K/R: boots

I went looking for a belt, because my pants were falling down. And then we looked at boots. I was drawn in by the motorcycle boots, but they didn't really fit (too narrow). And then I ended up trying on a ton of boots and going home with a pair. 

But let me back up. I've wanted boots for years and years โ€” I started trying them on 10+ years ago, and I've never found ones that I liked and that fit. The footwear situation in my own closet reached a crisis point this past winter, when I didn't have a single pair of shoes that kept my feet dry in the snow/slush. I ordered a pair of snow boots, but they didn't fit and were returned.

Back to this summer: I liked these boots, but I wished they were black instead of brown. And then two days later I couldn't get them on without crying โ€” my feet were bruised on the top, whether from these or from trying on so many other too-small boots I wasn't sure.

But I returned them. And went looking in the men's department, because I had finally been told what I'd long suspected: my feet are wide (at least at the ball of my foot). I measured at an E width. Most of the men's were too narrow too (regular width of a mens shoe being D). They were happy to special order, though, and so we picked something out โ€” in black. The wide option available, though, was EE. They finally came in this week, and I brought them home. I can't decide if they fit. They're leather, so they'll stretch. But then will they be too big?

How do they look? I'm not a cowgirl, by any stretch, but I do like boots. And if I can't get knee-high all-leather boots that actually fit, I think I'm OK with western boots. How do you know if a shoe/boot fits, is comfortable before you've walked miles in them? 

I can't seem to find these at a retailer that will let me collect them, but here's a link: http://www.ariat.com/10015265_884849833032.html 

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  • Jenn replied 8 years ago

    They look super cute, and I wouldn't have immediately pegged them as men's boots if you hadn't mentioned it. I ADORE my Ariats (see here). I've had them for a couple years now, and they just keep being awesome. They will loosen up a little with time, so they should be just a wee bit snug at first.

    I don't consider mine to be snow boots, though, so if that's your aim, they might not be the best choice. I don't know about that specific pair, but the traction on mine definitely wasn't made for snow and ice. 

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    I don't necessarily need them to be snow boots, no. But the shoes I was wearing last winter were slides, open in the back! Ideally I'll eventually have a few pair of boots in my wardrobe, but I have to start somewhere, right?

    I think this style is actually available in women's sizes too, which might explain them not screaming MEN'S. I'm pretty convinced I like the Ariat brand; the arch support is much better than all the others I tried on.

  • donnat replied 8 years ago

    Walk around in the house wearing the new boots to test them. Wear them for a couple if hours. That will tell you whether they will be comfortable.

  • Jenn replied 8 years ago

    Have you tried Clarks boots? I think a lot of their styles come in wide sizes. And yes, the western boots will for sure be better than slides!!

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    I haven't; for some reason I have a strong irrational dislike of Clarks brand.

  • E replied 8 years ago

    They look great! What kind of sole do they have? If it's leather, you could get a cobbler to add vibram soles for extra comfort. I walk around a lot inside in new shoes when deciding whether or not they're comfortable enough. And I wear them while cooking, since that involves a fair amount of standing around.

    Have you heard of Aurora Shoe Co? They have an ankle boot now and offer shoes in a big range of widths and sizes (you send in a tracing of your foot and they send you the right size). They're super super comfy and ethically made, if you like their rustic style. I live in mine during the non-snowy months. :)

  • Maneera replied 8 years ago

    Every girl needs boots! And in your case, for practical reasons too. I say PLEASE keep them! And hunt around for more too. How can anyone survive winters in *slides* is beyond me...and it doesn't even snow here!

    But I do think that customized shoes will be great for you, considering that your feet are wide. These boots ARE cute...I wouldn't peg them as men's boots either. They look cool!

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    @E: How's their arch support? I have high arches (wanted to try Birkenstock's high arch ones, but apparently I wasn't fast enough; they're phasing it out because of not enough demand, and I can't find them in my size).

    These have a rubberized outsole of some kind, it's definitely not leather. 

  • always trying replied 8 years ago

    Those are cool boots.  If they fit and are comfy keep them. 

    For snow boots try Surrels.  Nordies has them, and they come in white that look more feminine.  Everyone I know who has problem feet likes the Sorells.

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    @Maneera, that's kind of the point, I wasn't really surviving. 

    I'm still not sure these fit, though. Guess I need to wear them around awhile ... and I might be back to square one.

  • Daria replied 8 years ago

    Really cool boots! Have you tried them with leggings or skinnies? You need to show those boots off. :)
    Talking about boots shopping in general, go to Zappos and do a search by width - pretty sure it will come up with decent amount of choices. No need to wear slides in the snow. :)

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    Thanks, Daria! I don't own leggings or skinnies, either. :) I tried a pair of jeggings on just in the last month, for the first time ever. I felt better in them than I expected, but I still wasn't ready to take the plunge. 

  • Daria replied 8 years ago

    Word Lily - with a tunic or a short dress and these killer boots you will look great in leggings! :)

  • Lenni A replied 8 years ago

    I have a pair of beautiful Ariat western boots that I bought several years ago. I bought them on the snug side, width wise, because the salesperson in the store assured me they would stretch and that they had a good initial fit. Sadly, they did not really stretch and have never been comfortable for me. It has been a major disappointment. I should probably take them to a cobbler to see if anything can be done professionally, but I'm doubtful.

  • E replied 8 years ago

    I have high arches and fussy feet and they're happy in them. But there's not a bump for the arch like in Birkenstocks or Dansko. They (Aurora) have a blog post about that: http://aurorashoeco.blogspot.c.....s.html?m=1

    For what that's worth of course. I spend most of my time at home and don't wear shoes in the house, so I find my Auroras more comfortable than my Danskos or Birkenstocks for long walking periods. But it sounds like your feet like the traditional type of arch support.

  • amiable replied 8 years ago

    I concur with others - they look terrific, but wear them around the house for a day, and your feet will probably let you know what they think of them :)  When I'm testing shoes, I stand and/or walk indoors for more than four hours.  

  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    They look great! A good visual weight. Hard to say with boots, without walking. But they should be comfy going on and worn around the house... standing, of course, not sitting.

  • Dgusanl replied 8 years ago

    They look great, I love Ariats so might be a bit biased ...
    They might not be the best in snow though, if the soles are smooth they are definitely a No-no in snow, you'll slip and slide all over the place .
    I hope you keep them and love them they look like they belong on your feet :-)

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