2020 Update: We still love this discussion on what boots to wear with tights to work — but you may also want to check out our more recent roundups of the best ankle boots to wear to work and stylish booties for the office.
A friend and I were texting a while ago about what boots people would be wearing with tights this year — after all, donchaknow, knee-high boots are totally and completely dead. And while manufacturers and fashion magazines would really like you to think that… I’m still seeing a lot of people wearing them, particularly for commuting, in part because it’s so hard to find a flat boot that looks as good with tights (that is also warm and generally weatherproof). So we will include a few knee high boots in this roundup — with the caveat that they’re probably not the trendy pick (and you’re really not advised to spend big money on them this year). So ladies — what boots are you pulling out to wear with tights as we head into winter? What will you wear for commuting, what will you wear around the office, what will you wear on dates?
We’ve got a few options for you below…
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Boots To Wear On Your Commute
Like I said earlier, knee high boots are generally out but they are certainly very practical! If you’re looking to buy a new pair this year, I’d say focus on function over form — you can get a classic look like a Hunter or everyone’s perennial Frye favorite boot, or perhaps look to an affordable brand known for comfort, such as Born or Aerosoles. Obviously, over the knee boots at the office can be a dicey choice — AND they may be on their way out — so unless you really need the extra few inches for warmth (or you find some on a great sale), be wary of spending a ton of money on them this season. You can also get lower waterproof boots, like the best-sellers featured in our post on weatherproof shoes for work. (To be totally clear about the boots pictured above: I wouldn’t recommend wearing #3 anywhere but your commute, probably layered with boot socks — #1, #2, and #4 may work for “just got in from my commute” type meetings, networking events, and more.)
Trendy Boots to Wear With Tights Or Bare Legs (but know your office!)
I tend to think of these mid-calf boots as the most modern, trendy look — but that may mean it can look a little weird to people in your office who aren’t super trendy, so know your office well. If you work in creative or in a locale with lots of creatives (NYC, LA) you may also be able to get away with wearing them with bare legs, should you want to from a weather/comfort perspective. That said, I like a lot of these mid-calf boots — preferably with a super high, stacked or block heel — for wearing to work. A lot of these are called sock boots/stretch boots because of the way the upper is meant to hug your leg (like, ahem, a sock) — you also may find these in textures like velvet a lot. (2018 Update: Check out our most recent roundup of stylish high-heeled boots for work!)
Sleek, Sophisticated Booties to Wear With Tights
These aren’t super trendy, and they’re not on their way out — but the tradeoff here is that in order to look the sleekest, these booties often have to have a pretty high heel in order to avoid the frump factor — so you may be better off just going wearing tights with strappy pumps for the office instead. (#3 may be the rare exception, and it’s from one of the reader favorite brands for comfortable heels — but brand new to Zappos so there are no reviews yet.) Pictured above: one / two / three / four. Not pictured: this unusual boot is highly rated, so also worth knowing about if you’re hunting for a lower-heeled shoe/bootie.
OK readers, let’s open up discussion — what boots are you seeing with tights around your office? What new boots are you excited to pull out this year (or which boots will you be hunting for in the coming deluge of sales)? If you prefer to wear flats, what are you wearing with skirts and dresses — boots? oxfords? Do tell…
Social media picture credit: Deposit Photos / Voyagerix. That’s a stock photo so I’m not sure which exact wedge bootie is pictured, but here are three similar options, all under $150: one / two / three.