I'm always interested in trying new brands and styles, but when it comes to finding the best boots for women, I like to know a thing or two about the label before I make my final purchase. After all, harsh weather and copious amounts of walking can cause quite a bit of wear and tear on a shoe, and I want to be confident that my favorite boots are going to last me long-term―a consideration that's good for both the planet and my wallet. Which all begs the question: Of all the types of boots and boots brands for women out there, which are the best and most reliable?
What to Look For in a Boots Brand
I asked fashion stylist Sarah Nearis to weigh in. "For a boot brand to be great, I believe they should have versatile and trendy styles with practical designers," she says. "I love a brand that has a range of styles for different occasions and personalities, but doesn’t skimp on comfort or quality. When you find a brand that you love and that fits your foot well and is comfortable, it makes you want to buy multiples or invest in different styles. Just like any product, when a brand nails quality and comfort, you will have loyal customers and repeat customers make the best customers."
The Best Boots Brands
"For budget-friendly boot or shoes, I love Schutz," says Nearis. "They make chic and trendy styles and my clients love how comfortable they are." The brand, founded in 1995 by Alexandra Berman, prides itself on making "trend-forward forward" intended to take your outfits to the next level.
Looking to be ahead of the fashion curve? "A brand created by former editor and creative director Marina Larroude is one of my new favorite brands," Nearis gushes. "I have the most amazing knee-high pair of boots called the Kate. They are so stylish and sexy and have a great price point."
Feeling luxurious? "If you want to treat yourself and invest in a higher end pair of boots, I will forever love Saint Laurent," Nearis advises. "They are so well made, last a long time if you take care of them, and are just so chic and timeless. My favorites are the western ankle booties."
Marie Claire's Style Editor Sara Holzman counts Blundstone as one of her favorite boots brands. The label is an especially great choice for those who love the classic Chelsea boot, of which Blundstone offers a number of options in different colors and patterns.
This brand, another of Holzman's favorites, reimagines American heritage sportswear for a more chic, modern shopper. In addition to boots, the label makes all kinds of footwear, in addition to apparel and handbags.
Thursday Boot Company
Thursday Boot Company is one of my all-time favorites. They pride themselves on making high-quality, long-lasting boots at affordable price points. Plus, they're based in New York City, so they pay particular attention to durability in light of the city's notoriously shoe-shredding sidewalks.
Some of my most stylish boots come from Sam Edelman, which has a variety of styles of boots from loud and unique to understated and classic. Personally, they're my go-to when I'm looking to refresh my boots collection or when I need to replace an old, worn pair. Regardless of your personal taste or the event you're shopping for, this brand has something for you.
Vince Camuto is one of the most recognizable names in the boots game, with a wide range of boots that range from combat, weather-proof, Chelsea, over-the-knee, and more. They're since expanded into handbags and apparel, but their new styles continue to be knockouts every year.
"For an everyday boot, I love BY FAR ankle boots," says Nearis, who sympathizes with those of us who'd like to trek to work every day in something sensible and stylish. "The heel is more of block heel and they come in such great colors―they have a bit of a 60’s vibe."
This L.A.-based label works perfectly for those who love a chunky boot and/or a platform heel. With an extensive collection of lug-soled boots along with cowboy boots, Chelsea boots, thigh highs, and other styles, you'll replenish your footwear collection in no time.
Holzman recommends longtime classic L.L. Bean as a great, versatile option. I, too, love the brand's boots for their rugged look and famous durability. In addition to their classic brown, blue, and black options, check out the brightly colored colorways that the brand also offers.
Beloved by celebrities and influencers, this Italian brand was launched in 2015 by two sisters devoted to crafting long-lasting, high-quality boots. The company has taken off remarkably quickly for both their unique designs and their more classic styles.
Everybody, without exception, needs a good pair of rainboots, and classic brand Hunter is the way to go. They sell both traditional tall boots built to handle deep puddles as well as shorter options that won't clash with your work outfits.
This brand is a classic go-to for any combat boot lover. They've been known for their edgy, nonconformist brand identity since the 1980s, but their roots trace all the way back to the turn of the century.
Timberland boots were originally made for those who worked in construction and other physical labor-heavy jobs. Their thick rubber soles and durable leather exteriors are perfect for intense activity, rough terrain, and inclement weather. However, the brand has since become a New York City staple, dominating street style year after year among all people of all genders and all career paths.
Meet the Expert
Sarah Nearis is a fashion stylist and creative director. She is based in Los Angeles and Nashville.