So far this season, I’ve bought — and then returned — four pairs of boots. They seemed fabulous in the store, but once I got them home, I hated them. After spending way too much time going back and forth to all of my favorite shoe stores, I finally set some ground rules. Here are 8 tips for picking the perfect boots.
1 Think about What You Need
Are you looking for comfy Uggs to tuck your skinny jeans into, a cute pair of wellies, or a pair of heeled knee-highs for wearing with skirts? Do you need black, brown, or grey? Before you leave the house, think about exactly what you need, to help you narrow the field at the store. If you don’t, you may be overwhelmed once you get there.
2 Wear Socks
Be sure to wear, or bring, the same socks you plan to wear with your boots. Those little nylon booties they give you at the store aren’t going to give you an accurate idea of how the boots will fit, so be sure to bring you own.
3 Wear Jeans
If you plan to buy boots to wear with jeans, be sure to actually wear a pair! Otherwise, you may end up with boots that look ridiculous with your jeans, which means a return trip to the store.
4 Walk around the Store
To be sure of the fit and feel of the boots, wear them around the store (or the shoe department) while you do a little more shopping. If they pinch or slip or just don’t’ feel right, set them aside, because they certainly won’t work once you leave the store.
5 Solicit Opinions
If you’re not sure if you like the way the boots look, and you didn’t bring a shopping buddy, find another shopper who looks like she has style, and ask her opinion! She’ll be happy to tell you her opinion, and may be more honest than the salesperson, who might just want to make a sale.
6 Save the Receipt
Most stores will let you return boots, no questions asked, if they haven’t been worn outside, and if you have a receipt. Before you leave the store, make sure you know the return policy, and be sure to save your receipt. Sometimes you can even bring your receipt for a price adjustment if the boots you bought go on sale within a month of your purchase!
7 Don’t Go Overboard
Don’t go nuts and buy every cute boot you find, hoping one or two of them will work out, and you’ll return the rest. That’s crazy! While it’s perfectly fine (in fact, highly recommended) that you shop around a little, going overboard doesn’t make sense financially or logistically — how many pairs of boots do you think you can fit in your car?
8 Check the Web
Before you go outside, visit some fashion websites, or your favorite online stores, to see who has the styles you’re looking for. You may even find such a great deal on fab boots online, you won’t have to go shopping at all!
I wish I’d have known these tips before I wasted so much time back and forth boot shopping this fall! But I suppose now I know for NEXT fall! Which of these things do you do when you boot shop? Or do you have another boot-shopping tip to pass on?
Top Photo Credit: cuba gallery
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