VIEWS ON BOOTS
Lesley Dale Greenfield, March of Dimes community director, said she does her research before buying new boots in the fall. "I love boots but am very picky about them. Every year, I get a vivid, specific example of what I want. And I set out on my search. This year my investment piece was an amazing long black winter coat with a pop-up fur collar, so I set my sights on simple flat, very reasonably priced motorcycle boots. Last year, it was vintage cognac boots, also reasonably priced. Year before that, I did invest in black leather booties with a gold heel. They are original, amazing and timeless."
Angela Smith Ballard, an on-air personality with WDEF-FM Sunny 92.3, said her collection of boots includes a pair she's had since she was a teenager. "I have around a dozen pairs -- everything from Acme cowboy boots I bought in high school to a really beautiful pair of caramel-colored Ralph Lauren stiletto dress boots," she said. "My favorites are a pair of Frye campus boots that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. I wear them tucked into jeans and leggings and with casual dresses and skirts, too," Ballard said.
Becky Farmer Browder, vice president of Independent Healthcare Properties of Chattanooga, said she loves boots, regardless of the heel size. "I add a pair every year or so just to stay current," Browder said. "I love to wear high boots with heels with pleated skirts. I like short boots with long skirts and jeans. I don't like to tuck them into jeans but love them with bootcut or straight jeans."
There's no shortage of boot styles for women this fall. Leg lengths range from ankle to over-the-knee and heels from low to stiletto.
For a change, low heels are the season's big twist.
"The new boots are comfortable," said Jonesy Gilbert Wood, manager of N2 Shoes, a shoe store on Frazier Avenue. "Though high-heeled boots are still around, they are no longer the must-have style."
In past years, low-heeled boots have been hard to find, with the exception of cowboy boots, rider boots and Uggs, three styles characterized by moderate heel heights.
"Not too long ago, the shoes that were 'good' for your feet were very unattractive," Wood said. "That's no longer the case. Today's boots are extremely stylish. I used to be all about fashion and would wear shoes regardless if they were comfortable or not. Now that I am a mother, I want comfort. So I'm very glad that today's shoes -- and boots -- are very cute and extremely comfortable."
Arlene Goldstein, vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction for Belk department stores, said wedge-heel boots may be the easiest wardrobe update. They're both comfortable and contemporary.
"[Wedges are] very modern whether in a short or long boot," she said. "All the varied heights are popular."
She also suggested looking for interesting materials, "especially the rustic leathers that look aged and detailing."
And what about Uggs?
"Uggs are still in, especially for the weekend look," Goldstein said. "California girls wear them year-round with mini skirts."
Rider boots, which are tall with low heels, are still fashionable too, Wood said. "They've very stylish and equally as comfortable."
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...