Boots are a type of footwear that cover the foot and the ankle entirely, and may extend up the leg toward the hip. In the olden days, they were made of leather, but they have since been manufactured from rubber, latex, vinyl, PVC, PU leather, plastic, textile, microfibre and various other materials. Womens boots tend to be taller and slightly narrower than men's boots, often with a narrower toe box, vamp and opening.
Boots came to be around the year 1,000 B.C., when people started stitching the shoes and the leather upper warmers together. They spread to Asia during its invasion by mongols in their most basic form, and were widely worn by most European civilians in the 17th century, both men and women, though these latter styles were inspired by military boots. Cowboy boots also came into fashion in America at about the same time, having been inspired by the styles of the hessian soldiers who fought in those days.
Though the basic design of a boot is simple, designers like to play with length, shaft decorations, opening, vamp, toe box, fastening, sole and upper materials so much that no two boot styles are really alike. It's their creativity that has brought a utilitarian type of shoe like the boot to worldwide appreciation in the fashion industry.
There are various types of womens boots out there, and they are classified mainly in terms of their purpose, their heel and their length. Lengthwise, boots can be over the knee, knee-high, high-heel booties, mid-calf boots, flat or high-heel ankle boots. They also tend to be classified based on their purpose, but although there are very distinct riding, rain, sneaker, biker, combat, desert, army, winter and hiking boot designs, they can be used interchangeably in fashion. In terms of heel, they tend to be flat, cone, kitten, chunky, stiletto, spool, or lobster heeled, but they can also have wedge or platform soles. The boot shaft can be knitted, shearling, leather etc., laced-up, zippered or slip-on.
Aside from the basic shapes and types, there are certain distinctive styles, too, such as chukka boots, mocassin boots, Ugg boots, Jodhpur boots, clog boots, Wellington boots, Chelsea boots, cowgirl boots, slouch boots and oxford booties. The general look and feel of womens boots will also depend on the type of toe, and there are various standard styles, such as: round toe, romper toe, U, R or W toe, almond toe, fatbaby toe, square toe, D, J or X toe. These last ones tend to be more rugged and masculine, and only match certain types of clothing, like suits.
As for the colours, womens boots can come in any chromatic combination, from plain black, tan, grey, taupe, cognac, oxblood etc., to see-through, iridescent, vibrant red, geometric print and many other patterns. Some of the most fetching decorative elements are monk straps, winged tips, tassels, buckles, folds, cut-outs, chains, studs, and other inserts. Depending on the type of materials used and the decorative elements, they can be all-weather, summer, or winter.
When it comes to boots, styling is not hard. In winter, the boots primarily need to match the handbag, the gloves and the overcoat, as these are the main types of outerwear and accessories that create a first impression. In warmer seasons, ladies tend to match their boots with their jewels and handbags, so that chains, buckles and materials have similar or complementary colours. As of late, it's not as important for ladies to coordinate their metal accessories across all articles of clothing, and it's not unusual to see a lady match her gold metal buckled boots with a silver bracelet.
In terms of matching womens boots and handbags, the larger the one, the bulkier the other. Knee-high boots go very well with long shoulder bags, totes, crossbody and messenger bags, and ankle boots tend to match smaller, barrel, bucket or even clutch bags. It's best for the boots to match the handbag and the accessories in terms of material as well, so that similar tones of brown leather can be found on all of these elements, for instance. Patent leather is especially eye-catching, and so matching the boot material with all other elements of the wardrobe may not have a positive effect, though.