks that run through the length of the foot beds for better stability. And while hiking boots aren’t as heavy as mountaineering boots; it’s safe to assume that a good pair of fall boots can start from 1.5 pounds and be somewhere around 5 to 6 pounds.

Durability

best fall-boots-durability

Some rap artists boasts the toughness of their favorite pair of boots. Other rap artists complain that those same popular boots are useless when running from the police. If you’re an owner of a company that creates and manufactures long-lasting boots, it’s nice to know that this type of popularity is spreading the good word. Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend, a pair of fall boots can either last you half a year or half a lifetime. (L.L. Bean and Wolverine are good brand names to start from.) Boots made by companies that are known for making them for the Armed Forces (J. Crew and Alden) can go an extra mile as well.

Climate Protection

best fall-boots-cold

Leather is versatile and looks great on anything people can wear. But water, snow, and salt are leather’s enemy; as it tends to age it too quickly and turn it into a cracking, unrepairable mess. So they make for horrible 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, thinsolate, leather mixed with silicon during tanning, or a mixture of choices. Be prepared to spend a lot of money for a good pair of long-lasting anti-weather boots, though. (Start with names like Baffin, Sorel, Woolrick, KEEN, and Kodiak.)

Ground Traction (Thickness Of Tread)

best fall-boots-outsole

Digging snow from off the driveway is hard work. And it’s understandable that not everyone likes hard work. Running the risk of sliding on the ice that formed underneath the snow and breaking the lower part of your body is even less fun. And it’s difficult to try to feel the taste and warmth of hot apple cider when all your body can feel is PAIN. That’s why the boots you wear out in the snow must have a strong enough grip on the bottom and outsoles to make sure you don’t slip; not even by accident. It’s safe to assume that the lot of these bootmakers who make snowboots know what they’re doing in creating the most stable, as well as most comfortable, boots for people to wear. Else they wouldn’t still be in business, now would they?

Versatility

best fall-boots-versatility

And then there are the fall boots that look so cool and stylish that you want to wear them outside the cold seasons. You’ll find people wearing fall boots in concerts because let’s face it: Concerts are usually held outside where it’s cold, crowded, and (after coming down from a buzz from one of those “greatest songs ever played live”) highly uncomfortable. You not only want to wear boots that can keep your feet warm from the punishing wetness and low temperatures, but boots that can keep your feet safe from a severely sudden change of weather or a sudden stampede of angry concert goers.

Functionality

best fall-boots-functionality

Or you just want to wear fall boots that don’t cause any embarrassment yet still work like they used to. So no unflattering Ugg boots and no “not safe for work” thigh-high boots. Designers and popular shoe makers have wised up with their potential customers; dealing with issues like the width of the calves and the need to be more orthopedic with how the boots fit the feet. 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 didn’t need to be compromised. It’s great to wear boots that match your wardrobe to a tee, yet can still keep your feet away from the punishing weather.

Comfort

best fall-boots-comfort

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 gives you support and doesn’t leave any chafing, the use of thinsulate and waterproof material in the boots… And the comfort in knowing that your fall boots are either matching your clothing style or avoiding that out-of-place look.

 Insulation

best fall-boots-insulation

Hearing the stories about the Natives and Eskimos from long ago, and the Cowboys who went forth into (what is to them) the unknown… There’s shock and surprise over how everyone back then was able to survive the cruel winters and bitter rain storms. They had wool and animal hide back then. And to this day, there are boots (as well as other clothing and outdoor equipment) that still use genuine wool. But now we have the 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 their own style if insulation, or straight-away polyurethane foams.

 

FAQ

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. Since the 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 two of them. 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 had been the definite way to go over using the zippers. (Velcro had 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 in. 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. What 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. It’s been around since the early 19th century and had been making a comeback because of its versatility and choices to mix-and-match your clothing with. And while there have been ankle boots for men, the list and choices for women’s ankle boots is bigger than for men’s ankle boots. A bit of advice here is not to wear ankle boots with heels that are too high; the minimum is 1 inch. Another bit of advice is not to wear stiletto ankle boots. 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 had been created for fashion first and functionality second. The problems arise when functionality is thrown out the window. One case is that the top of the tall boots are too wide and form a gape 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. The tall boots should fit snugly and comfortably around your legs. If they’re the “problem area” then you should opt for tall boots that reach up or over the knees.

* Do combat / hiking / mountaineering / hunting boots make for good fall boots?

A: Word of mouth is that it’s all about comfort. Current boots of that calibre had been made to keep your feet comfortable whilst in the most extreme conditions. It seems that the lace hooks are preferred over the closed eyelets; simply for the ease of getting one’s foot out of the boot if it gets injured. Whether you’re suddenly fighting rebel forces in some unknown land, travelling up and down the mountain in some known land, or laying low with your rifle in the hopes of getting your next week’s dinner. The last thing anybody wants to be concerned about is the pain you’ll have in your ankle or foot if you’re wearing the wrong boots.

Q: …okay so what’s the difference between them?

A: The hiking boots are light boots for traveling along the 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 them to appear; whether you’re either 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 damages; keeping your 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 since we’re on the topic, 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 table 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.

 

When it comes time to clean your footwear, we have a guide for that.

If you need to repair a shoe, we have a guide for that too.

Are your current shoe causing blisters? Here’s how to prevent them.

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