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We could lament the end of summer all day long, but let’s be real—we’re pretty excited to be able to wear boots again in fall. It’s still pretty hot outside, but we’re counting the minutes until the air gets crisp and are making the time go by faster by creeping all the rad new boots and booties that are coming out for the new season.
But as it turns out, even with the myriad options of boots on the market, there are really only seven types you need to have at any given time. We’re talking investment pieces here—not throwaway, trendy boots that you will wear for a season then toss. These are the seven types of boots you need to have in your closet forever.
From the classic riding boot to an über-feminine stiletto, we’ve got them all covered. Click through the gallery to see the boots you need to stock your closet with!
Originally published October 2013. Updated August 2017.
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1. The Stacked Bootie
Every woman absolutely needs a pair of stacked booties in her closet. Whether it's black or brown, these are best in staple colors so you can wear them with just about any Fall look. Make sure to invest in a pair with a solid, thick heel—the more comfortable they are, the better. You want to be able to wear them out and about for hours on end.
The stacked bootie, up close and personal.
2. The Moto Boot
For casual but still stylish everyday wear, nothing beats a good moto boot. These are perfect for tromping around town when you have a ton of errands to run in a short amount of time. Invest in a quality pair—good leather, a solid sole, and reliable hardware are important. Anna Dello Russo's Saint Laurent boots, shown here, run about,400.
A close-up of the Saint Laurent motos.
3. The Dressy Bootie
Another boot staple: a dressy, dainty bootie that's not made for walkin'. These are for special occasions when you won't be walking that much: a nice dinner or a drinks date. This is the boot that will allow you creative freedom—you're liberated to go with wild colors, fancy embellishments, open toes, skinny stilettos, or whatever your heart desires.
The dressy bootie is your shoe oyster.
4. The Girly Stiletto
Another type of must-have boot: the Girly Stiletto. A bit more conservative than the Dressy Bootie, the Girly Stiletto is a boot in a classic color (again, black and brown rule) with a super-skinny stiletto that transforms a stocky boot into something more feminine.
5. The Riding Boot
For our purposes, the Riding Boot can be defined as any boot that hits at the knee or higher. With few exceptions, you probably don't want these in your closet to actually go hop on a horse, so the heel height is totally up to you. We love them with a 1-inch stacked heel (think more classic riding boot) or with a higher stiletto. These are best in a shade of brown, like cognac or taupe.
6. The Pop of Color
You absolutely must have a colored boot in your wardrobe. Precisely what color is up to you and what blows your proverbial skirt up, but you need something that will up the "wow" factor of your outfit instantly. Unlike the Dressy Bootie, these can be a bit more utilitarian—they can be flat, have a stacked heel, or anything in between. Just make sure they pop.
7. The Peep Toe Bootie
The Peep Toe Bootie is a much-debated topic, because (to some) it seems counterintuitive to wear a staple cool-weather shoe with your toes exposed. While we see the validity of such a stance, we simply choose to ignore it: the open toe adds a bit of sexiness, especially when worn with a higher skirt or pair of leather shorts.
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