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Ankle Boots: To Buy or Not to Buy?

Why are ankle boots so in? Yes, they are sturdier than shoes, but sexier than a higher casual boot. And they are good with jeans. Also, as sexy as tall boots can be, there's always that little risk of the wearer’s looking like Princess Margaret, a risk ankle boots remove entirely. Maybe ankle boots are a subtle, almost unconscious vote against the one percent, and their potentially horsey ways?

At any rate. About six months ago, I started to get very interested in this pair of Rag & Bone Classic Newbury ankle boots.

Probably 20 percent of my conversations were about these boots. But I couldn’t close the deal. $500 for a pair of boots seemed like a lot. And even though this is really stupid, the fact that they were short made me think they should be a little cheaper.

I spent a lot of time thinking about these boots. Wanted them, couldn’t have, wanted them, couldn’t have. I told myself the problem could be solved by getting a cheaper version. But there’s something about the way an ankle boot is small and compact that makes a lack of quality apparent. I also liked Acne's Pistol boot and a friend had a pair of last year’s Fiorentini and Baker’s that I loved.

But none of the ones I liked were cheap and none of the ones that were cheap I liked. And time passed.

When I started wanting these, ankle boots were popular. But now, is it perhaps true that the ankle boot landscape is saturated? I’m not suggesting we treat ankle boots the way we treated the American Buffalo in the late 1800s. And I still love ankle boots. And barely a day passes when I don’t think of those Rag & Bone Newberrys. But now, I feel that I can’t really in good conscience buy them. I might feel I need ankle boots. But the world does not need me to have them.

Then I saw these in the window at Edith Machinist on the Lower East Side, and now I think about them.

Maybe they’re more booties than ankle boots – I think there’s a distinction, though I’m not particularly interested in unpacking it here. I have a sneaking suspicion these blue guys might be able to have a conversation with ankle boots that goes something like this: “I see you, I like you, and I get what you’re doing. But maybe it’s time to think about doing something else.” Of course they’re vintage, so this conversation doesn’t make linear sense, but I think it does make sense nonetheless. Maybe 20 years from now a pair of Rag & Bone Classic Newberrys will have something useful to tell another pair of boots, and hopefully, they’ll be listening.

Sarah Miller writes for Lucky and Grist.org and is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl. She is from Massachusetts and lives in California. Her most recent favorite item? Orange Current Elliot cords. Follow her on Twitter: @sarahlovescali.


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