Your mother likely insisted that you put on your galoshes when you were a small child.
You might’ve chafed at the notion then. But now you’re all grown up and can’t wait to slip into a pair of boots.
This fall, there are lots of intriguing choices that combine fashion with function, allowing the wearer to stylishly muck stalls or hike the Greenways Trail. Conversely, you can make a statement by pairing an elegant outfit with decidedly utilitarian footwear. Picture Jill Biden in a little black dress and cowboy boots.
Styles range from booties nipped at the ankle to long, tall boots that are OTK (that’s fashion speak for Over the Knee). Heels are chunky or slender, perilously high or down to earth.
Autumn conjures images of tactile suede, calf’s hair and leather, and warm tones of brown, onyx and russet. In addition to traditional materials and hues, expect the unexpected.
Have a colorful personality? You’ll get a kick out of fanciful boots in animal prints not found in nature, like cobalt blue leopard. Don’t want to follow the herd? Try bison leather. Want to ensure a perfect fit? There’s an app for that.
Everyday Is Thursday
Thursday Boot Co. makes footwear that’s meant to be worn every day. The Aria is a riff on a high-heel Chelsea boot, with a leather upper that’s designed to get better with age. The stacked wood 2.5-inch heel is hand-wrapped in leather. Inside, there’s glove-leather lining to ensure comfort. Studded rubber soles provide traction and make the boots more durable. Elastic goring trimmed in leather expands to allow feet to slide in and out. The boot runs narrow, so order a half size up from your normal size.
Miron Crosby makes bespoke cowboy boots in three heights: shorty, midi and tall. The brand is inspired by the West Texas cattle ranch where the sisters who founded the company grew up. The Margretta boot in caramel and champagne is an interpretation of a night sky in the Lone Star State, inlayed and appliqued with metallic leather crescent moons and jumping stars. Not exactly what you’re looking for? A concierge design service can help you lasso a pair of one-of-a-kind boots.
Dubarry, for Madam
Since 1937, Dubarry of Ireland has been crafting footwear suitable for the landed gentry in the United Kingdom. (The company was named for Madam du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, ostensibly to give it continental flair.) The Galway boot is a favorite for women who hunt, hike or simply enjoy country walks, as well as those striving for a to-the-manor-born vibe. On this side of the pond, Dubarry is part of Orvis’ curated collection. The boots blend classic style and comfort with a two-tone breathable leather upper, a waterproof GORE-TEX lining and rubber outer sole. Finger pulls fitted inside the boots make them easy to pull on and off—in the event a lady’s maid is not at the ready.
For the Outdoorsy Type
Seldom worn indoors, Muck Boots are great for, well, mucking about in the barn or the garden. Made from high-traction rubber, the soles support surefootedness, so you don’t run amok in the muck. The boots are 100 percent waterproof, easy to hose down before you pull them off on the back steps. Offered in low, mid and high styles for both men and women. They come in classic black and green, along with a variety of other colors.
Countrywideboots.com, starting at $80
Made in Italy for San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS), the Duchess boot is luxurious, with buttery-smooth leather and a full-length side zipper for easy on and off. It’s a classic design, tall and sleek with just a bit of a heel, ideal for dressing up with skirts or dressing down with jeans. Gore panels from ankle to shaft ensure fit to the wearer’s calf size. Duchess also is available in a wide-calf size.
Technology is taking the pinch out of prices for bespoke footwear. True Gault has developed a smart-phone app that allows a woman to scan her feet and order shoes custom made for her in Spain and delivered to her door in less than four weeks. If they don’t fit, you get your money back. The high-heeled Robin boot is kicky, offered in such fashion-forward finishes as snakeskin, blue leopard and metallic silver. Project Runway judge Nina Garcia is the firm’s fashion consultant.
Born in the USA
Handcrafted from genuine American bison leather, these boots are suitable for dancing, date night or simply kicking back. They are burnished to an aged patina, so a fellow doesn’t have to worry about high maintenance. It’s a look that plays as well with khaki and tweed as it does denim. The design includes rugged zippers on the inside vamp for speedy entry and exit. There’s more leather on the inside, with a soft, cowhide lining. Stacked wood heels are outfitted with rubber heel plugs for added stability. These boots run large. Order a half size smaller than your normal size.
Fall is fabulous for hiking. On the trail. Through the woods. To the bar. No matter where a guy roams, he needs boots that are lightweight, durable and that keep his feet dry, too. Danner Boots has introduced light, waterproof, low-cut hiking boots with contrasting leather insets and colorful laces. Because it never hurts to look good, too.