Best Booties for Women of 2020
If you're on the hunt for one pair of ankle booties to go with just about every outfit, the Lucky Basel is a perfect choice. Made with real leather and available in dozens of colors, its classic shape can work for nearly anyone's style. It has a comfy footbed for all-day walking and two sturdy zippers for easy on and off. We were happy with its overall quality and found the stitching to be secure throughout the shoe. While we did find that they run slightly big, it isn't too much of an issue since it's a style of bootie you'll probably always be wearing with a sock. We also appreciate that the top edges come up high enough that we didn't experience any rubbing along our ankles during testing.
While the leather uppers of the Basel helped it earn high marks in the quality and style categories, it did hinder it a bit in terms of weather resistance. Our feet stayed perfectly dry during our water test, but exposing leather to a lot of snow or rain for extended periods of time will make the leather age faster and can result in color changes, creasing, and scuffing. Of course, you could treat the leather first to prevent this, so we think that this is still a great option even if you live in a climate that gets winter weather. If we were going to invest in just one pair of ankle booties that could be worn for everything from work to weekend farmers' markets, this would be our first choice!
Chelsea boots have been popular for years, but they often come with a hefty price tag. The Dream Pairs Winter Ankle Boot gets you the look you're after at a fraction of the price of a real leather version! They run a bit narrow, but we found them to be true to size in their length and loved that the elastic "v" sat against our ankle, meaning there was no uncomfortable rubbing against stiff material. This boot comes in five color options and looks effortless with any casual winter outfit.
Although the soles are pretty slippery, our feet remained totally dry thanks in part to the narrow opening, which doesn't allow any water to come in from the top. The elastic part could wet-through eventually, but it would take some serious puddles to get to that point. While the stitching throughout feels durable, we did notice that there was some slight flexing where the block heel joined the rest of the shoe, which made us slightly concerned about the longevity of these booties. If you're not wanting to break the bank this season and are okay with likely not getting multiple years of wear out of them, the Dream Pairs could be for you!
The Doctor Scholl's Rate Bootie was far and away the most comfortable boot we tested this season. We walked and walked and never experienced a single hotspot or achy arch. The insoles are cushy yet supportive, and the uppers are a soft microfiber made from recycled bottles. We found these boots to be high quality all around, with sturdy stitching, good soles, and durable materials. The outer perforated material is lined with a solid one, giving it more structure and ability to protect your feet from the elements. We love the unique style, and we think it looks just as great when dressed up for work or just rocking a pair of jeans.
As cute as the cut-out side is, it means that this isn't a great shoe for wet weather. The fabric of the uppers soaked through during our water test, and water came in from the top, too. Another thing to keep in mind is that these are difficult to wear socks with because the cut-out means that tall socks look a bit strange, and low-cut socks won't provide much warmth in cold weather. However, if all-day comfort is your biggest priority and you don't have to worry too much about rain or snow, the Rate Boot won't disappoint!
Made with two contrasting textures of fabric, the TOMS Deia has a subtle yet super cool look that is perfect with a pair of jeans. We found that these booties ran pretty large, but once you nail down the sizing, you'll find the insole comfortable enough for lots of walking. The top edge of the shoe did irritate our ankle slightly, but it softens with more wear. When Facetiming with friends to get more opinions, these were one of the pairs that got the most compliments — and we agree! With nine color options, high-quality construction, and details like a good pull tab and sturdy zippers, these feel like they will last a long time.
Although they're not actually made for wet weather, the Deia did pretty well during our water testing and kept our feet dry. The suede got darker while wet, but we didn't see any signs of staining or warping once the shoes dried out. The soles are made of grippy rubber, so we felt secure on smooth floors and wet ground alike. This bootie is easy to wear and instantly made us feel like we wanted to walk through crunchy leaves with a cup of coffee in hand!
With a cute braided detail encircling the boot, the LifeStride Adriana combines style and comfort. We love the cushioned, memory foam footbed and found the faux leather to be much more realistic than some others we've seen. We also found it to be more durable and didn't experience any peeling or scuffing. The zipper on our pair was a bit stiff but also sturdy, and we were happy with the shoe's overall quality. The bootie's low height combined with a bit of a heel worked well with all the outfits we tried, skirts and pants alike, and the detailing is fun and draws your eye in without being overwhelming.
The Adriana is definitely best for someone with a narrow foot, and keep in mind that the top edge can cause some rubbing depending on where it hits your ankle. While these aren't made with rainy weather in mind, they held their own during our water testing and kept our feet dry thanks to their narrow opening. For a quick dash to your car in a rainstorm, they'll get the job done, and the grippy soles will keep you upright. These boots are perfect for kicking a little spice into your outfit, and the awesome insoles will keep your feet happy for hours.
With sixteen colors to choose from, the Asgard Waterproof Chelsea is sure to brighten up any grey, rainy day. It has the classic shape of a leather Chelsea boot but is made from a waterproof PVC that is perfect for wading through puddles. These are a boot meant for socks, so we didn't experience any rubbing or blisters, and we appreciate that the elastic side panels rested against our ankle bones instead of the PVC. The insoles are average — not particularly cushioned or supportive but also not uncomfortable. As these boots are made of a waterproof material, we weren't surprised when our feet stayed dry when walking through water. However, the top opening does gape a bit and lets rain fall into the boot, and the elastic could become soaked through if the weather gets particularly bad.
In terms of quality, the Asgard are middle of the road. The stitching where the elastic panels connect to the main body of the boot had many loose ends, and we worry about its longevity. Also, there's a faint seam running along the top of the boot from the molding process, and while you have to be pretty close to notice it, it may bother some wearers. In spite of these drawbacks, we'll continue to grab the Asgard on drizzly days because they're fun, easy to wear, and super cute!
The biggest pro of the JEOSSY Ankle Boots is that it's a classic style at an affordable price point. It can easily be dressed up or down and definitely has some "cool girl" vibes. However, we found this shoe to have odd sizing. It runs large, which made our foot slide forward into the too narrow toebox. There isn't much cushioning on the insole, but we like that the top edge of the opening comes up high enough to not rub uncomfortably against the skin. This shoe kept our feet dry when walking through water, but the opening at the top let some water in, and the soles are very slippery.
The faux leather on this bootie has a floppiness that makes it crease on the top of your foot when you walk, making it obvious that it's not real leather. That said, we were happy with how the zippers functioned and felt pretty confident in the stitching. This is a budget boot, and it shows in terms of comfort, but it still has great style and a lot of versatility.
With a pattern of cut-out triangles lining the ankles, the SODA Chance may not be your pick for cool weather, but they sure look great! The style stood out among all the booties we tested, spicing up our outfits with ease. We wish that these were more comfortable — the material is stiff and rubs over long periods, though this lessons with time and consistent wear. Any sock you wear will be visible through the cut-outs, another reason this is a warm-weather option only.
It's so obvious that it's hardly worth mentioning, but for consistency, yes, we did test these in water, and yes, your feet will get wet. There are also a few spots where the stitching looks like it will eventually loosen, and the soles are fairly slippery, but we're willing to forgive some of those drawbacks because they are just so darn cute. If you're on the hunt for a warm-weather ankle bootie, the SODA Chance will certainly liven up your footwear collection.
The SODA Mug-S Boot is an inexpensive option if you're looking for a stylish shoe. They're lacking in comfort thanks to a narrow toebox and general stiffness that doesn't conform to your feet, but we thought they looked cute with lots of outfits. However, when examined closely, it's apparent that they're not super well made, and we could already see stitching that was starting to come undone during our testing period.
These are absolutely not a shoe for wet weather. During our water test, the fabric soaked through almost immediately, and they were incredibly slippery to walk in, even just on hardwood floors. If you're looking for something stylish to wear in dry weather and won't need to do a ton of walking, the Mug-S could be a great pick. Otherwise, we would suggest looking to one of our other contenders.
Why You Should Trust Us
Although Paige Klugherz is usually testing running or outdoor products, she also has a day job that requires non-athletic clothes, so she had plenty of opportunities to try out the booties in this review in normal day-to-day scenarios. She analyzed the shoes with the same thorough approach that she'd use to analyze a pair of running shoes, although granted with a bit more emphasis on style!
Without being able to wear these booties for months on end, we wanted to make sure we got as clear a picture of their strengths and weaknesses as possible — so we wore them a lot! We did everything from intentionally trying to loosen stitching to trying to pull off the block heels in order to simulate sustained wear and tear. Our dog got countless walks around the neighborhood, testing one pair after another, we went to work and ran errands, and our downstairs neighbor probably wondered why we were doing so much pacing! As always, our goal was to be as unbiased in our approach as possible, so we assign quantifiable ways to judge and score everything we test.
Analysis and Test Results
We came up with a testing plan that encompassed four different metrics — comfort, quality, style, and weather resistance — to help us determine which pairs of booties really stood out. Below, we'll explain what we considered when judging each metric, how we implemented our testing, and the top performers in each category.
Out of all our testing metrics, comfort was given the heaviest weighting because if you're not excited to have a pair of shoes on your feet for a few hours, then there's no point in buying them! We wore all the booties for hours on end, going to work, running errands, and walking the dog, all while paying attention to the insoles, where any rubbing or blisters occurred, and whether our feet were sore afterward.
The Dr. Scholl's Rate Boot has a fantastic insole that feels responsive and supportive, helping make sure your feet don't get fatigued after a long day. The suede's softness also meant that there were no pressure points from stiff materials pushing against our toes. Another high scorer here is the Lucky Brand Basel Ankle Bootie, although it has a completely different feel due to its real leather upper. It's a stiffer shoe, but it fit the shape of our feet well, has a footbed that provides cushioning and support, and no edges rubbed against our ankles — win!
Quality is the next most important factor to us because, preferably, we'd like a pair of shoes to last through many years of wear. Here, we took into account the materials, stitching, zippers, and general durability. Higher scorers had uppers that were more likely to last through the seasons without significant scuffs or peeling. We tugged on the panels held together by stitching to see if it loosened easily, flexed the block heels, and examined the connection of the uppers to the soles. Zippers were zipped over and over again to determine if they would get finicky with time.
We had a few high performers here, including the Lucky Basel, Dr. Scholl's Rate, and the TOMS Deia. The real leather on the Basel does show scuffs, especially on the light color we tested, but that's par for the course with leather and can be treated. All three of these were securely attached to their soles, had tight stitching with no loose ends, are made of durable materials, and feel as though a lot of thought was put into their construction. We trust that these pairs of booties will hold up over time.
Style is a difficult metric to score because it can be so subjective. To account for this, we didn't weight this metric as heavily and paid a lot of attention to versatility. If a shoe came in more colorways, could be worn with both dresses and pants, and was easily dressed up or down, we gave it a higher score. Of course, some personal opinions came into play, so feel free to take or leave our thoughts on style!
The Lucky Basel was one of the top in the style category because it has a classic look while still feeling cool and modern. The leather looks great and comes in seemingly endless colors. Other favorites are the Dr. Scholl's Rate for its perforated suede and low heel, giving a laid back, yet pulled-together look, and the TOMS Deia for its unique dual fabric uppers. Although it is more of a summer shoe, the SODA Chance spiced up every outfit with its cool cut-out pattern.
Resistance to rain, snow, or cold temperatures isn't something every shopper will care about because they may not live in a climate where it matters. However, for those who live with more variable weather patterns, this is likely quite important. While we couldn't conjure up snow on request, we could mimic a rainy day by filling our bathtub with 1.5 inches of cold water. We spent two minutes in each pair of booties, walking back and forth in the tub, paying attention to whether our feet were getting wet from the fabric soaking through or from water droplets splashing in from the top of the shoe. We noted if there were any color changes or damage to the materials and how much grip the soles provided.
One of the standouts in this category is the Asgard Waterproof Chelsea, which is the only rainboot in the review. The main body of the shoe is waterproof, although the elastic sides will soak through eventually. We wish the top was slightly narrower so water couldn't splash in quite so easily from the top. Another favorite in this category is the Dream Pairs Winter Ankle Boot, which has a similar construction to the Asgard with a waterproof main body and elastic panels on the side. This one, however, has a much narrower opening, preventing just about all water from reaching our socks. Its drawback is that it is slightly more slippery when walking on wet surfaces. The TOMS Deia is also a noteworthy contender in this metric.
We know buying shoes online can be particularly difficult, so we tried to be as thorough as possible. Whether you want a do-it-all pair of booties for everyday wear or something with standout style, we hope that our honest review gives you the information you need to feel confident in the pair you choose. Happy shopping!
— Paige Klugherz