I would say it's not very often that you can look at a store's entire fashion offering and think yes, I'd take all of that and run—every single damn piece. Even with some of our most trusted go-tos, like Zara for example, it takes some sifting of wheat from chaff to find the very best bits. Right now one such wonder-place is Whistles and although every department is looking strong (seriously great knits, stellar coats and some cracking dresses), it's the boot edit that's had the entire Who What Wear UK team willing to part with their hard-earned cash this month.
What's interesting is that we aren't the only industry members who have cottoned onto this top-notch selection early on in the season. This past week, we have noticed that ASOS insider Lotte and journalist Katherine Ormerod have both invested in a pair of ankle boots from Whistles. Why? Well, there's the fact that the brand has managed to tick quite a few trend boxes, but the overall output is entirely classic and timeless: You've got your hiking boots, but they're very pared-back and subtle, as well as the daintiest of lace-up options (both block-heel and kitten), glove boots (to rival a pair from Old Celine quite a few years ago), Western styles (that aren't costume-y) and just some plain-ol' black ones that are often hard to find.
It's not a vast range, but it's a very comprehensive one that will cater to almost everyone's ankle-boot desires, or at least the key styles that are actually missing from any autumn/winter wardrobe. It's been interesting to discover that every single team member here has been pining after a different pair.
What's more, Whistles' boots—although more expensive than some other high-street counterparts—are good quality. They're 100% leather and crafted to be comfortable: Heels are often not too high but high enough to feel worth it, and you won't find any silly embellishments or details that can date a pair of shoes so easily. So without further ado, let's see which boots each of our editors is so into…
See which boots our team is into…
Deputy editor Emma hasn't stopped talking about buying these Amber hiking boots, and I can see why. They're the perfectly grown-up way to do this booming trend, and they'll go with so much from this jeans-and-jacket combo to prettier floral dresses (of which she has many).
I'm a heels girl through and through, so I'm always on the lookout for the kind of elevated ankle boots you can actually last in all day. As soon as I saw these Dahlia lace-ups, it conjured up a memory of me repeatedly trying on (and not buying) a pair of Celine glove boots quite a few winters ago. So this is a total no-brainer.
They also have a zip on the side, so once you get the lacing-up right for your feet and ankles, they're so easy to get on and off. The block heel is just right for stomping around in, and I'm convinced they're going to be a pair of boots I lean on time and time again—my cobbler better get ready for some repair work in a few winters' time…
Our shopping editor Joy is no fool when it comes to finding great shoes on the high street, so if she has something to recommend to you, I'd accept the advice. These kitten-heel Celeste ankle boots are actually a style Whistles first introduced last autumn/winter. They were so popular they're back and looking as current as ever. I actually got a pair of these last year and have worn them to death—very comfy indeed.
"When it comes to autumn dressing, I practically live in heeled boots, whether it's snake-print, knee-high styles or classic Chelsea boots, but I don't currently own a kitten-heeled pair," Joy tells me. "I loved the look of these Whistles lace-ups on the website, but I was a bit nervous about how they'd fit, as pointed toes tend to hurt my feet. However, I was amazed to find that they're some of the comfiest boots I've tried on in a while, thanks to the low heel and soft leather. I'm not 100% sure about how they look with my denim midi dress (it's not super flattering on the calf), but I can imagine they'd be so chic with trousers and longer skirts that fall below the top of the boot. All-in-all, I'm sold."
Associate social media editor Alyss is a '90s style aficionado, and these boots tapped into her innermost footwear fancies: "My heart skipped a beat when I spotted these boots on the Whistles website. I, like probably everyone else in fashion, am having a serious love affair with anything '90s right now (I can now tie my hair up and have purchased seven scrunchies in the space of two weeks, so that just about sums it up), and these tick every single nostalgic box. Square-toe? Tick. Slim fit to the leg? Done. Block heel? Nailed it. They're also extremely comfy, so chances are they'll be firmly placed on my feet for many autumns to come."
With their midi heel and soft sock-like structure around the ankle, they're like a hug for your feet.