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
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?