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Is There a Wrong Way to Wear Leather Boots?

How to Wear Leather Boots

Most fashionable women have at least one pair of leather boots they can wear for a variety of occasions. Since high-quality, neutral boots can be paired with almost anything, they can serve you well in both formal and informal environments.

But is there a wrong way to wear leather boots? And are there occasions where leather boots are inadvisable?

Why Leather Boots Are So Practical?

Why do we even need to discuss this question? Because leather boots seem like they could go with just about anything. Millions of people wear leather boots regularly, and your first impression may be that there truly is no wrong way to wear leather boots.

These are just some of the reasons.

  • Formality. Oxfords are typically formal, and they don’t have much of a place in casual environments. Flip-flops are about as casual as you can get, and you would never dare wear them to the office. But leather boots seem like they could fit in almost any environment, across the entire spectrum of formality. A casual get together with friends can call for leather boots, yet they wouldn’t be out of place at a semi-formal event.
  • Versatility. Leather is also an incredibly versatile material. It’s tough. It’s flexible. It’s breathable. It’s suitable for a wide range of conditions. And it can be styled to look however you want it to look. On top of that, leather boots come in so many different shapes and styles that you can find a pair of boots to go with any outfit.
  • Durability. Some people appreciate leather for its durability as well, since leather can withstand a ton of abuse without degrading. You really can wear them anywhere, and at all times, because as long as you take care of them, they’ll stay in good condition.
  • Timelessness. Humans have been using leather as a material for clothes and accessories since at least 1200 BC. And at no point during this stretch has leather been truly “out of fashion.” It’s a timeless look, and likely will remain a good look forever.

When Are Leather Boots Inappropriate?

That said, there may be certain situations where leather boots are inappropriate, but as you’ll see, there are usually workarounds to these problems.

  • Summer. Leather boots tend to be warm, tough, and visually obfuscating, so they’re rarely worn in summer. However, only certain types of leather boots (like those with fur) seem out of place in the summer, so it’s up to you whether you can tolerate the heat and sweat naturally associated with these items.
  • Work environments. In certain work environments, leather boots may not be appropriate. They’re perfectly fine for most standard businesses and industries, but if you want to make sure you make the best impression, you might want something a little more formal.
  • Certain combinations. Leather boots don’t work with every single combination of clothing; for example, leather boots don’t always look good when paired with shorts. Even then, boots and shorts can work – you just have to be mindful of the nuances.

Misuse of Leather Boots

There aren’t any wrong ways to wear leather boots, but there are some wrong ways to take care of leather boots. You can get some of the most durable leather boots at, yet care is necessary. 

For example:

  • Failing to clean. Leather boots may be durable and resilient, but they do require occasional cleaning. This is especially true in winter, when your boots can be stained by snow and salt. Cleaning leather isn’t especially difficult, especially if you’re just giving it a surface clean; sometimes, a soft, damp cloth is all it takes to remove the debris and protect your leather. If you’re going to make leather boots a staple of your wardrobe, you need to take good care of them.
  • Failing to condition. Proper care also includes conditioning, which typically involves applying a conditioning product, like an oil or cream, to lubricate and protect the leather. How often you do this should depend on how often you wear the leather boots and what kind of abuse they sustain. Additionally, you may need to wax or re-waterproof your leather boots occasionally.
  • Failing to store properly. While most of this article has been focused on how to wear leather boots, you also need to think about how you store those leather boots. If you leave them at the bottom of a massive shoe pile, or if you leave them in a damp environment, they’re going to take damage.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: leather is such a versatile and attractive material that leather boots are suitable for almost anything. There are some outfit combinations that aren’t particularly flattering, and leather boots aren’t at the top of the formality hierarchy, but as long as you’re paying attention to your fashion decisions, leather boots can remain a consideration.

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