How to Buy the Perfect Boots
Guess what ladies? It’s officially fall. The pumpkin spice lattes are flowing, the sun is setting a little earlier every night, and it’s time for copious amounts of slow cooker soups waiting to warm us up after a long day of picking apples and carving pumpkins. Our flip flops are slowly migrating themselves to the back of our closets and we’re beginning to trade pedicures and perfectly shaved legs for knit socks and cardigans. If you read my last fashion blog post, Transitioning Into Your Fall 2014 Wardrobe, I mentioned how having a great pair of boots in your closet can come in handy when the temperatures start to drop and how spending the extra buck is worth it. Besides, at some duty stations, it seems like you can wear your boots three-quarters of the year. Keep these tips in mind when you’re on the search for your go-to kicks this season:
- Try them on. We can’t all be Cinderella and have a perfect fit the first time around. Try those babies on. Well, duh, I know this is a given but how many times do you just happen to find THE pair but you happen to be in gym shorts and flip flops? This doesn’t give you a true read of how they’ll feel with your toasty wool socks and your jeans or leggings. If possible, try to at least have a thick pair of socks with you to help gauge if you need to go up a half size or not. It’s not uncommon to find boots that you just can’t seem to get around your calves once you’ve managed to wiggle into your favorite pair of jeans. Brands are starting to carry more specialty sizes to cater to this very problem. Try a “wide-calf fit” if you’re feeling a little too snug.
- Try three sizes. Speaking of size. Yes, real leather boots do have a tendency to need a little bit of breaking in, but be realistic. Have you ever bought a pair that was off by even half a size because they didn’t have your actual size? Later, you kept trying to wear them only to be left with blisters and eventually, a waste of money that’s sitting in your closet? Try on three sizes just to make sure you’ve got the perfect fit (no pun intended). Every retailer uses a different size scale and there is no shame in having to go up a size! Some people also retain water in the winter, so it’s natural to feel like your feet are a little bigger than they are during the warmer months.
- Use protection. No, not what you’re thinking. Opt in for the protectant which helps to repel water and stains. The few dollars spent really helps to add life to your investment. Remember to apply this in a well-ventilated area and let it dry completely before wearing them out. It’s a sin to spend the time and money finding your favorite pair only to have them ruined by a surprise downpour.
- Get more mileage. Have a favorite pair you’re not ready to part with? Me too. No tread left and paper thin sole got your calves hating you? Yep, I hear you. If you’re strapped for cash or not ready to let go, see if they are worth getting re-soled. A local shoe repair shop near me does this for a nominal fee and when you get them back they’re also oiled and looking brand new.
Whether it be a brand spanking new pair or a reinvented favorite, it’s all about what you feel good in. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover girls, so buckle, zip, pull on, or strap in, and find a perfect fit to keep you cozy during the chilly months.
What fall activity are you most looking forward to this season?