Thursday, May 29, 2008

Style SOS: The Perfect Boot


Sorry this might not be season appropriate, but I need your advice!

I'm here in Australia where it's nearing winter right now, and I need advice on boots. This Manila girl only brought flats and Ed Hardy sneakers, and now my tropical ass and toes are freezing!

Can you please give me advice on how to look for a perfect boot? What things should I look out for? I'm drawn to flats coz I don't think I can pound the Melbourne streets in sky high heeled boots like the Aussies do.


- Z

Thanks for your question too Z! I can so relate to your dilemma! If you've read my own adventure in searching for the perfect winter boots, it can be quite a challenge! But thanks to the generous advice of our readers, not only do we have an idea of where to buy boots in Melbourne, we also got a lead on what sort of flat boots you can consider buying! So thanks ksc, whiffandsip and vanessa for your tips!

To expound further, I will share my criteria in looking for the perfect flat boots! Because I am a flats kind of girl myself! (While I toyed with the idea of heeled boots, I just know that I can never really be comfortable walking around the city in heels! So you're on the right track by zooming in on flat boots considering your lifestyle and capabilities, hehehe!)


I would start with color. While some people buy boots in different colors, it is best to be practical and buy one pair first and see how well you like wearing boots. Choose a color that goes well with most of your clothes so that you get a lot of mileage out of one pair. If your style is classic, then go for neutrals like black, brown, gray or camel. But if your style is edgy and you want to make a statement, then feel free to be known as the girl in (insert color here) _____ boots. (But by golly, no matter how young, beautiful or fabulous you are, stay away from metallic boots or anything that screams tranny/hooker/noontime TV show dancer/sci-fi/space age flick starlet for the sake of good taste! Kate Moss can rock a flour sack, but she never dared venture out wearing silver/gold/bronze boots!)


While flat boots are generally comfortable, there are a couple of flat boots that still hurt like %&@!! So best to not just try on but walk around the store wearing the pair that catches your eye! Consider the fit, material and grip ok!

Here's a tip from

"When trying on boots (the later in the day the better to mimic the swell that occurs when walking) ensure they fit snugly around the heel and ankle, but leave ample room to wiggle your toes and curl them without restriction. When you first try on your boots don’t worry about a little heel lift of a few millimetres; as the boots break-in and mould to your feet, this will decrease and disappear. A boot which is too large can, if necessary, be adjusted with a thicker sock, volume reducer or footbed, but a boot which is too small will cause blisters and discomfort and can never be made to fit...Try on both boots (most people have one foot slightly bigger than the other) and take a walk around indoors. Try to walk on an incline (such as up and down the stairs) if possible."

If you've bought the boots because they feel comfortable, wear it indoors and "keep them on for a couple of hours to allow your feet to settle into them and warm up. If the boots do not feel comfortable after this period or it is a great relief to take them off, do not wear them outdoors, return them to the shop and try again. You may need to try a different size, or a different model, or even both. If necessary we encourage you to keep repeating this exercise until you find boots which are comfortable and compatible with your feet. No matter how good the footwear is, if the fit is bad the boots will not meet your expectations."

I've never compromised on the quality of shoes I buy. While a synthetic leather pair may be cheaper, they won't last as long, and they won't be as comfortable as boots made of leather. Leather shapes to the mold of you feet and allows it to "breathe" vs. fake leather. Leather boots also keep your feet warmer! (Since you're in the Land of Oz aka The Home of Uggs, you will definitely see sheepskin leather boots lined with shearling which will really keep feet toasty warm, but uhhmm are Ugg-ly heehee)

There are different types of leather to consider. Boots made with split leather, suede, or nubuck are softer, lighter and easier on the feet than full grain leather boots. The latter may require a bit of breaking in, but are more durable than soft leather boots.

Best to get boots made with rubber soles for traction and stability. But if like me, you've fallen in love with a pair that is super flat with very thin soles, you can just have it zipsoled right away before wearing it out (don't wait to run down your soles) to extend the life of your boots!


If you're into classic dressing, go for structured boots inspired by equestrian/riding boots.

The Real Deal...

For horsing around the city streets...

If you're less Boston Brahmin and more Bourgeois Boheme, then maybe you'd like a pair of slouchy boots like this one from the designer to the BoBos herself - Isabel Marant:

In between, there are motorcyle boots, cowboy boots and ballerina style flat boots so best to decide on what shape suits your style!

(Photo credit:


Now assuming that you're not into tall boots, then you can always go for booties or mid-calf boots!

Steve Madden Booties

Fiorentini & Baker Mid-calf Buckle Boots

Looking for the perfect boots can be a chore, but it can also be a lot of fun! Just remember to stay true to your style and individuality! Happy boot hunting!


Anonymous said...

Hi! I live in Melbourne... Try Mollini or the Myer Basement (in the city), they have a really good selection of shoes. David Jones also never fails. I use my black Mollini boots almost everyday, I've had them for 2 winters already and have worn them to death and they are still in one piece! Good luck! x

Anonymous said...

I'm in Melbourne too right now. Thinking of buying a pair. Boots can come with flat heels which is great for a more 'casual' weekend look.

Vanessa said...

Oh boots shopping, one of my favorite things! :-) If I could also weigh in on this one and offer my 0.02 worth:

I personally favor riding/equestrian-styled boots for practical everyday dressing. They're stylish and timeless and dignified, with heels that are flat but not overly so (about 1.5 to 2 inches). And no, you won't necessarily look like you're going to mount a horse. They're surprisingly versatile.

They have structure to still give you height and leg elongation. And with anti-stress, shock-absorbing soles, you get that spring in your step and your feet call you names at the end of the day. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Super thanks for the tips!
I hope I do find the 'perfect' boot for me soon :)


sumnboutme said...

I think 'Z' should take her height into consideration too. If she's not that tall, mid-calf boots (or even ankle boots) will look awkward since they chop off the length of her legs.

Anonymous said...

Nice tips you gave us here, thanks...
I actually just bought me a pair of bronze Jessica Simpson boots, in a outlet , here in Brazil. I found them rad... rock star boots... not exensive, and really fun.. but I was not sure about then... usually i love the
flat hiding "good" leather style.
I know I better return then... but i can't hep myself...
maybe they are made for flashy brazilian girls!

cd_mfo said...

Thanks for your tips ksc, whiffandsip and vanessa!

Agree with you debbie! Yes, definitely a must to get the sort of boots that will flatter one's frame. Although there are short girls who can get away with wearing booties and mid-calf boots, so no hard and fast rules there! If you like it, and you look good in it, indulge! =)

Thanks danielle! Enjoy your bronze boots! As long as they are cheap, then there's no harm! Besides, Brazilian girls can get away with anything, even flashy blinding sequins! It's like you girls were given a free pass to look good wearing whatever you want! =) I was thinking along the lines that regular girls (like me) would just look ridiculous wearing metallic boots heehee!

Sleeping Bag said...

I love Uggs just for very dressed down casual can't be bothered days! They look good with jeans tucked into them or with tights and a skirt/dress. But I have to agree that riding style boots are the most versatile and stylish boots whilst getting comfort and good grip at the same time.

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