Invest in a classic style or stay on trend with a pair of high-end boots.

By Kelly Potts

Julia Engel

Photo courtesy Gal Meets Glam

For centuries, boots have been a staple in the wardrobes of men and women. Now, designers are incorporating everything from exotic skins and textures to embellishments and patterns to take the cold-weather shoes to the next level.

Luxury boots are defined by the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship of the boot itself. The grade of the leather and suede that is used to construct the boot impacts the fade and wear over time, making high-end, traditional styles a great purchase.

Julia Engel, creator of luxury fashion and lifestyle site Gal Meets Glam, says, “Typically, a good pair of high-end boots will last for many seasons, or even years, whereas a low-end brand may not last for more than one season before showing wear and tear including discoloration, scratches and nicks in the ‘leather.’”

Brian Sacawa, creator of He Spoke Style, a site devoted to men’s style inspiration and information, states that traditional trends always will have a place in boot designs. Sacawa says, “One of the best things about classic men’s style is that it doesn’t change all that much,” noting that Chelsea boots, Chukkas and wingtip leather dress boots always will be prominent styles for men.

Engel agrees that traditional trends stick around for a reason, saying that, for women, “We’re always going to see a classic riding boot or ankle boot, but to make them more current, designers are getting more creative with the textures, patterns and heel heights at play.”

Designers of men’s and women’s boots are doing just that this year, relying on exotic skins and furs, different embellishments and lots of textures to make boots look more like works of art than just a piece of clothing.
Engel says, “It seems like many designers were inspired by a more western vibe that includes suede, fringe and buckles.”

Sacawa says that for men, he expects double monk-strap boots to take off this fall, noting that, “The double monk-strap shoe is such a staple of any well-dressed gentleman’s wardrobe, and the boot version takes it to a whole different level.” He also says we will see a lot of Chelsea boots and refined suede chukkas this fall and winter.

Classics, like a pair of Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots, are what Engel tends to stick with during the colder months. However, she does admit that she’s eager to try something new this season, saying “I’m excited to try out a printed boot, possibly leopard or snake skin, as it’s so different than anything I have currently in my boot collection.”

For both functionality and fashion, Sacawa recommends the Dalton by AllenEdmonds, saying that they’ll not only look great but will also last a long time. Engel commends the designs of Stuart Weitzman, Acne, Chloé and Isabel Marant, saying “All four designers focus on an aesthetically pleasing shoe while not giving away comfort.”

Burberry Buckle Boot photo Courtesy Burberry; All other photos courtesy Neiman Marcus

Luxury fashion brand Chloé plays with textures and trimmings with a pair of suede ankle boots featuring beaded embellishments and fringe down the back for $1,790.

Christian Louboutin’s Praguoise studded ankle boots feature block heels and tonal stud accents, modernizing the classic ankle boot style for $1,495.

Burberry’s Buckle Boot, which the company states were inspired by the distinctive patchwork details present throughout their runway collection, feature metallic studs, fringe and grommet details, offered at $1,095.

Brunello Cucinelli’s fur-trimmed ankle boots use dyed fox fur to update a classic nubuck winter boot and are priced at $4,490.

Givenchy’s over-the-knee boots feature silver-tone chain-link accents throughout, adding some modern hardware to the classic look, offered at $2,495.

Tom Ford’s pointed-toe knee-high boots feature leather and suede to create a visually aesthetic woven pattern using different textures for $2,580.

John Lobb’s suede ‘Ferris’ chukka boots, offered at $1,435, use different textures to modernize classic styles that are typically seen in smooth leather.

Saint Laurent’s suede Wyatt boots, offered at $1,095, bring modern updates to a traditional men’s shoe style.

Stefano Ricci gives Chelsea boots an update this season by using Nile crocodile skin throughout the construction of the entire boot, offered at $9,275.