It’s that time of the year again, when everything gets a little bit chilly and even if you’re not a fan of the shivers, there is one reason to rejoice – the sartorial choices this season offers are enough to cheer you up on cold, wintry days. Even if it doesn’t get too cold where you live, a new winter wardrobe is a must and topping the list of must-haves for this season is Autumn/Winter’s favourite accessory – the boot.

Created initially as functional footwear to tide over rough weather and bad roads, the boot soon gained cult status in the fashion world. This winter staple has made a comeback almost every year in a new avatar and this time as well, the season’s picks are in. Choose between thigh-high boots or ankle-length booties, experiment with colourful suede or bleached white leather, stay safe with black leather or try colour blocking – there’s a lot you can do with your boots this season.

Stay well-heeled!

If you’ve been walking around in your wedge heels this summer and are reluctant to give up on this trendy style that’s as comfortable as it is stylish, then wedge heeled boots are just the thing for you.

Giving you the advantage of height without compromising on comfort, wedge heeled boots, whatever the length, are a great way to walk through winter in style. Standout boots in this style are a pair of animal-print wedge heel booties from Louis Vuitton’s pre-Fall 2012 collection.

Choose between mid-calf to knee-high lengths and materials like suede, leather and even rain boots. Stylish options include a beige zipper boot from Givenchy and a polished leather pair in glossy black from Bottega Veneta – classy and chic never looked this comfortable!

But for the ultimate in chic winter fashion, the sky-high six-inch stilettos are what should be in your fashion armour. Block heels are no longer remnants of the sixties and seventies, since this retro look is finding favour once more.

So if you don’t want to worry about walking in the cold in pointy heels, opt for a thicker heel without compromising on style.

Pick a style

It’s not just the heels that are going sky high this season, boot lengths are heading higher as well, with thigh-grazing boots becoming the ultimate statement piece to own this season.

While this may not be everyone’s first choice this season, it’s a great addition to your wish list this festive season. Brands like Alexander Wang and Givenchy are leading this trend with their equestrian-inspired pieces.

However, if you think that pain is the price you pay for high fashion, then go all the way with some thigh-high leather boots - the higher the boot leg, the more you score on the fashion meter.

Every luxury label has at least a pair of these equestrian style boots in their Autumn/Winter collection this year and they were making statements across the ramp.

Ferragamo’s knee-high stunner in suede with embroidery around the calf is a definite must-have.

Even the riding boot has found favour with fashion houses this season and this classic pattern has the added advantage of fitting into anyone’s wardrobe and with the right styling, it can make or break an outfit.

For those who prefer shorter lengths, there is the good news! The ankle-length boot, popularly knows as the ‘bootie’ – is back in vogue. This ankle-grazing style has been spotted making its way down the ramps on runways across designers and in a number of styles that is sure to leave you spoilt for choice.

While Gucci chose to go ultra-chic in glossy patent black leather with a pointed heel, Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton chose to embellish their booties with fur. Fendi opted for a feathery look with buttons down the front and also tried colour-blocking with some unusual combinations.

Colour crazy

Who says boots have to be in dark or neutral colours? Opt for printed ones or even a bright, fun colour to cheer up your winter wardrobe.

Colour-blocking is another recent trend that is finding its way into the boot department as well this season. And the trend isn’t limited to mixing tan with black or a hint of beige on a dark boot. We’re talking brighter colours and maybe even prints, like the black and red checks on a Proenza Schouler bootie with a red block heel. The options are limitless for those willing to indulge in some colour.

So don’t limit yourself to the basic blacks and stoic browns this season. Choose between Jimmy Choo’s turquoise coloured suede boots and Marc Cain’s soft leather mid-calf boots that come in a delicious coral pink and deep fuschia. Colours like these are sure to make all your winter blues vanish in a second.

And don’t be afraid to experiment with material either. Leather may be an all-time classic and suede, the season favourite, but for the more adventurous there’s python and distressed leather for an uber-chic look.

Exotic skins on runways were a prominent trend this year and it seems to be carrying on into the season’s boots as well. To really make a statement, give in to your animal instincts and try skins dyed in bright colours.

So, lace ‘em up or opt for a classy zip, stylish stilettos or a comfy wedge heel, classic black leather or bright suede – whatever your choice, remember –‘tis time to step out in style!

(This article was published on November 14, 2012)
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