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The Vine: September 6, 2013

Submitted by on September 6, 2013 – 4:49 PM9 Comments


I really, really want some boots this fall. I try half-assedly every year to make this happen, but usually give up because it's just so darn difficult.

See, I have super high arches, and most boots will simply not fit over them. Or rather, in order to get a boot to fit over the arch, the foot bed has to be about three sizes too big, which of course leaves my foot just swimming, even with inserts. Really, any of the on-trend shoes with decorative bits that buckle over the ankle and across the top of the foot are usually one to two inches short of buckling on me.

I'm hoping to hear from others with this same problem if there are any go-to brands, and then I'll start making purchases from Zappos/Endless. I'm thinking riding boots, though I am a pretty casual person so I don't like anything too sleek/elegant. And I hate the slouchy/baggy look. I don't want much of a heel, and a chunky or wedge one at that. I like a rich brown leather, not black, though I'm totally open to leather alternatives.

I'm willing to pay up to probably $300, and I'd like the boot to look nice (not cheap) and hopefully last at least a few years.


Lady K

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  • c8h10n4o2 says:

    Fluevogs. If you can find a store where you can try them on, all the better. My best friend has the highest arches I've ever seen, and they're all that she wears. Even better, we wear the same size, so I get hand-me-downs!

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    Oh my high-arched boot-loving soul sister, I feel your pain and frustration! I no longer wear boots on a regular basis as I'm in a super-casual office and the only boots I own are snow boots because I slog up an unplowed road come winter.

    Is there a Johnson's Shoes (yes, we're all too young to shop there but when you have high arches and other foot problems I've found the sales staff really wants to help) near you? Last time I needed boots I started there and the fabulous sales guy hauled out everything he thought might work and finally sent me off to the local Grange Coop who repeated the try on everything and sent me off to a true western store (seriously, folks were kicking real cow shit off their real cowboy boots before coming in) where I found a pair of riding boots that fit my arch, were well made, stylish but not faddy, and pretty pricey for 1995, but I wore them for 18 years. Alas, I know longer have them and don't recall the brand but my long-winded point is that you may have to think outside the online/traditional-shoe-store box, take a good pal along and spend a day or so trying on boots in places with big trucks in the lot.

    I hope the nation has some brand recommendations because I could probably convince myself that cute boots would have a great place in my closet.

  • Elizabeth says:

    These! Ariat roper boots. So comfortable, go with everything, and sturdy – I have owned several pairs and each has survived a few years of nearly daily wear.

  • Kimber says:

    Two words for you: Anne Klein. A guy in a shoe store once told me that they tend to cut them wider, which opens up room for people like you and me. (When I had inserts made last year, I said something about my freakishly high arches to the guy. He said, "well, I wouldn't say freakish… but they are very unusually high.") I bought a pair of AK last year that are the very definition of riding boots and have a zipper up middle of the side that makes it easy to get my foot positioned with the inserts in place before zipping them shut. I also have a pair of Born BOC that are flat riding boots. (I'm more a comfort than stylish girl, too.) They are a little tighter than the AK, but my inserts and feet fit inside without pain, so it's all good.

    Seriously, though, focus on the Anne Klein. In addition to the tall boots, I have four pairs of the shorter, ankle highs that I pretty much live in during the winter. They have heels, but because my feet fit inside with the inserts they are incredibly comfortable in a way that high-heeled sandals never can be. Good luck!

  • Christine says:

    I too have freakishly high arches and wide feet to boot. (Har.) I have a pair of La Canadienne boots (Felicia style – it's an ankle boot with a lowish wedge heel, but they make taller boots too) and they were money well spent. They've stood up to rain and snow, the brown suede still looks great three years later, and they were comfortable from the outset.

    In general I find that my foot won't even go into boots that are "pull-on", so look for ones with a zipper to open up.

  • Alison says:

    These may be over your price limit, but my Poppy Barley boots are the most comfortable pair I have ever owned. Can't beat custom!

    If that's too much for you, then I will second the western-wear recommendation. Great quality, classic styles.

  • Jennifer M. says:

    While I don't have high arches, I am super short so shaft height makes it almost impossible for me to buy boots (I don't have particularly large calves, but even wide-calf boots won't go around my (left) calf because the proportion is so off) so I am excited to learn about Poppy Barley. Thanks Nation!

  • Jane says:

    FYI–Endless is no more; it's all through Amazon now.

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