Fashion

How to shop for the perfect pair of boots

Author: Canadian Living

Fashion

How to shop for the perfect pair of boots

Finding stylish boots that fit well can be a challenge -- especially if you have to contend with issues like wide calves. The good news is that, this season, there are a variety of styles to choose from -- wedges, riding boots, ankle boots and more. Here are some easy rules to follow to discover the style that works best for you.

Whether you're looking for winter boots to combat snow and slush or you want a sleek pair to wear to the office, personal stylist and practicalfashionista.com founder Lisa McLatchie has some expert boot-shopping advice for you.

For women with wide calves

Don't let your muscular calves stand in the way of stylish boots. The best option is a pair that has elastic panels on the back to accommodate bigger calves.

"Look for boots that can be pulled on, as opposed to zipped up, since these will provide a better fit," says McLatchie.

Alternatively, a pair of boots that lace up can also be a good choice for those with wider calves since you can customize the fit. Be wary of add-on details, such as buckles, studs and horizontal seams, which will only draw attention to your lower legs and make them seem larger.

For women with short legs
To appear long and lean, the shape of a boot's toe is just as important as the height of the heel. "A rounded toe will visually stunt the foot and make it look shorter, so boots with pointed toes are a better choice for women with shorter legs as they will help elongate the legs," says McLatchie.

And if you're tucking tights or pants into your boots, try to choose monochromatic tones -- this will also help elongate your legs. For instance, if you're wearing tan boots, opt for dark taupe tights; if you're wearing moss green boots, go for dark green tights.

For women with bunions
Since women with bunions should avoid heels -- a higher heel can aggravate any bunions or spurs -- they should opt for a great flat style like riding boots. "Don't feel like you have to go for something basic," says McLatchie. "Funky-colour suede riding boots or soft leather motorcycle boots with buckle details are perfect style statements.

Page 1 of 2 -- If you have wide feet, undefined ankles, or are in between sizes, find expert advice on how to shop for boots on page 2

For women with wide feet
If it's challenging to fit into comfortable shoes, your toes may be calling for attention. "Look for boots with enough space in the toe area, known as a wide-toe box, so the height and the width are broader," says McLatchie.

And thicker heels, like wedges, will do wonders for your foot shape. "If your feet are wider, you need something more substantial. Skinny heels will only emphasize the width of your feet," she says.

For women in between shoe sizes
If you're in between sizes, it's best to buy the smaller size and have your boots professionally stretched to fit your feet. "Many women don't realize that they can get boots stretched out up to an inch by a cobbler," says McLatchie.

Keep in mind that stretching works best on natural materials such as leather or suede, not synthetic materials. "If you're in between sizes, and they don't have your size, the best bet is to check if the material is flexible, so it will mould to the shape of your foot," she says.

For women with undefined ankles
Women with undefined ankles (commonly known as "cankles") should opt for a pair of boots that camouflage the ankle region. "I recommend slouchy boots to women who are self-conscious about their ankles," McLatchie says. "They provide a comfortable fit and disguise the area that you're uncomfortable with," she says.

Remember: No woman's feet are perfect. Regardless of the shape or size of your foot, there are countless options that have your best interests in mind. As long as you consider the practicality and style of the boots, you'll have plenty of options to keep your healthy feet in style.

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How to shop for the perfect pair of boots

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