Boot call.
November 7, 2017 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find the boots I want. I'm looking for personal recs to supplement the difficulty of judging Zappos photos and (sometimes nonexsitent) reviews.

Here are the big requirements:
1. Up to or just under the knee -- no booties, nothing thigh-high. I am 5'3."
2. Under $300
3. Very very very easy to walk in. Not just OK to stand in. I want to walk with big happy strides for a mile without noticing my feet or my alignment. So not a high heel, but I don't want it to look like an obvious "comfort shoe" kind of thing.
4. Slim calf line, not bulky in any way -- lace-ups are OK.
5. Hopefully black, maybe brown.
For an example of what I want aesthetically: If someone guaranteed that these were as great to walk in as they look, I'd LOVE them, but oh right they're nearly $800.
posted by flourpot to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
8 years ago or so I had a pair of Merrell boots that fit most of your criteria - I walked 2 miles each way to and from work in them for fall/winter for at least 2 years, maybe 3 before one of the heels wore out. To be fair, I am very hard on all shoes. I know the style that I had was discontinued because I looked to re-buy them, but maybe some of their other styles would work for you?
posted by Caz721 at 6:53 PM on November 7, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you very much, Caz721, I will totally look at Merrells.
Not to thread sit -- but forgot I had wanted to add to my question: Does anyone personally know if these Born Cooks are really comfortable for walking? Born can go either way in my experience.
posted by flourpot at 7:00 PM on November 7, 2017

Frye Melissa with the button tab?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:01 PM on November 7, 2017

I just bought these and have been wearing them for 14 hour days and they are VERY comfortable.
posted by ancient star at 7:34 PM on November 7, 2017

I have Merrill Tetra Strap boots and they are insanely comfortable. Walk for miles, and waterproof. I think they’re discontinued which makes me very sad-I need to heck some other out as it’s about time to replace after years of use.
posted by purenitrous at 8:04 PM on November 7, 2017

These Merrill Captiva Launch boots seem to be forever a favorite. I borrowed a friend's pair about a decade ago and loved them. She wore them nonstop herself for a couple years until they fell apart. My link is to Amazon, but REI has sold them for years (couldn't find them in a cursory search of the site); if you buy them there and they don't work out, they have an excellent return policy.
posted by tapir-whorf at 8:42 PM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I got a pair of Blondo boots a couple of years ago and like them a lot. I walk a lot and they've been very comfortable. I got mine at Nordstrom, and they have several pair on sale right now.
posted by mogget at 8:47 PM on November 7, 2017

I have these fantastic knee high Doc Marten’s boots that are so incredibly comfortable. I think they’re discontinued (like I bought them new for $35 discontinued!) so I don’t wear them very often because I want them to last forever.
posted by bendy at 8:54 PM on November 7, 2017

I have more of an engineer-style boot from Timberland, which is very comfy and stylish (and warm), but I think this is along the lines of what you posted.
posted by deinemutti at 9:19 PM on November 7, 2017

I’m on my second pair of Born Laurette boots. I have walked literally hundreds of miles in them and they are the best. Plus the cool curving zipper is rad.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:24 PM on November 7, 2017

PS they go in and out of stock but I’ve bought both of my pairs on eBay.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:27 PM on November 7, 2017

I have B.O.C. Barbana Women Round Toe Leather Brown Knee High boots. My feet are ridiculously wide (like EE, Propet-level wide), and these have stretched to work. If your feet are normal, I imagine they'll be great, though maybe too far on the comfort-shoe side.
posted by batter_my_heart at 12:17 AM on November 8, 2017

My M.O. when buying shoes from Zappos is to only buy things with great reviews. I read the reviews for information on fit etc. I order 3 or 4 pairs and put them all on my credit card. When I get them I try them on, pick the one that I like best, and return everything else. If nothing suited me I'd return everything, but so far that hasn't been an issue.
posted by bunderful at 4:59 AM on November 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

These Birkenstocks might work for you. There's only one review on Zappos at the moment and it's not great, but I love mine.

When they arrived I wasn't fond of the brown at the top so I took them to a shoe repair place and had the top dyed black to match the rest of the boot. Super comfortable, go with anything, feel like they'll last forever.
posted by 6thsense at 6:08 AM on November 8, 2017

Cole Haan has lots of choices that would fit your requirements. I have the 2015 version of these and wore them comfortably, without breaking them in, through 3 days of trekking through NYC during the polar vortex. They may be a little bulkier than you're looking for but all of their shoes are well made and very comfortable.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 6:42 AM on November 8, 2017

I just wanted to mention that as a fellow short person, you may want to keep an eye on the shaft height. I am 5'3" and tall boot shafts cut into the backs of my knees when I walk, which is terribly uncomfortable. They don't look quite right on the leg, either.

Anyway, perhaps you have tall calves or especially long legs for your height and this isn't a problem, but you may want to measure the shaft height you want (foot arch up to bottom of kneecap or wherever you want boot to end) and compare that to the shaft height given for the boots.

Also, check calf circumference- mine are smallish and a lot of boots flap around on me.

I have had many an otherwise-perfect boot ruined by this. Sometimes you can get boots altered to fit, but it is quite expensive.

Luckily, Zappo's often provides both shaft height and calf circumference, which means you'll know just how scarce your options are before even ordering. >: |
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:15 AM on November 8, 2017

If you're willing to go $30 above budget, I have these Wolky Pardo boots in gray and LOVE THEM. The calf lacing means they are forever adjustable in both large-calf and small-calf directions, which for me means they've lasted me multiple seasons now while my weight has been kinda fluctuating. They are super comfortable and basically my dream boots.
posted by augustimagination at 7:53 AM on November 8, 2017

I bought a pair of born boots on zappos 11 years ago. I can walk in them, and even more important, dance in them, as in a couple hours of Balkan dances that range from nearly walking to fast, intricate footwork. I have arthritis in my feet, and narrow heel/wide foot from going barefoot. I now baby these boots because they are so awesome. These are similar.
posted by theora55 at 8:09 AM on November 8, 2017

Agreed with mogget - I have 2 pairs of Blondos and they're great. I particularly like that one of them is waterproof leather. (I imagine the other one is too but wasn't marked for it as they have a zipper and the others are pull-on.) Dunno how much they cost new as I got mine on ebay and at a thrift store, but actual leather boots that accommodate my huge calves and tiny triangular feet was such a score. They do run a bit tall for us shorties at knee-high, but I'm 5'1 and mine are only maybe 1/4-1/2 inch taller than I'd like, and I'm told as they break in they'll fall that much.
posted by dust.wind.dude at 8:31 AM on November 8, 2017

Seconding Frye boots. I have several pairs; they're all buttery soft and as comfortable as house slippers. Many Frye boots are meant to be resoled as well, which will extend the life well beyond what a rubber-soled boot will have.
posted by muirne81 at 8:40 AM on November 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing Frye boots. They're well made, comfortable, durable and pretty.
posted by goggie at 10:40 AM on November 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

You may find some of the answers to my previous question helpful. Unfortunately I never did go shopping for any of these boots, so I have nothing to add to the posters in that thread.
posted by invokeuse at 1:13 PM on November 8, 2017

Another vote for Merrells. I have a few styles and they're great-- as comfortable as sneakers, good grip, waterproof, and warm.
posted by lettezilla at 1:32 AM on November 9, 2017

I have a pair of Born boots very similar to the Ashland ones that theora55 linked and they are also very comfortable. I've had them for about five years and they are still a wardrobe staple. I got mine heavily discounted at Nordstrom Rack because they were from a previous season, so you might want to look there too.
posted by Caz721 at 7:29 AM on November 9, 2017

I bought these b.o.c. boots a couple of weeks ago and cannot get over how comfortable they are. They might be just a titch wide in the calf for you, though.
posted by Kat Allison at 1:00 PM on November 9, 2017

I bought Frye boots years ago and they are comfy and amazingly indestructible, but, I also came in to recommend the relatively little-known brand Boemos, which I stumbled on by accident.* The pair I have is lovely -- sturdy and comfortable, with lovely soft leather. Yoox has some pairs at very good prices, given the quality.

* Unworn at a thrift store. I raced them to the counter. "Those were new here this morning and so many people have tried to buy them, but the calf is too narrow! Are you sure you don't want to try them on?" I lied about giving them to my daughter (good luck, kid) if they didn't work out in lieu of blithering about having narrow calves. They seem like normal width to me, but nice and trim in the shaft, definitely not wide.

The pair I have are to-the-knee but not too high for me at 5'4".
posted by kmennie at 12:09 AM on November 10, 2017

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