The 8 Types of Boots Every Woman Should Invest In

You'll have these pairs for life.

two women with two different types of boots: gold chunky boots and silver heeled boots
(Image credit: Melodie Jeng)

Just like you can never own enough white tees, you can never own enough boots. But before you refresh your wardrobe with new footwear, check your existing styles. Do you have all the classic silhouettes? By this, we mean the types of boots that stand the test of time. Chelsea boots meet this criteria, as do your waterproof boots, and even your new designer ankle boots that you can't stop wearing. 

It doesn't matter if these boots have been given a makeover in trendy colors or different textures—you can still tell they're classics by the shape and overall fit. But if you're not sure what types of boots you need or are even out there? We have a short, digestible list of ones to own (or try—no peer pressure here) ahead.

Platform Boots

types of boots

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Looking to add some inches to your everyday outfit? Platform boots should be your go-to. The trendy silhouette adored in the ‘80s and ‘90s is everywhere right now, so you should have no issue finding a pair that you love. Choose from super-chunky options to other picks that feature a subtler platform to customize your look. Plus, a reliable pair of platform boots can effectively replace the pair of uncomfortable heels  you normally wear on a night out, so say goodbye to unwanted ankle and foot pain at the end of your evening. 

You're most likely going to find that platform ankle boots are the most popular iteration available right now, and they come in every single color you could ever dream of. 

Chelsea Boots

Street Style - Paris - January 2017

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot)

This classic boot comes in all heel heights and toe shapes, but the most distinguishable feature of a Chelsea boot is its black elastic side panels. The shoes often have a tab on the back of the boot, making it easier for you to pull on. Fun fact: The first of this style was made by J. Sparkes-Hall for Queen Victoria in 1851 because she wanted a pair of non-lace-up boots, though the Chelsea boots as we know them today didn't become popular until the '50s and '60s. They were considered trendy and "mod" in the United Kingdom when they first came out, and over time became a timeless wardrobe staple for both men and women.

Combat Boots

Street Style - Berlin Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 - July 5, 2018

(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

The army combat boot was initially designed to be worn by soldiers in combat, as the name suggests. While the style is still worn by members of the military today, civilians tend to look for more fashion than function (I, personally, mostly wear my combat boots to and from the office). Fashionable combat boots still have the same original army elements, such as a rounded toecap, laces, a chunky sole, and a high collar. But the designs are more flexible, coming in various textures, from faux croc to smooth leather, and in every color imaginable.

Waterproof Boots

Street Style - Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019

(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

Speaking of functional shoes, you'll always need a pair of waterproof boots, whether that be snow boots or rain boots, to carry you through the winter storms. Waterproof footwear, thankfully, has come a long way in terms of stylish designs, with many companies like Hunter giving the shoe a more fashun look. (Just check out the Chanel rain boots in the street style photo above.) You no longer need to choose between an ugly rain boot that leaves your feet dry or a boot that leaves you with soaked socks—you can cover all your bases with the weather-appropriate options below.

Thigh-High Boots

types of boots

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Unlike ankle boots, which sometimes leave parts of your skin exposed to the nippy winter elements, thigh-high boots have you covered—literally. The classic style features a shaft that hits mid-thigh and is often fitted to your legs, leaving no weird ripples and bumps. Thigh-high boots can be worn with tights, jeans, skirts, dresses, and more as you've seen on your favorite fashion bloggers and celebrities. 

Stiletto Heel Boots

Street Style : Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 : Day Nine

(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

A stiletto boot will never be out of date, even though the kitten heel style has made a comeback in recent seasons. The skinny heel can be featured on any shoe style, from the Chelsea boot to thigh-high options, and look best when worn with tailored pieces. Think of the stiletto boot as an alternative to pumps at the office for fall/winter. You still retain that confidence you get from your normal heels in addition to the height boost. Be right back, trading in my slingback pumps for one of these picks, below.

Cowboy Boots

New York Fashion Week - Street Style - Day 1

(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

The more we move forward, the more designers are looking back to the archives for shoe silhouette inspiration. One of those silhouettes: The cowboy boot, which has been continuously remade every season. Cowboy boots now come in all prints, colors, and textures outside of cowhide leather. For this season specifically, you'll find everything from a kitten heel option to a pointy-toe shape metallic design. Here's to channeling the Wild Wild West the 2022 way with the Western-inspired footwear picks ahead.

Cutout Boots

I'll be honest: I'm not much of a sandals person. Once the weather warms up, I tend to swap my winter boots for a pair that shows a little skin. They're like the best of both worlds: your feet don't get as sweaty as they would in a pair of sneakers, but you feel a little more covered up when compared to the onslaught of uber-strappy options that flood the market every spring. Whether you opt for a pair made entirely from mesh or a pair that just has a slit at the ankle, the options are endless.

Julia Marzovilla
Julia Marzovilla

Julia Marzovilla is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire covering all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. Offline, she’s most likely browsing the web for another pair of black boots or listening to music too loudly—often at the same time.