"You work in fashion? How many shoes do you own?" It might surprise you just how regularly I'm asked this question. Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw, everyone assumes I have cupboards lined with Manolos, and I keep sweaters in my oven. Neither is true. In reality, I own fewer pairs of shoes than most of my friends, and my mum has at least double the amount that I do. That's not to say, however, that I don't love shoes—I do! However, I rarely buy new ones, and when I do, it's often to replace a well-worn pair I already own. A classicist at heart, my shoe collection is the most honed aspect of my wardrobe. It might sound boring, but most of my shoes are black and have been chosen with the sole purpose of going with as many outfits as possible. This makes me happy; I never have to worry about matching my shoes to what I'm wearing; they just go. And right now, I'm starting to think about new season and whats in my wardrobe, I know the styles I'm getting the most use out of are my black boots.
I currently have five pairs of black boots in my rotation; a knee-high pair, three ankle boots with varying heel heights, and some hiker-style lace-ups that have were incredibly useful during the January cold snap. Typically, boots cost more than other shoe styles as they require considerably more fabric than, say, a pair of slingbacks or loafers, so I always view them as an investment. However, it's one with no real risk—versatile and incredibly sleek, black boots are the cornerstone of every good outfit I see on Instagram right now. From knee-high to ankle, flat to heeled, it seems fashion people are forgoing the more statement boot trends of the season for failsafe black, just as I have always done. The big question is, with so many pairs out there, which black boots are the best black boots? I've assembled a handful for every style below.