If your boots could talk, oh what stories they could tell. For both men and women, the journey down life's road may be similar in miles, but certainly not in boot styles. Though a basic part of every wardrobe, there are as many boot designs as there are paths to walk. Still, there are five types of boots you should have on-hand to keep your feet happy at every turn.
A Little Boot History for the Sole
The first boots on record date back to drawings on the walls of Spanish caves, with women's lower legs and feet wrapped in fur and men in more simple leather versions. illustrations of these types of boots, wrapped and worn as protection from the outdoor elements, were also discovered in Asiatic and Arctic cultures.
The wearers tied the boots around their legs with thin strips of leather for the purpose of holding the wrapped skins in place. These first types of boots were clearly created for the practical purpose of placing a layer between the feet and the ground, and as a source of warmth in cold climates.
Dressed to Impress
In the ancient world, ornate and colorful boots began to appear as a way of demonstrating power and rank. Commonly seen on the feet of the military, in Rome, rank was demonstrated by the height of a man's boots.
Most people in early civilized cultures across the world did not have the advantage of wearing even basic shoes, as leather was scarce and, therefore, expensive. It is for this reason the first boots worn by most people were a combination of simple stockings with leather soles. What began as utilitarian, quickly became a statement of power and fashion for both men and women.
Do You Need More Than One Pair of Boots?
The simple answer is, yes. You need more than one pair of boots. In fact, there are particular types of boots everyone should have in their shoe wardrobe. But let's start, as our ancestors did, with the types of boots we need for work.
The type of job you perform dictates the type of boots you need to wear. If you work in construction, you will want to wear boots that protect your feet, with steel or reinforced toes and strong thick leather. On construction sites, it is most important to have boots that support your back and balance.
You also want boots with soles that are hard and thick enough to keep nails or debris of any kind from penetrating your boot into the bottom of your foot. Work boots rugged enough for construction work can be stiff at first, and tough to break in, but will protect you well and last you longer than a softer style.
Other Types of Boots Used for Work
For those whose jobs have you working outdoors, you will want to be sure to wear boots that will protect you from the elements. Waterproof boots are a must, or boots you can treat with a waterproofing product to seal them from leakage. Liquids from streams, mud, or other damp locations can not only seep into your clothes and skin, causing discomfort, but they can also carry bacteria that you can easily avoid by wearing the right gear.
If you are in retail or you work on your feet for extended periods of time at your job, you want to opt for comfortable boots that will not only support your ankles, but also provide arch support. Otherwise, you can end up with flat feet from standing too long, with pain in your feet, legs, and back.
Long-term problems like these can result from failing to wear boots with proper support. If your boots do not have enough built-in arch support, there are many companies that make inserts in a variety of materials and sizes. Your doctor can even prescribe custom inserts. Made to match your exact specifications, these tailor-made inserts provide the best solution.
Positions That Position You to Walk
For those who are not only on their feet for many hours, but are also very active in their jobs for long periods of time, hiking boots that provide flexibility and strong support are the right choice. These types of boots are best for those who work at parks, summer camps, zoos, or other outdoor venues. Often, when you are physically busy, you aren't thinking about the beating your feet are taking until you are off work; then the pain hits you.
Getting the Right Pair of Hiking Boots
Timberland is a popular choice for many people in physically demanding jobs, but there are many reputable hiking boot manufacturers to choose from. When trying on boots you'll be wearing on the job the most important thing to remember is to focus on comfort first and style second. Besides being great for outdoor work, hiking boots are one of the essential types of boots everyone should have for, well, hiking. But hiking boots have also become a fashionable item, worn with everything from jeans on campus to flowing skirts at dinner parties.
The 5 Types of Boots You Want to Have in Your Closet
What began as a utilitarian invention created from man's (and woman's) need to cover their feet, has grown into a category of shoes made by innumerable companies and almost every designer, for every occasion. Today, boots of all kinds take center stage—at events—and on the shelves in many people's closets, but there are basics.
For men, a wardrobe of boots includes at least one pair of work boots, dress boots, cowboy (western style) or other casual boots, rain boots, and a pair of hiking or motorcycle boots, depending on what best suits your lifestyle. For women, it is essentially the same, although there are so many styles, most will tell you that the basic six can easily turn into sixty-plus. Boot collecting can turn into a honey of a habit.
Boot Styles That Work for Men
In addition to boots worn for work, other types of boots not only serve a purpose, but also look great on men for many occasions. Over time, styles have changed as manufacturers revisit original designs and update their look and functionality.
For example, practical boots, once referred to as desert boots, are now a category of versatile lace up-style ankle boots that can go from work and casual to conservative. You can find a wide selection of these boots in soft suede and leather, in a wide assortment of colors.
Cowboy boots have also wandered from the actual ranch to the ranch-style house, city streets, and upscale boutiques. Cowboy boots can be purchased from original western manufacturers or couture fashion shoe designers. Either way, they are a versatile classic in every wardrobe.
Moto (or motorcycle) boots, constructed from rugged rubber or other materials, are also a must-have for those who ride bikes, or like to look like they might. There are also many types of low-rise boots in fine leather meant for men to wear with suits or to dress up a casual outfit.
Boot Styles for Women
Women wear the same types of boots for work as men, as well as most of the comfortable and fashionable options men have in their boot wardrobe. There are amazing styles of cowboy boots made for women as well as men, who both claim they are one of the most comfortable styles of all shoes made.
From round to pointed toes, in every color, made of lizard and snake skins, cowboy boots can be found ornamented with everything from stirrups and bootstraps to rhinestone studs. A staple for cowboys and cowgirls alike, cowboy boots are worn today everywhere, for almost every occasion, by everyone.
The Highs and Lows of Women's Boots
We can now find even work boots for women designed with high wedges besides those built on standard flat soles. Stacked platform, spiked, stiletto, and wedge-bottom boots range dramatically in heel height and leg length.
All Types of Boots Are in Style
There are great-looking, short, pebbled-leather zip-up booties with flat soles, and short satin slip-on booties sporting 4" heels. There are form-fitted over-the-knee boots in zippered red patent leather and slouchy pull-on grey suede. Lace-up granny-style boots, and even sneaker-style boots stock store shelves and walk designer runways.
You can find styles in prices ranging from 10.00 to 10,000.00. For every outfit, there is a pair, or many pairs, of boots. You can have your pick of heel height, fabric, leg length, and price. If you don't find the perfect pair today, go back tomorrow. You will find them.
Weather You Like It or Not
With all the type of boots out there to make a splash in, every woman needs to build their wardrobe off of the five basics mentioned above. Sensible boots for standing, glam boots for dancing, hiking boots for walking, casual, and rubber boots for making the most common splashes—in rain puddles.
There are also boots for skiing and warming cold dogs by the fire afterward for anyone taking to the slopes. As for fashion, boots aren't just cold-weather wear. Many styles come with peep toes, like sandals. There are also open slingback booties, and all style of boots in cut-out leather meant for summer dressing.
How to Match Your Boots to Your Clothes
Regarding the dizzying amount of boot styles you can find, there is good news. Today's clothing fashions are even more diverse than boot choices! Where there were once standard do's and don'ts on how to pair shoes with clothes and accessories, there are very few rules in the fashion world today. As mentioned earlier, hiking boots can look as adorable with a dress as they can paired with a pair of rolled-up jeans. Of course, it depends on the dress, but the rule of thumb is, if it fits your style, it fits!
Mix it up. Try different types of boots with suits you once wore only with pumps. Tuck your leggings into thigh-high boots and see how those funky wedged sneaker-boots look with a denim mini-skirt.
The invention of boots was born from man's need for protection long before manufacturers began making them in so many styles, for uncountable purposes. Boots enable firefighters to march into burning buildings, fishermen to wade safely into water, and skiers to fly down hills and into the air for sport and competition. Over time, they have also walked their way onto fashion runways and store shelves.
Today, we see and wear many types of boots, both for function and fashion. Sometimes, even for outrageous fun. And if someone doesn't like what we wear, what are they going to do about it? Boot us out of town?
Featured Image Source: Pixabay