Boots & Booties
They are the best mate you can possibly have. They suit to all seasons and there are as many types as there are occasions to wear them ! Boots can be flat heels, thin heels, stacked heels, in leather, in suede, black or colored, fringed, buckled, studded…Boots offer countless and limitless options! But let’s just start with what are the so called « boots » ?
Boots refer to shoes with a «upper ».
This upper can stop below the ankle or between the ankle and the knee.
The most common type of boots :
- The « low boots » or « ankle boots » that reach up to or just above the ankle, generally the heels are likely thin.
- The « booties » which cover your ankles, usually they re either flat heeled or with stacked or thin heels
- The « Chelsea boots » defined as tight-fitting, end above the ankle. They are usually elastic-sided so that you can easily slip into. In their traditional version, they are flat heeled but this winter, some high-heeled can be seen.
- The « biker boots » stand as being above the ankle, with a wider upper and a usual round toe.
- The « western boots » that use the features of the Santiag however with a round toe and a shorter upper. Their bevelled heels could be flat or maximum 3 to 4 cm high. They are often displayed in suede or nubuck, ideal for spring or summer.
How to find the right boots ?
Typically, for boots, you will have the choice between smooth or patent leather and its fittings « peach skin » of the nubuck velvet leather or suede split.
What is it exactly?
To have detailed information on the qualities of leather, I advise you to read the articles :
- Derbies & Richelieu
- The boots
I discuss at length the characteristics of a quality leather.
Smooth leather, I do not extend, you know.
Nubuck and suede leather are grouped under the term “suede leather” (and also “suede” in English).
Suede leather is leather whose surface has been sanded with very fine sandpaper (not by hand, eh, I can see you already making movies!).
It is a machine called “nubucker” that does this to give it a velvety feel.
The advantages are a nice structure and a nice warm touch.
What is the difference between “nubuck” and “suede”?
These two materials are very similar but are not obtained in the same way.
We distinguish nubuck, obtained by sanding the outer side of the hide (the noblest part of the leather), from all the other names (suede leather, suede crust, suede, etc.) obtained by sanding the inner side of the hide.
The nubuck is thus obtained from the most qualitative part of the leather : the grain (side with the grains).
A piece of full grain leather is sanded until very fine hairs appear under which the grain of the leather remains slightly visible.
This light sanding does not allow to make disappear the possible defects of the leather, it is thus essential to use beautiful pieces of leather to obtain nubuck (hence its high price).
The result is a piece of leather of a very great softness and fineness, whose “breathable” properties have been increased (ideal for the summer).
The disadvantage of the scraped surface is that it is more vulnerable to stains, grease and sunlight (nubuck can fade quite easily if exposed to the sun, it is important to know!).
It is a beautiful material often used in footwear because nubuck dyes easily and evenly and has little markings on the creases.
It is a luxurious material that will need to be pampered and waterproofed regularly.
I’ll talk to you about the maintenance of your boots at the end of this article.
As for suede leather, there are two types :
- The “suede leather” whose flesh side (inner surface of the skin) has been sanded.
The “suede leather” retains its “grain” side which is then on the inside of the boot, which gives strength to the piece.
What is the point of highlighting the inner surface of a hide and not the flower, you might ask?
It is often flowers that can not be used because not regular enough or with too many rough edges. Their reverse side is then used to make “suede leather”.
Often the “suede leather” is strongly sanded or even scraped to reduce the roughness. The hairs are less fine and less short and therefore less soft than for nubuck.
- The “velvet crust” : so called when the skin has been split before being sanded on both sides. It is a rather fragile piece, of lesser quality. It is often the type of “suede” that can be found in fast-fashion stores.
Nubuck and suede leather are available in different types of leather depending on what you are looking for : calf nubuck, lamb nubuck, goat suede, pig suede etc.
What about the deer?
This is usually a misnomer.
This leather is not related to the animal of the same name.
When we speak of “deer” we usually mean suede leather.
Because the fallow deer (the cute animal with the little spots) is a protected species.
It is therefore forbidden to hunt it and to use it to make shoes!
The best thing to do is to choose full grain leather or nubuck boots (if you want that velvety feel).
But you won’t always have the choice.
Now you know why there are such price differences between leathers.
You also understand why it’s not satisfying to hear yourself say of a piece “Yes, but it’s leather” because there is leather and leather….
Leather at a lower price is often poor quality leather that is only leather in name and has no qualities of strength and durability.
Shape & Cut
Are you looking for low boots or ankle boots?
There are thousands of different types of boots.
We saw earlier that you can distinguish boots that come under the ankle bone from those that cover the ankle bone.
So, which model to choose?
You can go by your heart’s desire, of course!
But you can also take into account your silhouette and your morphology to know which boots will best suit you:
If you have a thin calf and ankle and are medium to tall:
You can afford anything, lucky you!
If you’re short:
Go for high heels (rather than Chelsea Boots). Opt for ankle boots that reach above the ankle bone rather than low boots.
If you have a strong calf and/or thick ankle:
Opt for low boots, preferably notched (the curve of the notch will shape the leg and draw the eye on the foot rather than on the calf), with a heel rather than flat (for the shape also). If you really want to wear boots (above the ankle), choose them with a wide shaft (that doesn’t touch the calf); visually this will slim down the calf; and opt for boot heels rather than thin heels. You should know that the higher the boots go up, the narrower they are and the more they bring out the volumes. Avoid boots tightened at the ankle (such as Chelsea boots for example).
In general, you should know that low boots and ankle boots cut the leg.
It is therefore necessary to choose wisely where you decide to cut it!
Heeled or flat boots ?
If you are comfortable with heels, choose low boots and ankle boots with heels that will pack less and shape the leg.
The ideal heel in winter (to walk on icy streets safely) : a 6 cm heel.
Nothing prevents you from going beyond that if you have a taste for risk!
Do you prefer round, square or pointed tips ?
Is it worth remembering that the round tip makes the foot shorter and the pointed tip makes it longer? So it’s up to you…
I suggest you take a half size above your usual shoe size.
She’s advising us to choose shoes that are too big?
Yes, slightly bigger!
To allow you to wear thick socks on cold days!
Be careful, it is not a question of falling for a pair of boots size 38 if you wear size 36… even if they are sold at 60% off. No sole or socks will make them fit on your feet!
How to wear boots ?
The ideal length of jeans leaves a small strip of skin visible
above your boots
With a pair of pants
If you want to wear your boots with pants, beware!
There is a trap in the length of the pants. It is a blow to be caught by the fashion police!
Ideally, the pants should not be too long.
WHAT'S NEXT IN THIS ARTICLE
- How to wear your boots with a skirt and a dress,
- How to choose your low boots
- How to wear your low boots (+ Mix & match)
- How to choose your boots and how to wear them with style (+ Mix & match)
- How to choose your Chelsea boots and how to wear them with stylish outfits (+ Mix & match)
- How to choose your biker boots + stylish outfit ideas
- How to choose your western boots and how to wear them with daring outfits (+ Mix & match)
- How to take care of your boots and booties to keep them long.
Find this complete article in the wardrobe encyclopedia EBOOK “Everything you need to know about wardrobe items”.
*These are images for which the sources could not be identified on Pinterest.
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