Whether you are a woman, you are shopping for one, or you are a person who dresses as a woman, the purpose of this writeup is to educate people who would like to maximize their dress boot experience. Men's dress boots are primarily military in nature, although there are dress boots for civilians. These boots are constructed differently, and will fit a wearer's leg in a manner that women's boots won't, so for the remainder of this writeup, I am going to be referring to dress boots manufactured with the female foot in mind.

Unlike shoes, where the topline does not cover the ankle, people who are purchasing boots must also take into consideration the boot shaft, and its circumference. Dress boots are designed to fit a wearer's leg snugly. Instead of shopping with the idea that you would like to own a certain type of footwear, try examining your foot, to determine if a particular shoe or boot is going to be comfortable and smart. A well fitted pair of boots flow up from the ground, flattering the encased limb. Bulges and creases, both signs of ill-fitting footwear are nowhere to be found. Flesh above the top of the boot is sleek, neither overflowing the boot, nor allowing the wearer's leg to rattle inside the shaft like a child's toy.

Boots and messy weather go particularly well, keeping their wearer warm while protecting feet from the elements. Many associate dress boots with a narrow spindly heel, this next statement has little to do with footwear, but everything to do with class. Clothes do not make the man, or the woman. People animate clothing, giving life and character to their garments. Consider two men or women attending the same function; the woman wearing hooker heels standing next to a woman wearing a pair of classic black dress flats, the office jackass standing next to his coworker who holds the door for others, the flabby belly whose strained shirt buttons expose his undershirt seated next to a hard bodied man whose cheaper shirt hangs better than the expensive one.

Character elevates or depresses the clothing it wears; compliment the wearer, not what is being worn. Quality of a boot, shoe, or garment can be lessened by trashy talk and unrefined mannerisms, and heightened by elegance of form and character. Dress boots are wardrobe builders; functional, comfortable, attractive items that can be paired with anything from worn jeans to evening wear. Finding a pair of boots that can go anywhere will take time. If you do not have a wardrobe that consists of classics you can mix and match, now would be a great time to start researching timeless pieces that will never be either in style, or out of it.

Feet are the foundation of your body. You do not need a lot of clothing or footwear, you need a few well made, time tested classics that will carry you through whatever your day throws at you. Build the rest of your wardrobe around your footwear, the perfect suit or well cut dress can be undermined by cheap footwear, and lesser quality items enhanced by quality shoes and boots. Kitten, wedge, and stiletto heels while popular, are to be avoided. Consider balancing an eighty pound weight on a pivot point, what happens when the weight is shifted by movement? The narrower the pivot, the harder it is to maintain that balance. In the case of dress boots, that point is your heel, and the weight is your body. Not many boot wearers I know weigh eighty pounds, but many are eager to exchange their hard earned money for cheap boots that invite foot damage.

Dress boots are elitist footwear in that not everyone should or can wear them. Dress boots look best on people with an average build, and medium width legs. Generally speaking, they will make short people look even shorter while people with disproportionately long legs will look longer below the waist than they really are. Dress boots work well for people who need a lot of material covering their foot. Their foot will be medium width, or narrow, their instep will be average, or slightly below. If you have a high instep, you may not be able to get their foot into a pair of boots that should fit.

Shaft height is another aspect to consider. Dress boots should conform to the leg they cover. The silhouette of the boot needs to mirror that of the anatomy beneath it with curves and flares corresponding to limb variances. Where the boot ends depends on an individual, if it hits the area behind the knee, consider that circulation may be impeded, and the boots are unlikely to be a good, comfortable fit. Calf and ankle circumference are other factors in the dress boot equation. Your calf moves as you walk, so there needs to be a bit of give in the leather. Boots that are too tight will make your leg look chunky while boots that flap around skinny calves infantilize the wearer.

Quality footwear lasts. Many people who wash clothing that isn't actually dirty ignore the maintenance that preserves their footwear. Assuming that you purchase your boots after your foot has stopped growing, properly cared for boots ought to last you a lifetime provided you clean and protect the uppers. Soles can be replaced on any footwear that is worth purchasing, some will argue that they can't afford to invest in their footwear, these people are taking the short view, which, in my opinion, is sad. You get a single pair of feet, one back, two hips, a neck, and if you know how to shop for your particular foot, your brain should be able to combine its resourcefulness and ingenuity to finance your footwear.

Work with an experienced fitter to determine if a pair of boots actually fits, or you are indulging in a fit of retail nearsightedness. There are always sales, find what you want, try on boots, and listen for the truth in the sales person's statement. The words you want to hear are: "Those are a great fit." Of course, as a smart consumer, you won't need those words because your body is able to relax in any pair of well made, well fitted boots. Many who label themselves pessimistic think only of what they plan to do while wearing their boots. They fail to realize that sometimes, your car breaks down, or your date for the evening departs with someone else, leaving you to walk home alone. 

Above all, dress boots should be items that serve you well. Supportive footwear cradles your feet while keeping your spine aligned correctly. A great pair of reliable boots is like the mattress you can't wait to return home to, the lover whose arms provide comfort and support, the caress that soothes while exciting. You're trading money for service, durability, comfort, and your health since good footwear distributes plantar pressure evenly which improves circulation. Evaluate your footwear periodically, shop for shoes you can wear for the rest of your life since that will keep untold pairs of shoes out of our landfills while giving work to shoe repair persons. As for your boots, if you already own a pair, ask yourself: what have they done for you lately?

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