The Great Ankle Boot Search of 2012


To say I’ve been on quite a search for a new pair of ankle boots (aka “booties”) this season would be an understatement. (Although the word “booties” makes me snicker. I AM SO IMMATURE.)

Even though we are in the midst of house renovation crazy right now, I’ve taken on a good deal of new work lately, so I decided I would treat myself to a new pair with some birthday cash from relatives. Now, we all know that boots aren’t the most inexpensive shoes in the world, and this is no time for me to be frivolous, so I’ve been picky about finding the right ones. (Extra super duper neurotically picky, as you will soon see, but I’m determined to find a pair I truly love.)

Would you like to go on this extra super duper neurotically picky journey with me? Oh, you know you want to.

2012 Boot Criteria:

Flat or low heel
Taupe or grey suede
Ankle height

First, I started with the DV Juju boot.

These were okay, but the heel was a little higher than I originally wanted. However, the real deal breaker was the “weathering” effect on the toe and heel. It wasn’t my favorite.

Next pair? Sam Edelman Petty.

I tried both on, posted this shot asking for opinions on my Facebook page, and 94 comments later, I still wasn’t sold.

(You can really see the weathering effect on the Juju boots in the full-length mirror shot on the right. Looks like I dipped my toes in a pond.)

((p.s. – I don’t usually wear ankle boots with my workout clothes. So hot.))

I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t keep the Sam Edelman boots. I really liked them. Great color and great construction.

Boot Status:

Next pair on the hunt? Isabel Marant Jenny Boots.

You guys, these boots were perfection. So unique, so comfortable, so in looooove. However, the price point? SO NOT IN LOVE.

Ohhhh, they were really good, and I’d love to say that I returned them because I simply refused to pay such a large amount for a pair of boots that could have been procured from a dumpster dive, but that would be a lie. I returned them because they were a bit too small, and the size I need is impossible to find anywhere. (Size 38, friends! Any leads? I mean, not that I would buy them or anything…)


Next up? The J. Crew Aggie Suede Boot.

Refined style, good color, but once again, the heel height was borderline too high for my criteria. Also, I found that the sole seemed a bit hard. (I had thin socks on at the time, so there’s that.)


You guys, I was about to give up until I saw the Madewell Barnwood boots.

Love the color, love the heel. Could these be the one? I’m not sure if they go a little too Western, though. Will I feel an inclination to dosey doe? I purchased them with a 25% off promotion code, so the price is right. They are currently on the way, so we’ll see…


What boots are you loving this season? As always, I’m open to suggestions. (Many, many more boots for your enjoyment on my Pinterest board too. What did we do without Pinterest, people? Oh right, we actually accomplished things.)



  1. I am just going to leave you with an “Amen, sista!” The quest for booties is not one I’d like to go down alone – so glad to see you’re in the same boat. Selfish of me, I know. Hoping Zara doesn’t disappoint… should be able to tell in a few days. God Speed!

  2. stoooopppp finding things i need. and by stop i mean never, ever stop. i need those madewell boots.

  3. I just ordered THREE pairs of various tall winter boots in my quest to find the perfect boot to wear during our insane Canadian winters. I don’t want to look like a Yeti and yet I don’t want to freeze. This is the Canadian version of finding the perfect ankle boot. Only taller. With more fur. Good luck in your quest.
    Redneck Mommy recently posted…My Life Is a Country Music Song

  4. This is on my list as well, and thank you for doing that work on my behalf.
    Helen Jane recently posted…Slow Cooker Posole Recipe – Party on the Porch.

  5. I bought and returned 2 pairs of boots this fall and ended up with these
    they’re on sale now. They are supper comfy and I love the zipper in the back

  6. I bought the Sam Edelman pair about a month ago. I love them. HOWEVER. This is after ordering and returning 3 pairs of them! Every pair I got had at least one boot that had sticky glue residue somewhere on the beautiful soft suede. Although they seem to be pretty solid boots, I think their construction process is a bit messy. I was obviously being overly picky, but I didn’t want to pay for boots that already had a very noticeable defect on them!

  7. Have you tried NAOT? Yes, they give me free shoes/boots, but I am a convert. SO comfortable, and super cute.
    Angella recently posted…Cool Runnings

  8. I have those Madewell boots. They are a tiny bit Western but very comfortable! I got them for $30 at a thrift store, though, so even though I don’t wear them too often, I wasn’t out much money. I’ve ordered the Sam Edelman ones a few times and returned them. They just slip off my feet.
    erin//suchsmallsteps recently posted…Kids’ Choice Day

  9. Love this post. I was on my own search for the perfect ankle boot this fall. Except I wanted it in black with a low shaft and a mid-heel. I tried a few Steve Maddens, the Madewell Zip Codes, a few Dolce Vitas. But THE perfect boot in mind were always the Rachel Comey Mars or Bout boots. I caught an amazing sale and got the Bouts. They’re so perfect. Hope you find your boots soon! If the Madewells don’t work out, rethink the Sam Edelmans. They looked great on you and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of holiday sales to sweeten the deal. Also try looking at Dolce Vita

  10. I love those JCrew boots! I’m also going to be on the hunt for some new boots soon, but I think they will probably have to be a little more heavy duty and maybe come up to my knee or so for trekking through the snow.
    Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian recently posted…Are you getting enough protein?

  11. I dont know about the boots, but that carpet is gorgeous!

  12. Bought some cheapies i found, but keep trying them on b/c before i buy “real” booties i want to see if i will leave the house in them. I think i mightbe more for the madewell or sam, mine are a bit night clubby. Problem here is we have boot weather but then they are ruinedby salt. Can’t wait to see you model them at xmas!

  13. I just bought the Paul Green Newbury boot at Nordstrom. Not cheap at $400+, but I love.

  14. Thanks for this list! It takes the intimidation factor out of booties…for some reason, I just can’t marshal enough bravery to commit!
    Julie recently posted…Again, Please

  15. I have these and love them, although they are high-heeled and maybe that is a deal-breaker. But they’re on sale!

  16. What happened with the H by Hudson option…?

  17. Ella Moss actually makes a really cute pair, similar to the Sam Edelman ones. I love them.

  18. U have been aching thru the same thing! Loving certain booties but then trying them and knowing I will not wear them. OK!!!! I FOUND THE PERFECT PAIR! I am a mom of a 2year old boy who I run around with all day. THese shoes are super flattering bc of where they cut off on the leg. Not too tall or short. Take a look! So comfortable too.

  19. Tried this on at Target yesterday. On sale for $8.99. (No, that’s not a typo.) Ultimately decided I didn’t want the color, but might be what you’re looking for.

  20. I feel your pain, I have been on the same search and I have to admit I have the DV boot the Sam Edelman boot and the Madewell barnwood boot, I may have a small boot problem. I love all 3 for different reasons. The Sam E. boot is GREAT for everyday, the DV for dressier times and the Madewell boot is fabulous!! It would be my hands down favorite except I had to get one size bigger than I normally wear but I loved them so much I kept them. Can’t wait to hear if you love them too!!
    blue hydrangea recently posted…Gobble, Gobble, Bracelet, Joy

  21. PS I can’t believe I admitted I bought 3 pairs of boots! So unlike me since I haven’t bought new boots in years…it’s just that I couldn’t find one fab pair that worked with everything. Ok that’s all for now!!
    blue hydrangea recently posted…Gobble, Gobble, Bracelet, Joy

  22. I found the PERFECT gray booties!!! And….they have a bow on the side. For only $15 at Ross!! The brand escapes me, but they’re on my Instagram (franceslindsay).


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