I don’t need to tell you that boot season is officially in full swing (and has been for a while). After all, we're in December, if you can believe it! However, if you’re still struggling to find the perfect pair(s), and your budget isn’t making matters any easier, today I am here to help. Not only have I rounded up 18 affordable boots that look anything but cheap, but, as I did with sweaters, I’ve also broken down the three things you should look for (or avoid) while shopping for the footwear essential on a budget. Trust me when I tell you that these tips will help you end up with the most expensive-looking pair possible (even if the price tag is anything but).
So whether you stick with just one of the below rules or want to overachieve with a pair that ticks all three boxes, just keep scrolling to learn what to look for, and, of course, shop my picks along the way.
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The croc-embossing trend on clothing, handbags, and shoes that has been gaining (and maintaining) steam for quite a few seasons now isn’t just luxe-looking when the price tag is high. Affordable versions of embossed items possess the same high-end quality as their designer counterparts, which makes it a great detail to look for in a boot.
As my colleague, Allyson, recently pointed out, hardware is a difficult detail to do well at an affordable price, so it’s best to stay clear of shoes with any studs, chains, buckles, statement zippers, and embellishments when shopping for affordable shoes. Poorly done hardware can instantly cheapen an item, whereas minimalist styles tend to look more expensive.
Great news for minimalists: The most expensive-looking boot color is, without a doubt, black. Whether it’s suede, leather, or fabric, affordable materials look best in dark colors, and since it doesn’t get darker than black, it’s definitely your safest bet when you don’t want to risk buying something that looks cheap.