These mid-calf boots with an understated Western vibe are a must-have for any fall wardrobe. Easy to slip on and zip up, the boots are true-to-size. There’s ample space at the toes, and for gals with average-sized calves, the boots work under or over jeans, leggings and the like. The arch is very supportive, and heel is comfortable enough to wear for a full day at the office or for a night out on the town. Inside, the plaid flannel lining adds a touch of warmth and style. Be prepared for a bounty of compliments—our tester enjoys thumbs up every time she wears them!
When we first slipped these Western-inspired boots on, we were skeptical—unlike other comfort styles, they don’t include a thick insole or platform, or any other features that often help support high heels. But after a full day of wear, we were feeling no pain, so there’s no question these 4-inch boots are built for maximum support. A wide leg opening makes these ideal for thicker ankles or calves, too. The design itself blends timeless and trendy with supple leather, a stacked heel and gorgeous color.
Rockport Courtlyn Fur Low Boot
In spite of the intimidating 4-inch heel and thick fur lining, these boots are surprisingly lightweight and extremely supportive. Style-wise, they’re versatile enough to take you through a long winter day—from the office to the mall to a low-key holiday party—while keeping your toes pleasantly toasty. We found the fit a bit tight at first, but they stretched out within hours, and ultimately they fit very true to size. We love the olive color, but they also come in brown.
Keen Akita Mid Boot
Towering wedges are often popular on the runway, but in real life, a 2 to 3-inch version will be a workhorse in your closet, suitable for day or night. We like the Akita for the slouchy leather, which comes in black, brown, olive and a muted red.
An elastic panel is hidden on the inside to give these boots some extra flexibility, but from the outside they have a uniform look. We loved how easy they were to pull on and off—no tugging! The website recommends sizing up, but we found them true to size.
Earth ‘The Snapdragon”
We slipped on these offerings from what could be the original comfort shoe company (shoppers-of-a-certain age will remember, no doubt, the “negative heel” Earth shoes of the 60s and 70s) on the first real “sweater day” of fall. The extra insulation in the form of interior padding around the shaft and faux-fir accents on the exterior was much appreciated. The roomy, rounded-toe booties with straps that give them something of a biker-boot silhouette were definitely walkable, even with 1 ½-inch heels. Individual taste may dictate whether you’ll like the furry touches and the distressed look at the toe on the Smoke version (some thought it made the suede look dirty).
Walking Cradles Elites Cowgirl
We loved the Western touches on these ankle boots, from the smooth two-tone leather to the curved cowboy top. The problem? Those details are difficult to show off, since the boot’s opening is so narrow that we couldn’t tuck in jeans or even thick tights. And sizing up would make the foot too long, since otherwise these fit true to size. Still, we have no complaints about comfort—you could walk in these boots for hours, pain-free. If you’re a practical gal, that may be all the persuasion you need.
Could a 3.5-inch wedge really boast the comfort of a classic sheepskin boot? Well, not exactly. But these streamlined wedges are pretty comfortable in their own right, offering outstanding ankle support. One note: Our tester preferred them with socks, finding that her feet tended to slide forward without, which seems like a waste of the high-quality sheepskin insole. But it does add warmth, and aesthetically we adored the covered wedge and hand-finished leather.
Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Balance
If you prefer a delicate shoe, these booties probably aren’t for you. The 3-inch wedge has a chunky silhouette and the foldover suede cuff adds bulk, too. But for a substantial and cute winter boot, we’d definitely recommend Balance. They required no breaking in, and the memory foam insole offers plush, pillow-like cushioning. Plus, they kept our feet toasty warm, but not uncomfortably hot. We like the uniform look of the black best, but they also come in grey and taupe.
Rockport Janae Zip Bootie
These booties have the narrowest heel of any we tested—practically a stiletto—and once again we were impressed with the stability that Rockport can deliver in a 4-inch heel. They’re helped along by a platform and a sturdy, shock-absorbing sole. We did find the arch placement a little off in this boot, but it was more curious than uncomfortable. They fit true to size, but snugly, with little wiggle room in the shaft and instep especially. The faux-croc textured leather adds a classy touch.