With the cold weather and snow officially here, it’s time to take stock of one’s boot collection. Regardless of the style (ankle, knee-high, stacked), there is no arguing the ubiquity of a black boot — after all, it can work with almost any wardrobe color palette and is easier to dress up or down with any given outfit (a lifesaver especially during the holidays, when errands, shopping and parties tend to coincide). And choosing a weather-specific boot in black for rain or snow ensures that the shoe will do double duty.
But a black boot’s multipurpose, universal wearability also means they they will wear down faster than, say, a strappy evening sandal — which means that they will likely need to be replaced each fall and even within a season (also a handy excuse to try out a trendier style in black). Here, a comprehensive but concise guide to the six types of black boots that every woman should own this winter, including both timeless styles and fall’s biggest trends.
1. The kitten heel ankle boot
If there is one trend to try out this winter, it’s the kitten heel boot. The low heel makes it easy to wear during the day, and its more delicate look makes it equally appropriate for night. The silhouette is also an instant update to the chunkier block heel on most ankle boots of past seasons. Try it in black matte leather or a patent version for a bigger statement.
2. The (faux) fur-trimmed, all-purpose snow boot
The yang to the kitten heel boot’s yin, the all-purpose snow boot is a practical must for anyone living in snowy areas, but most people tend to to choose a brown or neutral-colored boot. Choosing the same style (with fur or faux-fur trim, strong laces and sturdy rubber soles) in black makes it instantly more après-ski chic.
3. The rainboot that looks like a regular Chelsea boot
While the winter weather in states like Alaska or North Dakota call for a proper snow boot all season, many places see more slush than snow. The unpleasant mush is often best tackled by an insulated rainboot that powers through snow to slush to rain puddles. Pair an Chelsea-style rainboot (with or without a heel) in patent or matte rubber with an ankle-length liner (or a pair of thick socks or even shearling insoles) to keep feet cozy on colder days.
4. The updated over-the-knee
Any and everything goes when it comes to over-the-knee-boots: The height of the boot is a statement alone, so adding on a full lace-up, embroidery accent or heel embellishment only adds to the wow factor. But pick one add-on to avoid looking too busy (and keep clothing simple to keep the emphasis on the boots).
5. The sock boot
It may seem like the most daring of the bunch, but the hybrid sock boot actually has a practical use come wintertime. Ankle boots require a good sock to shield bare skin from the wind, but it can be difficult to find the right sock pairing (too thick and it looks awkward; too thin and it defeats the purpose). The sock boot solves this challenge.
6. The embellished biker
To some, the biker or combat boot is the only real staple needed come fall and winter, as it’s less precious than an ankle boot and looks great scuffed up. But the biker can do even more when given a little pizzazz, whether it’s studs, rhinestones or even leather flowers.