Help me find fabulous, head-turning fall shoes or boots for $300-$500.
August 18, 2012 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find fabulous, head-turning fall shoes or boots for $300-$500?

Every fall, I like to celebrate my yearly anniversary at my awesome job with a new pair of fall/winter shoes. In the beginning, Nine West or equivalent felt like an appropriate splurge, but I can afford better now. In recent years, I've bought Frye boots, Fluevogs, and a pair from Anthropologie, but I can't find anything from any of those brands that's scratching my itch this year. I've looked on Zappos and at places like DSW, but there's just so much to look at and pick from that I quickly get overwhelmed. I have a much better experience and am more likely to find something I like if I can go directly to the brand's website, or at least filter by brand on Zappos. Can you suggest some brands (or specific shoes, of course) that would work for me?

My criteria:

1. HOTNESS. I want shoes that make strangers stop me in the hall or on the street and say "My god, I love your shoes." It's ok (maybe preferable?) if they're kind of wild or trendy, although I like classic styles too. They do have to be something that a real person could legitimately wear to (casual, creative-ish) work, or on a date. I'm not looking for red carpet or nightclub looks.

2. Quality. I want the leather to smell like leather. I want stitching where cheaper shoes would use glue. I want care taken so that the seams don't rub the wrong spots. Etc.

A distant 3 --- comfort. Obviously comfort is a plus, and they have to be comfortable enough to actually wear (not numbing my toes even when I'm not standing up, not causing blisters just from walking from the parking lot to my desk and back), but I don't need to be able to walk miles in them. 3-4" heels are a plus, not a minus.

4. Price. I'm thinking $300-$500 range, although if I could find something that hits the spot for cheaper I'd certainly take it. More expensive might be doable, but definitely nothing more than $1000. Value for money is really more important to me than price.

Styles I'm vaguely in the market for this year (no need to limit your suggestions to these, I'm just providing them so you can get a better idea of what I might like):

1. Ankle boots in an awesome finish and/or color, like these from Chie Mihara.

2. Knee-high boots that button up the side.

3. Something absolutely effing crazy like these pumps from Kobi Levi. (Unfortunately out of my price range or I would not need to ask this question!)

I did search before posting, but mostly found questions about comfort and durability. Quality construction is important to me, but looks are really the first priority.
posted by slenderloris to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I posted this shoe line in a separate thread, but I am absolutely bonkers obsessed with United Nude. I just looked at their fall preview (not available yet), and holy moly - there are some crazy awesome boots in that lineup, maybe too absolutely effing crazy for you? The price range is about where you're at. I am just insane about these, and OMG they are half off! I haven't had the funds or bravery to purchase a pair yet.
posted by pazazygeek at 12:00 PM on August 18, 2012 [10 favorites]

Maybe something from Gravity Pope?
posted by yoga at 12:03 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I hear "eye catching shoes" I think Fluevogs, personally. Your mileage may vary, but here's what came to my mind when I read your question:

1. Ankle boots. I've wanted these forever.

2. Knee-high boots. these are a little over the knee, and they have faux buttons up the outside and zip up the inside. Sadly they are no longer available in red suede, though you might be able to find those if you looked around.

3. Absolutely effing crazy. Sadly, no duck pumps here. Closest I could find on Fluevog's site was these or these, probably.

The price is right, and the quality is well-regarded. Hope this helps!
posted by KathrynT at 12:06 PM on August 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

OK if you haven't used Modista to shop for shoes yet, especially in the situation you're in ("recommend me something I like!"), it's a must. Have fun.
posted by carsonb at 12:17 PM on August 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Oooh pazazygeek, that is exactly the type of suggestion that I am looking for. Yeah some of those boots in the preview are just inches over the effing-crazy-line, but the pumps are fantastic. Holy god I love the "Low Res" in silver, second from the end --- if that turns out to be in my price range once it's available, my search may be over.
posted by slenderloris at 12:18 PM on August 18, 2012

I am a big fan, these days, of the Acne short pistol boot. (Can't link, sorry, on my phone.) Mine are black but they also come in silver, blue, purple and a kind of wine colour, I think. They are gorgeously constructed with beautiful leather, and will last for years. They're also terrifically comfortable.

They might be a little minimalist for what you're looking for (I'm a simplicity freak), but I've been surprised to have people twice stop me on the street to gush about them.

They're about $500. But it's not spending for the brand name: they are really well made. One of those objects it's a pleasure to own and care for.
posted by Susan PG at 12:34 PM on August 18, 2012

You might find it a fun splurge to design your own shoes from Shoes of Prey.
posted by Kololo at 12:42 PM on August 18, 2012

Best answer: I saw these Kron by Kronkron shoes while I was in Iceland, and they're jawdroppingly gorgeous and insane (some of them are too crazy for me, but some of pumps might be perfect), and their craftsmanship is impeccable. The pricing seems about in your range, but it might be tough to find them in the US. Still, worth drooling over.
posted by dizziest at 12:56 PM on August 18, 2012 [7 favorites]

Best answer: There's a brand I love for interesting shapes, it's cheaper than what you've mentioned but the quality is actually pretty good -- much better than the price would indicate -- Naughty Monkey. I'm not linking to the current Zappos page because this season is not doing it for me at all, but Ebay is full of stuff. Do you like these or these or these or these... ?
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:06 PM on August 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I've got major problems with my feet but could. not. live. without amazing shoes...Earthies have changed my life. If you have low arches, these shoes are a godsend. I can wear them all day or dance all night and not limp home later.

Here is the fall collection and these are the boots that make me consider taking a second job so I can afford them.

I don't usually spend a lot of money on clothes but shoes are the one area I won't skimp. I bought my first pair of Earthies (Verio - which is no longer in stock, now they have the Verio Too, a different heel that I don't like as much) two years ago and after being a part of my regular rotation, I can say they holding up better than any of the other shoes I bought about that same time. Worth every penny both for style and comfort.
posted by deliciae at 1:14 PM on August 18, 2012 [5 favorites]

Swedish Hasbeens. (I have two pairs, and they are amazingly comfortable and cute).

Rachel Comey.

Dieppa Restrepo.

Sorry for the lack of linkage - can't figure it out on my phone!
posted by ablazingsaddle at 1:27 PM on August 18, 2012

Best answer: The Cydwoq vintage line has some amazing boots. I'm dying for these but these pink ones might be more up your alley.
posted by ephemerista at 2:42 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Vivienne Westwood. Maybe a little bit over the budget, but I got a pair of these on sale a couple of years ago and they are all kinds of fabulous. If money were no object, I'd be stepping out in these this winter. Or these, or even these.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 4:26 PM on August 18, 2012

posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 9:37 PM on August 18, 2012

Best answer: Many of the shoes linked fall more into the "whimsy" category - if you rather care for the "architecture" of a shoe, check out Heavy Machine from Taiwan. These are a few examples from the limited rest of their SS12 collection: thumbelina, funny tank, mixblood-corsair, nostalgic-chick. FW collection not in yet.
The crazier shoes sell out fast, you can use an image search to check out their shoes from past years.
posted by travelwithcats at 3:17 AM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: No6 Clog boots, without a doubt. They are RIDICULOUSLY trendy, over the top, well made (I have visited them with much sehnsucht) and I lust after them. Ever since they came out I have wanted a pair. No imitation has ever compared. The heels! The wooden soles! And the new fall collection has an incredible new red wedge. Personally I love the contrast of the black leather and the natural wood sole. They're unbelievable on -- almost sculptural objects. There's so much artistic tension between the motorcycle boot style and unfinished natural clog sole. They're comfortable, too.

The boots I get compliments on? All the time? Never ending, strangers accosting me for the past years to exclaim about what amazing boots they are? (My husband always groans when I put them on, particularly with black tights, because I get so much attention.) Simple, low heel boots from Frye. Except they're bright white.
posted by sweltering at 9:03 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

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