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3 Things That Make Cheap Boots Look Expensive

Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour

I don’t need to tell you that boot season is officially in full swing (and has been for a while). After all, we're in December, if you can believe it! However, if you’re still struggling to find the perfect pair(s), and your budget isn’t making matters any easier, today I am here to help. Not only have I rounded up 18 affordable boots that look anything but cheap, but, as I did with sweaters, I’ve also broken down the three things you should look for (or avoid) while shopping for the footwear essential on a budget. Trust me when I tell you that these tips will help you end up with the most expensive-looking pair possible (even if the price tag is anything but). 

So whether you stick with just one of the below rules or want to overachieve with a pair that ticks all three boxes, just keep scrolling to learn what to look for, and, of course, shop my picks along the way.

1. Embossing

The croc-embossing trend on clothing, handbags, and shoes that has been gaining (and maintaining) steam for quite a few seasons now isn’t just luxe-looking when the price tag is high. Affordable versions of embossed items possess the same high-end quality as their designer counterparts, which makes it a great detail to look for in a boot.

Mango Croc-Heel Boots ($100)

Topshop Maci Khaki Crocodile Pointed Boots ($75)

Marc Fisher Ltd. Daith Pointed Toe Bootie ($100)

Jolie by Edward Spiers Ankle Boot ($89)

Find. Kitten Heel Point Toe Animal Ankle Boots ($50)

Boohoo Flared Heel Boots With Square Toe In Black Croc ($60)

F21 Faux Croc Leather Booties ($20)

2. Minimal Hardware

As my colleague, Allyson, recently pointed out, hardware is a difficult detail to do well at an affordable price, so it’s best to stay clear of shoes with any studs, chains, buckles, statement zippers, and embellishments when shopping for affordable shoes. Poorly done hardware can instantly cheapen an item, whereas minimalist styles tend to look more expensive.

Vince Camuto Seeana Stretch-Panel Bootie ($139)

H&M Ankle Boots With Pointed Toes ($50)

ASOS Capricorn Western Pull On Knee Boots in Black ($79)

Topshop Holden Leather Khaki Platform Boots ($84)

Urban Outfitters Kate Femme Boot ($79)

Zara Leather Heeled Cowboy Ankle Boots ($100)

Marc Fisher Ltd Jarli Genuine Calf Hair Bootie ($100)

3. Black

Great news for minimalists: The most expensive-looking boot color is, without a doubt, black. Whether it’s suede, leather, or fabric, affordable materials look best in dark colors, and since it doesn’t get darker than black, it’s definitely your safest bet when you don’t want to risk buying something that looks cheap. 

Raid Collin Black Sock Boots With Flared Heel ($64)

H&M Block-Heeled Ankle Boots ($35)

Steve Madden Yardley Booties ($100)

Topshop Mara Leather Black Point Boots ($66)

Bershka Leather Ankle Boots With Zippers ($85)

Urban Outfitters Faux Leather Block Heel Chelsea Boot ($119)

Steve Madden Charleen Fashion Boot ($90)

Up next: 27 cool bags that are worth your money—even if it's just $24.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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