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. Rachel Fackender

    November 13, 2012 at 11:07 am

    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. lucy

    November 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

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

  3. Redneck Mommy

    November 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

    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.

  4. Helen Jane

    November 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

    This is on my list as well, and thank you for doing that work on my behalf.

  5. Sam

    November 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    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. Sarah

    November 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    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. Angella

    November 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Have you tried NAOT? Yes, they give me free shoes/boots, but I am a convert. SO comfortable, and super cute.


  8. erin//suchsmallsteps

    November 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    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.

  9. jess

    November 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    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. Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian

    November 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    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.

  11. TMF

    November 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

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

  12. Amti'b

    November 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    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. Elizabeth

    November 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

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

  14. Julie

    November 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks for this list! It takes the intimidation factor out of booties…for some reason, I just can’t marshal enough bravery to commit!

  15. Rebecca

    November 14, 2012 at 12:24 am

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