Black Boots Should Be the Backdrop of Your Winter Wardrobe

Our favorite pairs from Prada, Rothy's, and more.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - AUGUST 10: Laura Wittek seen wearing black leather blazer and Copenhagen Studios CPH685 Vitello Black leather boots, on August 10, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images for The Wants Social / Copenhagen Studios)
(Image credit: Getty Images )

Finding a great pair of black boots is, in my opinion, the most crucial fall/winter footwear decision. While trendier silhouettes crop up season after season, the humble black boot has constantly been reimagined and refashioned to keep up with the times. Search my closet at any point in the last two decades, and you'll find not one but several different types of boots on hand—all of which are kept in my constant rotation, worn until the soles fall off and the heels are so run-down that they are beyond repair. 

Shopping for such an essential piece of your shoe wardrobe should not be taken lightly. In the best-case scenario, these are boots that you'll rely on year-round and for a multitude of occasions. Ankle boots, heeled or otherwise, are perfect for wearing to the office or daily life. Combat boots add edge to any look. Knee-high boots pair seamlessly with dresses and skirts no matter the length, a sentiment that Norstrom's Women's Fashion Director, Rickie De Sole, echoes: "Whether worn with a dress or jeans, knee-high boots are an essential shape that I live in. Flat knee-high boots are best paired with a mini or jeans, while a heeled version is perfect for adding polish to any outfit." Even a Western-style boot has surprising versatility these days.

Searching for black boots online can bring back hundreds, if not thousands, of results. The playing field is crowded, and with so many options, it's time to break down exactly what you should look for when shopping for a pair based on the expertise of women who wear and buy them the most. Here's your official guide to the essential styles for this year and the most essential silhouettes to keep in your rotation.

Deals on The Best Black Boots

Rothy's The Lug Boot, $269

Rothy's The Lug Boot, $269 $220 at Rothy's

These boots from Rothy’s are on sale for $220 in every colorway for Cyber Monday. Options include a deep green, an almost-black shade of gray, and a pale gray. 

Reformation Onya Ankle Boot, $378

Reformation Onya Ankle Boot, $378 $284 at Reformation

These sleek leather ankle boots from Reformation are on sale with over $100 off right now for Cyber Monday. They're the perfect way to carry your outfits from the office to happy hour.

Stuart Weitzman Women's 5050 Over-the-Knee Boots, $795

Stuart Weitzman Women's 5050 Over-the-Knee Boots, $795 $557 at Nordstrom

These boots, which originally retailed for close to $800, are on sale for just under $600 right now at Nordstrom Cyber Monday.

GANNI Mid Chelsea Boots, $495

GANNI Mid Chelsea Boots, $495 $248 at GANNI

Snag these fashion editor-adored boots from GANNI for half off right now for Cyber Monday. They’re top-rated for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that they can moonlight as a pair of chic snow boots. 

Tory Burch Riding Boot, $578

Tory Burch Riding Boot, $578 $405 at Nordstrom

These classic knee-high boots from Tory Burch are on sale right now for more $150 off for Cyber Monday. Timeless and chic, they'll last you for years.

Vince Camuto Sangeti Wide-Calf Boot,

Vince Camuto Sangeti Wide-Calf Boot, $229 $216 at Zappos

There have been *so many* TikToks made about how good these wide-calf boots from Vince Camuto are, and now they're on sale for just $216 for Cyber Monday.

AEYDE Ariel Suede Cowboy Boot, $675

AEYDE Ariel Suede Cowboy Boot, $675 $405 at Net-a-Porter

Cute-as-hell cowboy boots for 40 percent off? Yes, you're reading that correctly. This pair from AEYDE is on sale for $405 down from $675 now.

Marc Fisher LTD Hydria 55MM Leather Tall Boot, $259

Marc Fisher LTD Hydria 55MM Leather Tall Boot, $259 $181 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Knee-high boots like this pair from Marc Fisher LTD are iconic for a wardrobe classic for a reason: they can be easily worn with just about any dress or skirt in your closet and the rounded toe is a forever classic. Shop them now for less than $200 for Cyber Monday.

3.1 Philip Lim Black Verona Tall Boots, $895 $537 at 3.1 Phillip Lim

Beauty Editor Samantha Holender loves these knee-high boots because “the leather is soft as butter, and the design hugs my leg in the most flattering way.” Better yet, they’re on sale for $537 right now for Cyber Monday (down from almost $900). 

How to Shop for Black Boots

You should approach shopping for black boots like any other essential part of your wardrobe—by trying pairs on and seeing how you feel. “Black boots are like the jeans of footwear,” says Lakyn Carlton, a virtual personal stylist from Los Angeles, California. “They match pretty much anything, and once you have them on, half the work of coming up with a great look is pretty much done.” You may go into your boots shopping experience with an exact pair in mind, but testing out a variety of brands is the way to go. 

Start by examining your closet. See where you have gaps. Are your ankle boots on their last leg? Do you keep wishing that you had a funkier pair of boots to add a spark to your workwear ensembles? Do you need something with a heel? Would thigh-high boots take your going-out outfits to the next level? Going into a store (or browsing online) with a plan helps you discern what you like from what you don’t and will stop you from making a hasty purchase that you might regret. Ahead, Carlton lays out a few key details to consider: 

  • Shaft Height: The boot shaft is essentially how much of the leg the boot is covering. This is "especially key when styling boots with skirts,” says Carlton. “With longer skirts, you want the boot to extend above the hem of the skirt or “disappear” up into it both for warmth and a harmonious, sleek look,” she says. 
  • The Material of the Boot: Leather and faux leather are not created equally. ”Real leather is more breathable than fake, which is why you can get away with a leather boot in the summer without overheating,” she says. 
  • The Material of the Sole: This might sound self-explanatory, but think about where you walk most. Soles are most commonly made from either leather or rubber. “Leather soles are easiest to get repaired and replaced, but a rubber sole is often more comfortable for those that do a lot of city walking,” says Carlton. 
  • The Sturdiness of the Boot: Aside from shaft height, consider the sturdiness of your preferred boots. As their name suggests, slouchy boots will sit lower on your leg and fall throughout the day. Boots that hold their shape are made from stiffer leather material and might be more prone to rubbing where they hit the leg, so wearing thicker socks or tights will be helpful for your first few wears
  • How You Get Them On: Some styles, slouchier ones, in particular, don’t come with zippers. Carlton recommends, "If you have wider calves, especially, you may want to avoid pull-on styles.”

With that in mind, keep scrolling to shop all of the best black boots as hand-selected by our team of experts and editors alike. This list is the perfect place to find your favorite pair, from under-$500 winners from brands like Franco Sarto and Sam Edelman to splurges from Prada.

The Best Black Boots