The Best Knee-High Boots for Commuting, Work, and More

The Best Knee-High Boots for Commuting, Work, and Beyond | CorporetteSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have. Today’s hunt: the best knee-high boots for commuting, work, or more. 

As work-appropriate booties have surged in popularity, we recognize that knee-high boots aren’t as strong a trend as they once were — still, I see a ton of women still wearing them, and I repeatedly see readers noting that they prefer knee-high boots for their lifestyle (or just for general personal style reasons).  I mostly see women commuting in them and wearing them with skinny jeans on the weekend, so I thought I’d focus this Hunt on flat, low-heeled styles. An important caveat: I see a lot of women swearing by flat over-the-knee boots for commuting, but OTK boots are solidly in “know your office” territory — in our last poll most women didn’t think they were appropriate for their offices. If you are on the hunt for an OTK boot, I’d either go low (very inexpensive, like this $38 pair) or high (do the classic Weitzman OTK boot) and call it a day — or make an actual trip to the store to find a good OTK boot somewhere between those two.

As we’ve noted in our past roundups of flat knee-high boots for work, watch out for slouchy boots, heavy treads, or Western influences — and if you intend to wear them the entire day at the office, make sure your outfit is intentional (and not that “I never got around to changing my commuting boots” look).

First, some specialty styles to include in our roundup of the best knee-high boots for commuting, work, and beyond:

Pictured below: some of our Hall of Fame boots — the best-selling styles that have been around and loved for years!

the best knee high boots for commuting!

Pictured above: one / two / three

Curious about our older roundups? Here are links to 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 — and our last discussion on whether knee-high boots are appropriate for the office. (Do you still think this is a question at all, ladies?)

Today’s featured knee-high boots for commuting or work include:

Merona riding bootsOooh: I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a highly rated, yet affordable boot. This is winning rave reviews over at Target, comes in black and brown, sizes 6-11 (PLUS wide calf sizes too!) and is a mere $39.99.  Nice. In some of the pictures it does look like a really wide boot shaft on the model, and the buckle probably puts it firmly in the “casual day” camp, but if you don’t want to spend a lot on a knee-high boot, this boot may be the one for you.  Merona Adelle Riding Boot
Steven Emmery bootI like the interesting dipped back in these suede boots from Steven, the “grown-up” brand from Steve Madden. I’ve had pretty good luck with suede waterproofing sprays like this one, but I’d still try to avoid going out in the rain in these. They’re $178 at Zappos and ShopBop. (Oooh: and ShopBop has 30% off the black, and 89.50 off the dark brown — but lucky sizes only.) Note that if you’re looking for a little bit of height, this Steven wedge boot (which we first sang the praises of back in 2012!) is still one of their best-sellers and is 25% off now, bringing it down to $112. Pictured: Steven Emmery Tall Boots
cole haan knee high boot 2017I like the quilted leather on the back of these Cole Haan boots, and I think they look generally sleek. I also love a good deal: they were $300, but are now marked 33% off to $199. Cole Haan Elverton Knee High Boot
pointy toe knee high boot for work I have such mixed feelings about pointy toes — as a fashion blogger I fully admit that they will make every single thing you wear look more polished — but as someone with fussy feet I blame my years of pointy-toe shoe wearing for some problems now. Still: if you don’t have foot problems now (and they don’t run in your family), you may want to consider these.  They’re $240 at Nordstrom (where they note that they have narrow calf circumference and run small). Linea Paolo Heaven Tall Boot
waterproof comfortable knee high boots for workWow: These boots have 406 reviews and a solid five-star rating at Zappos. They’re expensive, to be sure, but they’re also waterproof and simple classics. They’re available in sizes 5-12, in regular and wide sizes.  La Canadienne Passion
burberry copse bootOh, my — these Burberry boots are lovely, and I kind of like the “dark brown boot with black tight” look (I think of it as being very British for some reason). These are bestsellers over at Bloomingdale’s, but they’re nearly sold out so we’re lucky they’re still at Zappos Luxury for $1,095. Interestingly, if you like the Burberry look but not the price — and you mostly want something for a commute in bad weather — you may want to consider this $375 Burberry boot with a synthetic upper. Pictured:  Burberry Copse

Ladies, which are your favorite knee-high boots for commuting, work, or beyond? How do you feel about them in 2017 — are they at all questionable for work? Outdated? Which are your favorite styles and brands? 

best knee-high boots for commuting work

Best knee-high boots for commuting (2017 edition!)

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Doehwlhsoen :

    Is there ever any upside to being an honest in an exit interview?

    I’m currently working in a F500 company where the role was misrepresented to me when I joined, and HR insisted that I made certain agreements in signing my offer letter that I did not (working under a specific department). Being a new college grad I didn’t say anything at the time. If I had known the truth I would not have joined, and I am sure experiences like mine affect their high turnover.

    They seem to be taking steps to reduce turnover but in any case it is an industry where people often leave after a few years. Is there any point in bringing it up? I particularly want to do so in relation to campus recruiting where it is often misrepresented

    • Do you work for the Big 4 by any chance? I’m not entry level, but feel the exact same way about my Big 4 time (thanks ever so much for outright lying to me about what the department does and what my job would entail!) and am desperate to get out.

      And no, I don’t think there is any benefit to being honest. I think just being gracious and finding different ways to politely say that it wasn’t a good fit for your skills and interests is the best way to go. That’s my plan anyways (that I fantasize about daily…if not hourly).

      • Doehwlhsoen :

        Yes I am! Okay so it’s not just me at all. So deceitful.

        Fiiiiine. I’ll just be super honest when talking to younger classmates because I wish someone did that with me

    • I think so. When I left my job serving supeenies, I told the boss about all of the s-xueal harassment I received, both from fellow employees as well as the recipient’s of supeenies. Everyone wanted to grab my tuchus, and I did NOT think it was profesional. The men who I had to serve often wanted to have me do stuff to them, which was gross. I think an employer DESERVES to know what is goeing on with his employees. Good luck on your new job, and FOOEY to the OLD job.

    • I don’t have direct experience but I work in public accounting and I would want you to be (tactfully) honest in the exit interview. I guess on the other hand, the Big 4 doesn’t really care (that’s my perception and experience from hearing from peers). If it’s public accounting at a another firm, be honest.

      I had a similar experience but I was ok with how it turned out. I was hired to do one job in a group that split into two after I was hired. On my first day, they started me in the group that split off from the first. I wasn’t pleased that they did this without telling me and I’ve given that feedback, but I’ve been here for five years since. Our HR/campus hire processes are far from perfect so it’s important to hear that feedback.

      • Nvm I see that you said F500. Even so. If they claim to care about reducing turnover, this feedback is constructive to that. You can give the feedback without burning any bridges.

    • I was honest in my exit interview, because I thought I had the ability to do so when many colleagues could not, but I don’t know how helpful it was. I loved my firm but was horrified by last few months and how they bungled layoffs. Because I made it through the other side of the layoffs and then left for a great new job, I felt I could speak objectively about the layoffs in a way that people who either were laid off or who wanted to stick around could not. I could tell that the partner was shocked, but she knew I loved the firm, so I thought it was worth the gamble.

  2. Care package :

    Best friend just moved across the country and is basically starting from scratch – new job, new apartment. She left most of her furniture, does not yet have many friends in the area, etc. I’d like to send a little care package of ‘welcome’ items. Nothing expensive. She is a foodie who likes to eat, but doesn’t cook. Drinker (can you mail booze?). Huge reader, but works in publishing and always seems to have read everything. Likes art, culture, and weird/grotesque stuff (e.g. we got a kick out of a coloring book of lady parts). Current ideas are – little journal, bacon chocolate, airplane bottles of tequila (can I mail those?), a candle, maybe a gift card to an artsy cinema where she lives? Any thoughts?

    Alternatively, one of our “things” is my cooking for her and her devouring it…I could mail cookies or another homemade edible, but I’m unsure about the best thing for surviving mail.

    • Try mouth.com for fun, unique foodie packages. I’ve gotten good feedback about gifts from there before.

    • What about a guidebook to her new city?

    • Senior Attorney :

      These cookies were supposedly designed to withstand being shipped to the troops during the Vietnam War so they could probably make it across the country: http://www.cooks.com/recipe/t40of5ra/action-vietnam-cookies.html

    • Apparently using USPS to ship liquor is not legal.
      http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c4_006.htm

      Other than USPS:
      https://www.google.com/#q=can+you+ship+liquor

  3. Need help from the Hive :

    Hey ladies- I need to crowdsource some help.

    What are the best dating sites and apps for people in their late 40s? My dearest brother is going through a divorce, and finally ready to move on. He’s asking me where to go to “get back out there.”

    Thing is- I have no idea! Met my husband at a party, the old-fashioned way and have never used online dating in my life. My friends (early 30s) use Tinder and Bumble, but idk if that’s popular with his generation.

    He’s loyal, smart, well-traveled, fit, and an entrepreneur with a fast-growing business. Only drawback- he likes to live in the middle of nowhere. Help me get him back into the dating scene!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m married but I totally think you should set him up with somebody from thiss!te.

    • Does he happen to be in NYC? = )

    • Anonymous :

      Farmers only?

      In my mind, it gets a sort of Garden & Gun reader, so perfect for his locale.

      My husband thinks it will get Deliverance extras with dial-up.

      • Your husband is correct, as someone who was signed up for a subscription as a joke. It is basically as far from G&G as you can get.

    • I’m mid-30s in DC and met my amazing late-30s boyfriend on Tinder. And one of the late-30s guys I went out with last summer on Tinder just got engaged yesterday to the late-30s woman he met on Tinder after me (he and I stayed friends). I have mid-30s friends in a rural area who are also getting married from Tinder. There’s a real simplicity to Tinder that’s appealing, I think. Photos and a couple sentences can tell you a lot about someone.

      Match, in D.C. at least, is where the crazies are. O.M.G. The men I met there were truly terrible – socially inept, mommy issues, ex-wife issues, the list goes on. But all the Tinder guys I met with, I liked, even if there wasn’t chemistry or it didn’t work for some other reason.

      Have him give Tinder a try – it’s free and it’s just an app to download!

    • Bewitched :

      Location specific but my single and 50 friend is on Match and Plenty of Fish. I see ads for “OurTime” which may be 50 plus, but could be 40 plus?

    • anonymous :

      Maybe you should post a location and see if anyone here is or knows someone who might be interested.

    • He sounds like a perfect fit for the League.

    • Need help from the Hive :

      Thanks Ladies!

      We discussed Match, and I’ll give him another nudge on Tinder, since it’s free. Tinder has a bit of a reputation with the younger crowd, so he wasn’t that attracted to it. But I could see how the culture might be different among the middle-aged users.

      For those wondering, he’s in the Western PA/ Eastern Ohio area.
      I, however, only do high-rise apartments in major cities :-)

  4. Does anyone have good suggestions for boots that are great for skinny calves and ankles? I have very thin ankles and dislike having a lot of extra width there. I’ve owned a pair of Etienne Aigner boots for 4-5 years, but I think they’ve finally bit the dust. Desperately seeking something that conforms to my skinny lower legs!

    • Anonymous :

      I have the same problem and have had good luck with Cole Haan.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Van Eli?

    • La Canadienne is my go-to. As Kat says above, expensive; but some style have really skinny calves and the quality is great. I’m wearing mine right now as I usually do on rainy days. Look on Zappos and check the reviews since people will often say how the calves fit them.

      • +1

        Different styles vary wildly on the calf circumference. I actually called up La Canadienne, told them my measurements, and asked which styles I should try. They are still on the high end slightly, but they work. I have 4 pairs of booties (where calf circumference is less of an issue) and one pair of boots.

        I never pay full price.

        The best I have found for skinny calves are Stuart Weitzman, but these are not weather hardy.

      • I also love my La Canadienne boots. After receiving the first pair (Passion) as an expensive gift, I started stalking them for sales. If you’re lucky and patient, you can get past seasons styles for good prices. I have a pair that I got around $60 and 3 pairs that I got under $50. I felt like I won the lottery. I can wear heeled boots in my office and I always wear them when it rains so I get good use out of them.

    • I bought a pair of Geox Lover boots this fall and love them. They’re slightly pointy, but are made out of high quality leather and a rubber sole so they’re pretty comfortable. They are definitely narrower in the calf than any other boot I’ve bought but they worked great for my smaller leg.

    • You will have to do some research and buy from sites that allow free shipping and free returns! I have had good luck with Aquatalia for dressier boots with a small heel (got them on sale at Off 5th or else I would not have afforded them) and some Frye styles: Melissa Tall Riding, Melissa Back Button, Phillip Riding, Phillip Harness, and the Jenna Inside Zip. There are stocked at random times but I stalk sites for them in my size. You may also want to check out the Clark Mullen Spice.

      I don’t usually like stretch panels on my boot but many women with narrow calves love them. I just bought a pair of (slightly) OTK Via Spiga boots that are almost too tight! That never happens.

      Recommend this blog for research and reviews: http://riding-boots-for-thin-calves.blogspot.com/

    • Anonymous :

      For rainboots/wellies the French brand Aigle has extremely slim calves. My calves are slim and the last pair of Aigles I tried on were the first boots I have ever tried on in my life that were too slim!

    • Anonymous Poser :

      Aquatalia and Franco Sarto

    • The Sam Edelman boots work well for me.

  5. Tips on finding an affordable (under $1k) wedding dress? I’m in my late 30s and am getting married for the second time and want to do the opposite of nearly everything I did the first time, to include the fortune I spent on a beaded satin ballgown. The simple, tailored styles of J.Crew and Ann Taylor bridal would very much be my style if they still existed. I think BHLDN’s dresses are gorgeous, but they can be a bit too ethereal and romantic for my personal style.

    Bonus points for a budget-friendly bridal shop in the D.C. area if such a thing exists ha.

    • Anonymous :

      What about just getting a white or ivory evening gown that isn’t a “wedding dress”? Department stores like Nordstrom have some lovely options, e.g., http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/katie-may-plunge-knot-back-gown/4493280?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=IVORY

      • I know people that have also had good luck doing this at Saks. Both have high quality gowns that could serve I would think, and great price protection.

      • I got my dress at Bloomingdales – it was $87 on sale and looked amazing.

    • You could try looking at bridesmaid’s dresses at most major retailers. They usually have a white or ivory option, and they’re significantly cheaper than the bridal gowns.

      Also I don’t know if all of these dresses are available anymore, but it might give you a few places to start looking for dresses: http://apracticalwedding.com/wedding-dresses-under-1000/

    • Anonymous :

      I am spending about that on a custom dress in very nice silk – because I have basic taste and found a seamstress to make it for me. I took her three photos – I want front A, back B and skirt C. (I was lucky enough to have a friend that did that research a year ago and found this woman. she makes dresses out of her home).

      So, check seamstresses that do bridal alterations and see if they could just build you a dress. That way the alterations are IN the price of the dress. Prior to going to her I was mostly trying on bridesmaid dresses at traditional bridal boutiques.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I got a very simple ivory a-line dress at …. the David’s Bridal in Woodbridge. For $299. Granted, my dress was not a high-priority for me, but if you’re looking to go no-frills, there are some options there.

    • Check out nicole miller. Very unfussy gowns. I just bought a sample size on sale for less than $1k.

      I will likely sell it after the wedding and get almost as much as I bought it for.

    • I posted this on the morning thread too (I swear I get no benefit from doing this, aside from promoting a business idea that I think is super-cool) but some friends just started a custom wedding dress order company, and I think their concept is awesome and a great way to get designer-quality dresses at a major discount, since they cut out the middleman. Bonus: the company is still pretty new (but with rave reviews) so they’ll be extra-invested in your satisfaction. :)

      http://www.dressanomalie.com

  6. Hamilton extra :

    Yay — workewear for me!

  7. start again, from the beginning :

    I feel like I need to completely overhaul my career. I am not sure what would be a good fit. How do I get started?? Career counselor? Life coach? I feel like I have talked and thought about this for years and I never do anything about it, just get a different job in my field every few years. I want to like my work more and feel more successful, rather than feeling constant stress that I’m not working hard enough and that it’s so hard to get myself motivated. I want a big change but I feel like I don’t even know what career is my “ideal” career. I’m really “discrete-step-oriented” so I am a little paralyzed without knowing what my checklist is for moving forward. Any suggestions from the hive?

    • Coach Laura :

      I’d start with reading a few things then a career coach or counselor if you need to go further. I’ve been recommending this book here for several years and it’s helped many: The Pathfinder by Nicholas Lore. Work through the book then figure out if you want to do it yourself or hire help.

      In conjunction with these other steps I recommend networking- talk to people informally about their jobs and career paths.

  8. Just saw a post from the women’s march asking anyone who attended to text Count Me to 89800

    • Please do not do this or post this. Seasoned activists are spreading the word that this is often a move by law enforcement or worse to track activists. The organizers of the march posted on Twitter that they are NOT the ones looking for a count.

    • Anonymous Poser :

      http://www.snopes.com/text-count-me-to-89800/

  9. I’m wearing those Sam Edelman Penny boots right now and they’re amazing. I have them in the cognac and dark brown colors. Our office is casual now. Don’t know that I’d wear them with a skirt/dress in a business casual environment. These look more like riding boots than dressy. But they are THE most comfortable. I have awful feet and should probably wear orthodics always but I could walk for miles in these and I have.

  10. I have two pairs of Ecco black knee-high boots, one regular and one waterproof. The Saunter GTX are my favorite because they’re waterproof and also very comfortable. Unfortunately, Ecco doesn’t seem to be selling tall boots in their GTX line anymore, which is a shame.

  11. I wear these all the time in court:

    http://m.6pm.com/product/8591710/color/3

    Not flat heel but the stacked heel is sooo comfy. I end up packing them for trips/city-walking.

  12. I’m gonna be in Minneapolis in Feb for work and this is my first time in such cold temperatures. Any advice on warm, stylish work boots that won’t break the bank? I would need to get it when I get there because i live in a climate where the average winter temperature is 70F which means its hard to get anything Minneapolis weather appropriate.

  13. Love my La Canadianne waterproof suede boots!

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