Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall Shopping: Ankle Boots

Let's talk ankle boots for a sec, okay?  I've heard a lot of people say that they really don't like ankle boots.  I don't know why, but took me a loooong time to get on board with these things too.  I hated them so much--like, hated--until I loved them.  And I don't even know how the shift happened!

Why I Like Them
One thing I really appreciate about ankle boots is that they can add some grounding and character to an outfit that ballet flats can't always do because of their texture.  Leather and suede in a sturdy boot shape has a nice weight to it that a sleek ballet flat doesn't have, you know?  I wish I had taken pictures to show you an outfit with flats vs ankle boots, but I didn't think that far ahead.  Doh!

I also like that ankle boots aren't as warm as riding boots, so you still get the fall-like weight and texture without potentially overheating.  (Especially when you live somewhere where it's not often that cold, like here in San Diego.)

Choosing the Shape
When I was just starting to give ankle boots a shot I almost swore them off again because all the pairs I tried made my legs look stumpy and horrible.  It took me a long time to figure out that the shape of the boot mattered depending on the shape of your leg.  I'm average height (5'6") with average length legs, but I don't have super duper thin calves.  Mine are more shapely and my legs really thin out at my ankles.  Most ankle boots I tried were cut straight across (like in options 7-9 below) and cut off my leg line, making my calves look larger and legs look too short.  

So, let's talk quickly about some different styles below:

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six
seven  |  eight  |  nine

Options 1 and 2 - See that dip in the front?  These are great for someone who has more shapely calves because the dip extends the leg line a little bit rather than cutting straight across your ankles.  This is the shape that I stick to, especially if I plan to wear them with skirts or dresses that show the shape of my leg.  Once I found this kind I knew ankle boots and I could be friends.  :)  (Options 2 comes in a few different colors.)

Options 3, 4, and 5 - Options 3 and 4 have a slight dip in the front, so whether or not that works for you would depend on how much curve there is to your calves.  (Option 4 comes in different colors.)

Option 6 is a wedge bootie.  I included it there because they're different than the other types of heels and they're pretty fun.  I've wanted a pair like that every fall but haven't found any that flatter my legs.  

Options 7, 8, and 9 - These cuts definitely don't work on me, but if you've got thin limbs then you are in luck!  But pretty much any ankle boot will look good on you if you've got thin limbs, legs with less curve, or have really long legs.  I have Option 9 but haven't worn them because they don't look good on me, but Merrick wears them all the time and they look fantastic on her!  Also, these last three have some sort of extra hardware or studding that give them a bit more edge.  (Options 8 and 9 come in different colors.)

Yay or nay on ankle boots for you?


  1. Marissa @ The Modern AustenFriday, October 25, 2013

    Thank you for taking the time to write this helpful post! I have yet to make my ruling on the ankle boot trend, but this is swaying me toward liking them! I got a pair of booties not long ago, but am thinking about returning them because I'll rarely have an occasion to wear such dressy boots, but these ankle boots are much more practical for my lifestyle right now. I will definitely have to try some on!

  2. Do you think ankle boots could work with maxi skirts?

  3. I'm looking at option 9 to go with maxi skirts

  4. I love them all!

  5. Stephanie BentonFriday, October 25, 2013

    Audrey, I have the Toms Desert Wedge in taupe and I love them! The color is not a hard contrast from my skin tone so they actually look great with skirts and are insanely comfy! Check them out. Your skin tone is deeper than mine you may like the chestnut ones...I was torn but went with taupe ultimately because it was best for lengthening my leg.

  6. Okay, I have been reading your blog for a while now and looking at how cute ankle boots are on you. I am short and felt like ankle boots always cut my legs off and make me look about 2" tall. But after much debate, I decided to buy option 1 tonight based on your recommendation. I think I have been trying on the wrong style ankle boots for my leg shape. I was also super thrilled to get option 1 - Carlos Santana ones for $65 OFF!! They are 50% off right now and you can save an additional $15 with a Promo code that is listed on the website for this weekend only. I saved $65 bucks on my purchase! Whoo hoo! Your blog was an inspiration for me to start my own www.closetremixblog.com - Thanks

  7. I haven't been able to get used to the idea of ankle boots, yet. I'm just 5'3" (maybe really 5'2") & have bigger legs. Maybe if I find the right pair. :)

  8. VersatilestylebytraceyFriday, October 25, 2013

    I had ordered a pair from TJ Maxx that were too dark in color and have been searching for the ones pictured in number 2... Just ordered them and it said only 2 left in my size..Thank you!

  9. I have yet to get on board with ankle boots, too. I think probably for a similar reason - I like the idea of them, but I haven't found a pair that looks good on me. I like some of the options you picked.

  10. Audrey, its posts like this are the reason I love your blog so much! Great job! Its amazing how you figure this stuff out on your own! I love ankle boots, but I've always wanted to wear them with a dress or a skirt, but never have. I figure it is either too hot or too cold to do it.

    P.S. If you want to swap those boots (or give them away) let me know :P

  11. I just bought my first pair of ankle boot. Black suede wedge with fringe from AE. Figured I'd go all-out and rake a risk! It worked, I love them.

  12. Thank you so much for this post! I can't decide if I like this trend or not, but you've motivated me to try on a few pairs and give them a chance :)


  13. I love ankle boots! I have them in 4 different colors/styles!!

    Mariposa Medley Jewelry

  14. What a timely post... I'm finally warming up to the idea of ankle boots and have just started shopping for some!

  15. I have 2 pairs of black, dressy ankle boots that I love, but I just bought a pair of casual booties. I'm trying to figure out if I am going to keep them. I'm starting to think maybe I should go with something like option 1 based on your info!


  16. I just bought some new ankle boots and love them. I never thought about how that little notch could help elongate the leg! Great post.

  17. Ankle boots are the best! Especially if you live in a warmer climate like San Diego :)


  18. It took me awhile too but I found a great pair that I've worn a lot lately! I wore them on my latest post actually!

    Exploring My Style

  19. I was totally the same as you -- hated ankle boots until suddenly one day I loved them. So weird.

  20. I love that you explained how each shape worked! I love ankle boots since my calves and regular boots don't work together.

  21. I'm short (5' -1") and have thicker calves. I've found that the ones that zip up are a bit snugger around the ankle which shows that my ankles are thinner than my calves (read: more flattering) as opposed to the ones that don't zip and have a wider opening and just make my leg look thick all the way down.

  22. I'm curious what it is about #9 that you think doesn't work for you? What have you tried to pair them with?

  23. I bought the first pair of boots! Thanks for posting such a great deal. I recently started following your blog, and I like how it is very "real world" (or at least my world) fashion, since I would look silly in something super fashionista in my small midwest city. I've gotten some practical ideas.

  24. I have chicken legs and gave up on ever being able to wear booties/ankle boots because my legs would look like 2 little lone flowers in the midst of 2 great big flower pots! Any recommendations for me? I have defined calves but I wouldnt say that they are terribly shapely. Thanks in advance!

  25. How would you style these with jeans?

  26. I usually wear my ankle boots under my skinny kick jeans from American Eagle. The slight flare at the ankle has a blending effect to hide my man calves (or at least make them look less bulky!)


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