Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Ultimate Racked Boot-Shopping Guide for Any Budget

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Lasso a pumpkin-spice latte and saddle up your laptop: Boot season is upon us all. This fall's major footwear trends include the menswear-inspired Chelsea boot, ultra-sexy over-the-knee styles, urban cowboy, pretty much any print you can imagine, and a whole lot of oxblood (how has no one come up with a better name for this color yet?). To help you wrangle the perfect pair, we bring you Racked's ultimate boot-shopping guide for any budget.

We've divided the online boot shopping landscape into budgets of "under $150," "under $500," and "What the hell, I've earned it." With those price points in mind, we then considered shopping sites based on quality of the footwear and inventory, so the shopping destinations we've selected have either an exceptional range of styles to choose from, or they do one thing particularly well (hi, clogs). Plenty of Racked 38 and Indie 38 members also make this list, thanks to their impressive footwear selections, so peruse at will and may the boot gods treat you right this season, no matter your budget.

ASOS: This online British retail emporium wins the award for largest range of styles to choose from at the lowest prices, so it makes for a great first stop in the boot quest. You name it, they have it, and whatever it is, it's not going to break your bank: fully 122 styles clock in for under $100.

Dear Fieldbinder: The best under $150 options at this NYC boutique have a definite masculine kick, if you're into that. For sleek, sturdy, functional, and 100% covetable choices, head here.

DSW: This one is kind of a duh situation, but that's why it's on the list. The bargains are massive, as is the inventory. Sometimes it takes a while to sift through the duller options, but that's a happy chore when so much savings and glory is on the line.

Dr. Marten's: If you haven't checked out Docs' site recently, it's worth a perusal. There are more than 300 boot styles, at least 200 of which fall in the under $150 category. And when you have that many combat-themed boots, you know somebody on the design side of things got creative at some point. Variations include but are not limited to: wood soles, patent leather, faux-leather, leather leather, platforms, higher platforms, flowers, and abstract patterns. Don't be scared; Do take a look.

Nasty Gal: If the platform-heels-with-studs-and-or-fringe look is your thing, then this should be your first (and probably last) stop. The online retailer trades mostly in a badass-bohemian vibe and they've got their niche down.

Piperlime This online shopping haven mixes high-end designers with a wealth of lower-end options. But Piperlime is also known for having really amazing sales, so once you're done picking out your perfect $70 riding boot, remember to bookmark the Vince, Loeffler Randall, and Chloé pair of your dreams... and wait.

Pixie Market: A go-to for the chicer oddities out there, Pixie Market has fewer options than some of the other sites on the list, but they make their picks count. Affordable and original, done and done.

ShoeMint: All the offerings on these Rachel Bilson collab-ed wares ring in under $90, generally, but for an extra shot of gratification, the product description tells you how much similar styles would be elsewhere. Still need convincing? Knock 20% off your first purchase. Boom.

Zara: This behemoth retailer gets points for varying up styles while keeping the price low, as well as overall gimme-dat-boot-now covetability. If you've honed in on a designer style that you think you want more than you want to eat for the next three months—be it a Chelsea or a riding or Western boot—hold your horses. This is one place you can have your shoes and your lunch, too.

BETWEEN $150 AND $500
Gravity Pope: The best thing to come out of Canada since Alanis Morissette, Gravity Pope is well known north of the border for its diverse selection of high-end footwear. Among the brand favorites are Acne, Rag & Bone, Rachel Comey, MM6, Repetto, etc. etc. Pricing can get steep, but since the selection is so large and varied, there's really something for every budget.

Madewell: The prep-with-a-shot-of-cool style translates to footwear as well. Find jewel-toned, animal-print, leather, and suede-heeled ankle boots, as well as classic riding boots, for between $200 and $350 here.

No. 6: If clogs are your thing, this place has the best and the best selection. True, the site isn't as prolific in clog fashions as the quaint Little Italy store, but they've achieved two very rare things in the clog universe: They have made clog boots that look tough and clog boots that look pretty.

OTTE NY: With a smaller, curated selection of boots, this NYC favorite packs a big punch. Pricing typically falls closer to $500 than $150, but the store's sales are a sight to behold. Formally $475 Rachel Comey ankle boots fall to $147; $275 See by Chloé clogs fall to $82.50. It's spectacular.

Rachel Comey: No best-of boots list would be complete without this prolific footwear designer. The boots fall towards the latter end of the price point, but it's the most sure-fire way to update a wardrobe to cooler, chicer new heights.

Solestruck: Carrying the likes of Jeffrey Campbell, Senso, Wolverine, To Be Announced, United Nude, and Acne, Solestruck offers a range of unique options. From boots that riff on geometric shapes to serious pattern play, there's something interesting for any taste at a price that generally falls in a stone's throw of $200.

Won Hundred: Find another small selection with a tight point of view here—namely, chunky wedges, thick menswear-inspired heels, and monochrome.

$500 AND UP
La Garconne: With a slightly edgier aesthetic than e-tail competitor Net-a-Porter, La Garconne stocks unique and hard-to-find footwear from Maison Martin Margiela, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, and the like.

Loeffler Randall: This footwear little giant has bedecked the feet of street style stars, models, and that cool girl you saw in the grocery store and kind of want to be. The brand's tall boots are your standard keep-em-forever investments while the booties lean further towards the brand's quirky-chic side.

Opening Ceremony: Not for the wallflowers among us, OC gets the award for most unique offerings on the trendy spectrum. Head here should you want all eyes on your insteps.

Net-a-Porter: An e-commerce staple, Net-a-Porter is a must-see for exclusive designer digs—truly the best of the best in terms of sheer volume of the high-end goods available. Even if you can't swing it, take a look and dare to dream.

Rag & Bone: Starting at $495, rag & bone's now ubiquitous ankle boots complement any urban chic wardrobe with that extra punch of awesome. A particular favorite are the Shipley Platform Booties in Italian cow leather. Shoe lust is a go.

Ralph Lauren: Some call it preppy; others call it classic. But regardless of the name game, RL's footwear defines equestrian style. If you've got the bones, they've got the boot.

Shopbop: No internet shopping endeavor would be complete without a Shopbop perusal. The inventory is vast and the price range is wide, so hunker down; It'll be the most glorious day-and-a-half you'll ever spend on one site looking at footwear.

· Get Your Indie On: The 38 Best Independent Shopping Sites We Could Find on the Internet [Racked]
· The Racked 38 Summer/Fall 2012 Edition: Who Stays and Who Goes? [Racked]