Have a tough time in heels? This season, you’re in luck! Dozens of designers took height down to the bare minimum, offering stylish yet comfortable choices for all. From refined riding boots to rugged biker boots, there’s a style for virtually every woman. Bobbie Thomas, "Today" contributor and co-host of "Fashion Police," has this advice:
Flat is back
Everyone from sophisticated fashionistas to young trendsetters like Paris Hilton is embracing "equestrian chic." The riding boot is a modern classic, and it's the perfect way to add polish to your favorite pair of jeans.
Franco Sarto offers the sleek Equino in a bold black or a rich espresso brown. Features a stretch upper for quick and easy slip-on, and a clean 1-inch heel. Franco Sarto Equino Boot, $142.95; www.Zappos.com or www.Francosarto.com for store locations.
For over 140 years, Frye has outfitted some of the most famous feet of our time, from Teddy Roosevelt to Sarah Jessica Parker. The masculine motorcycle boot is a nice contrast to this season’s soft romantic, flowy pieces and has the durability to carry you through years of wear and tear. This original is also available in eight fashionable colors! Frye Harness 12R, $179.99; www.fryeboots.com.
Get a lift
For those who like a bit of height, plenty of designers worked platforms and wedges into their fall 2005 collections. From the ultra-hip '70s inspired stacked heel to the wearable wedge, standing tall is a little easier.
Stand out, and above, the crowd in Fornarina’s stacked heel Nico boot, available in rich suede or classic leather — including bold hues for those who want a pop of color. Tuck a soft trouser pant into this retro style and top with a cashmere sweater for a hip casual metropolitan look, or add a little funk and fun to an easy basic wrap dress for cocktails after work. Fornarina Nico Boot, $260; www.Fornarina.com for retail locations.
No need to teeter in skinny stilettos! The wedge boot is the ticket for gaining some ground without losing comfort. Aerosole’s new weightless wedges offer you stylish poise, and give a chunky sweater jacket and knee-length skirt a boost. The extra-cushioned insoles are a gal-on-the-go’s dream come true! Aerosoles Gather Around, $99. Available in tan, black or brown suede; www.aerosoles.com.
Ladylike lace-ups and sexy suedes
Victorian luxe swept the runways with ruffles, velvet, lace, and yes — granny boots. And, plush suedes are popping up in every color and style to bring a fun punch to your wardrobe.
Tie your look together without the fuss. The new Victorian boot from Victoria’s Secret has faux lace-up styling for hassle-free wear. The stiletto heel zips up the back. Be careful not to wear frills and delicate details from head to toe. Work this boot with a sleek, fitted pant and a menswear-inspired vest for a city-sophisticated vibe that oozes flair. Victoria’s Secret Victorian Boot, $128. Available in black only; www.victoriassecret.com.
Newport News takes the granny style in a different direction with an ultrasoft black suede that has just a touch of a vintage vibe with true lace-up styling and a covered stiletto heel. This shorter version of the granny boot is more flattering for petite figures. Suede Lace-up Boot, $49; www.newport-news.com.
Great fashion is all about the details, and Payless’ Sadie suede boots offers your closet a kick. Faux suede in rich teal and raspberry with velvet ribbon detail and side bow. The chocolate brown Floral features an adorable appliqué. Bonus — the styles are also available in wide widths. Faux Suede Sadie Boot, $27.99; www.paylessshoes.com.
She’s got legs...
This fall, height wasn’t only limited to the heel. From short ankle boots that highlight the season's best legwear to supertall and sexy thigh highs, it’s time to strut those gams.
Chinese Laundry’s Sultry boot offers sky-high length in a no-hassle stretch fabric for easy on/easy off wear. The sleek leather side-piping tuxedo detail is available in black only. Ideal with just-above-the-knee dresses and skirts — keep the silhouette clean and lean for the most modern, high-style look. Chinese Laundry Sultry Boot, $99; www.chineselaundry.com.
The adjustable fold over boot by L’Autre Chose has been scooped up by celebs such as Kate Beckinsale, Kate Hudson and Kate Bosworth because of its versatility and classic lines. The soft, buttery leather can be worn folded and simple, scrunched low for a slouchy effect, or worn tall above the knee over jeans with a military jacket. L’Autre Chose Fold Over Boot, $495; www.madisonstyle.com.
Get two boots in one! Newport News’ Convertible Suede Boot can be converted into a calf length or ankle style. The side buckle detailing fits into fall’s military theme. Wear it tall with dresses and skirts, or short under pants. Convertible Suede Boot, Newport News. Available in black or tan, $49.99; www.newport-news.com.