And so it begins. WINTER. 

Electric blankets, crackling fires, ice on the windscreen, red wine. BOOTS.

A new pair of boots can transform a tired wardrobe. Here's what's hot (and not so) in the land of winter footwear.

SKINNY ANKLES: New boot styles are seeing almost sock-like qualities designed to emulate the shape of your leg. These styles hug the leg and look best with blackout (60+ denier) pantyhose to create a longer silhouette. Reserve your sheer black hosiery for evening and reach for black opaques or nude pantyhose for day. Control-top pantyhose do magical things for waistlines so take advantage of this while the weather calls for it.

Above: Designed for skinny ankles, the Paula Ryan Avana boots, $470.

Mi Piachi sock boot


Pictured: Mi Piachi Bazi ankle boot, $300.

BLOCK HEELS: Heels on boots are getting squarer and wider which for us means more comfortable. To find the best pair, suggest looking for soles with good rubber tread (min 2mm) which will add comfort and cushioning to the balls of your feet. Ever wondered why some boots are just more comfortable than others? Chances are they will feature inner cushioning under your soles and heels. Let this be your guiding light.

Paula Ryan Accera Boots patent
Above: Paula Ryan Accera boots in patent leather, $535, feature padded cushioning on soles and the heel for extra comfort.

IN THE NUDE: Fabulous with light denim and pale colours, nude leather boots suit weekend over work-wear. They also visually connects the dots when teamed with soft pastel knits and pale leather / suede jackets also popular now. Hit tip – When you buy nude or coloured leather, try to source the matching shoe polish at the same time. Then you won't tire of them at the first sign of wear and tear.

SUEDE: Yes, it's making a comeback. Black suede is fabulous for evening as the pigment density is darker than leather. Coloured suede also has a vibrancy unrivalled by any other materials. That said, it is also higher maintenance. Sueded microfibre is a good alternative. Hardier than the real thing and you don't have to be so precious.

Below: Stop traffic in these Mi Piachi Bradley ankle boots, $350.

OVER THE KNEE BOOTS: If your legs are your best asset (meaning the envy of all your girlfriends) then these are for you. That said, over-the-knee boots are now in their second season, so while still popular now, may be best avoided by the budget conscious.

 Mi Piachi over the knee boots

Pictured: Mi Piachi Ermine over-the-knee boots, $390

WEDGES: Look for wedges with a slightly narrower heel to elongate and slim your calves. Wide wedge heels make legs look chunkier. A low-rise wedge will still give you the elevation while providing maximum comfort for day.

Paula Ryan blue Milano boot in suded microfibre, $395.

Above: The Paula Ryan blue Milano boots in sueded microfibre, $395, look great with blue denim jeans.

Pictured: Paula Ryan Milano wedges, in black sueded microfibre, $395.

KNEE-HIGH FLATS: Derived from riding boots, these are still my go-to style for winter whatever the trend. They make your legs look great, are a dream to wear and go with almost everything from dresses to skirts, leggings and skinny jeans. My favourite pair of these is the Paula Ryan Napoli boot. It makes your leg look slim and is seriously comfortable to run around all day in.

Below: Paula Ryan Napoli knee-high sueded microfibre boots, $470.

Paula Ryan Napoli boot

Like many things in life, not all boots are created equal in feel. If they look good, but feel hard or pinch at your feet, remind yourself that what you are really buying is wardrobe candy. And despite how good you might look in something, life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes!

First published in Metropol magazine, May 25, 2017
Main model photo - Courtesy of Mi Piachi Autumn/Winter campaign