The crisp days of fall are here again, and in addition to pumpkins and apples, that means the return of another of your seasonal favorites: boots! If you’re longing for style but hurting for cash, here are some great picks for budget-friendly kicks ranging from classic equestrian to trendy ankle boot. – Chelsea Karnash
Take a trip back to the puddle-jumping of your youth in these adorable boots. Bright colors (love the yellow and the turquoise!) make the minimalist design more fun, but these willies would also look great in classic neutrals like olive or black. Plus, the faux shearling-like lining, called “Vinter,” (sidenote: Is that supposed to be “winter” in a Swedish accent?) makes these boots foot-friendly into freezing weather. While a pair retails for $70 on Tretorn’s website, deals for less can be found on sites like http://www.6pm.com or http://www.zappos.com.
Chooka Top Solid Rain Boot
With leather buckles and a matte finish, these boots in black are almost – almost – nice enough to wear around the office. The length is flattering, and there’s even a pull-tab to help you get them on and off. If you’re feeling blah about black, they do come in red and yellow, too.
Chaps Chaya Tall Boots
Apparently, the state of print media is even worse than I thought: Numerous fashion mags have deemed equestrian boots a “trend” this fall. Really guys, a trend? Last time I checked, riding boots were a wardrobe staple, on par with the LBD and a well-fitting bra. But I digress.
If you haven’t yet picked up a pair of boots that make you feel like spending a day at the races, now is the time. And if you’re on a budget, these Chaps boots are your pick. While the solid black or brown options are nice, the color-block pair is my fav – they’ll save you even more cash than you thought, since you’ll only need one pair of boots to match most of your neutrals.
Merona Kasia Leather Riding Boot
It’s not often you find boots that look like they’re actually made of leather for this price; it’s even rarer to find boots that are actually are made of leather for this price. But your prayers have been answered: These Kasia boots have an upper made of, yes, genuine leather, and you’ve gotta love the chic, caramel color almost as much as the price.
Can’t Get Enough Boot
To me, these stylish boots scream “Taylor Swift” – minus the saccharine song lyrics and constant relationship drama. Put on your flounciest dress or dark skinny jeans and a big sweater, throw on these (vegan!) booties, and head out the door. Just be warned, if you want to get your hands on these kicks, you’ll have to act fast – Modcloth items tend to sell out quickly, especially when they’re this adorable.
Fioni Vice Bootie
Payless has really stepped it up over the past couple years, and these sleek booties (in gray or black) are evidence of that. At just 50 bucks, they look much more luxe…I picture them paired with a skirt and textured tights for work, or with a mini dress and matching tights for a night out. And ladies, two words: padded insoles. YES.
Roxy Buckeye Boot
Looking for a versatile ankle boot that can be worn with both skirts and pants and won’t make your legs look like tree stumps? You’ve got it! These Roxy ankle boots are flattering, the color is classic, and even though the leather is faux, it doesn’t look it. Perforations add a touch of trendiness, and a traction heel is functional in wet or icy weather.
GAP Biker Boot
$89.95 ($79.95 for suede)
Leave it up to GAP to create a cool, casual, versatile ankle boot for less. These biker boots come in two colors in leather and two in suede (I’m especially fond of the gray, a neutral that everyone seems to overlook), are made of 100% genuine leather or suede and have a pull tab at the back for easy removal. Plus, reviewers say they’re really comfy – an absolute must for long treks on city streets.
Chelsea Crew Hull Bootie
Reptile skins are very on-trend for 2012, but they tend to look cheap when the finish is too glossy. These Chelsea Crew booties are just shiny enough, and the low wooden heel and interior zipper make them fun and casual rather than gaudy.
Wanted Dressage Bootie
Because sometimes, you just want to sparkle. (For me, it’s all the time. In fact, it’s pretty much taking all of my willpower not to buy these glam cowgirl-meets-Dorothy creations right now.) Of course, you don’t want to look like a teeny bopper while doing so. That’s what’s so great about these boots: The glitter is confined to the heel, making them understated enough for everything from an afternoon lecture to cocktails with friends to a weekend shopping trip. Although admittedly, I don’t think there’s any way to make gold glitter professional…unless, of course, your line of work is the world’s oldest profession.