Boot camp

Boot Camp
Kick off your wardrobe with the season’s essential boot

 

Whether your boots are made for walking, working or dancing the night away, we’ve got everything you need to know about the hottest styles and details. Plus, when you’ve decided on that dream pair (or two) after some serious sole searching, we’ve got expert advice on how to care for your best-foot-forward purchase.

 

The hottest boot styles …

The Ankle Boot

The Lace-up Boot

The Over-the-knee Boot

The Flat Motorcycle Boot

The Ankle Boot

From Louis Vuitton’s strappy Stairway wedge boots to Stuart Weitzman’s sleek platforms, ankle boots are one of fall’s hottest accessories. “Some women may not be used to this height, but it is very easy to wear,” says FLARE’s fashion director, Elizabeth Cabral. “It’s all about proportion. When wearing ankle boots with a skirt or a dress, make sure the hemline is at or above the knee.” Avoid pairing them with longer skirts, a potentially frumpy look better left on the runway.

Style tip: Match your hose to your boot colour to avoid a choppy look (different colours will make your legs appear shorter). If you’re not into matching, choose a shade of hose that’s similar to the boot, such as charcoal-grey hose with black boots.

Perfect with: Leggings, opaque tights, minis, skinny jeans, A-line silhouettes.

Seen here: Leather, $873, Barbara Bui.

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The Lace-up Boot


Though it has practical and utilitarian roots (hey, Granny!), the lace-up boot is anything but dull or drab. “It’s a season of rich and unexpected touches,” says Julia Brownstein, women’s trends buyer for Browns Shoes. “Lace-up boots are just one fabulous example of the new attention to detail.” To-the-knee lace-ups capture the season’s nod to Victorian influences and add a romantic edge to dressing, while shorter lace-ups, including those seen on the Marc Jacobs runway, embody the new luxe grunge.

Style tip: Pair them with opaque tights for a stylish way to wear lighter late-summer items into fall.

Perfect with: Dark, romantic dresses. Shorter lace-ups are ideal layered with socks or ribbed tights.

Seen here: Leather, $130, Spring by Transit.

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The Over-the-knee Boot

The over-the-knee boot made a dramatic statement on several fall runways. “There is a lot of variation with the heels of over-the-knee boots (thin, stacked or flat), which make these a surprisingly practical choice,” says Cabral. While leather tends to be the fabric of choice, stretch and vinyl are smart options. “Synthetic and stretch fabrics are great for over-the-knee boots,” says Brownstein. “They’re snug and won’t stretch like leather can, so they hug the leg.” Adds Linda Perisa of Toronto’s Corbò Boutique: “Patent leather is also more resilient to weather and salt stains, making it a practical choice.”

Style tip: For this bold style, consider one of fall’s new metallic finishes or glossy-black patent leather.

Perfect with: Leggings or skirts, whether a mini or a pencil skirt, for an unexpected, sexy spin.

Seen here: Leather, approx $1,165, Miu Miu.

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The Flat Motorcycle Boot

“The flat motorcycle boot captures the season’s ’80s neo-punk trend,” says Cabral. “They’re edgy but still really fashionable and they’re a great option when you don’t want to wear heels 24/7. Try to avoid a look that’s too dressed-down, otherwise they could end up looking clunky.” She advises wearing motorcycle boots with either really tailored or really voluminous clothing. “Either is fine but contrast works the look best.”

Style tip: Balance the sturdy shape of these boots with trim leggings or a billowing skirt or topper.

Perfect with: Skinny pants, leggings, futuristic egg-shaped coats

Seen here: On the runway at Dolce & Gabana

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