There’s no doubt about it—suede is a luxurious, beautiful material that adds an air of softness and depth to any outfit. So, it makes sense that you’d like to add some suede boots to your winter footwear wardrobe.
This guide will help you to find a pair of suede winter boots that’ll keep your feet cozy all winter long, no matter where your steps take you.
Suede is a type of leather. Unlike more traditional leathers, it’s made from the underside of the hide (often sheep, goat, or calf hide), and has a nappy texture that gives it that soft, fuzzy appearance that people love.
Suede was first used as a material in women’s gloves, and typically, it’s a thinner, softer and more flexible fabric than other leathers. That’s why it can be designed into gentler, slouchy styles that create more relaxed looks.
And while those beautiful qualities historically make it more delicate, less warm, and harder to clean than other leathers, modern suede can be treated to make it tougher, which is why today, suede is used in footwear made for everything from dressy indoor occasions to rugged wilderness expeditions, and everything else in between. The key to choosing suede boots that you’ll love all-year-round is to consider where and how you’ll be wearing them. Your suede footwear options include:
Technically, of course, a moc isn’t a boot, because it ends under the ankle like a regular shoe. But mocs are often included in boot lineups because they do much of the same work as you’d expect a boot to do: They’re warm and cozy, and are designed to provide excellent traction in cold and wet conditions in which snow or rain aren’t too deep.
Suede mocs are softer-looking than leather mocs, which makes them a terrific wardrobe option to pair with casual outfits, like your favorite jeans or corduroy leggings, or with thick fall weather skirts and dresses. They’re usually not the best match for dressy or formal looks, however.
Ankle boots and booties are a fantastic option when you’re looking for a boot-like feel with a little high-fashion edge that isn’t necessarily over-the-top formal. You can wear ankle boots with women's jeans or trousers, or add them to an outfit with a skirt or dress to create a vibe that’s chic and comfortable. But because booties are a fashion-first footwear choice, they often won’t be as warm against the bitter cold as some of your other boot options.
When you pair your suede ankle boots with a skirt or dress, consider the proportions of your outfit to create the most flattering silhouette. Ankle boots can cut the leg off visually, which can make legs look shorter and chunkier, and they usually look best with hemlines at the knee or above. You can also lengthen the look of your leg by wearing opaque tights in the same shade as your suede boots.
Like booties, mid-calf boots have a line that lends themselves to a fashion-forward look. However, mid-calf boots can also be snow boots, which often makes them a warmer option than booties, depending on how they are constructed.
If you’re looking for mid-calf boots that can take lower temperatures and slushier conditions, be sure to select a pair that has a rubber sole for traction, and seek out a pair with insulated lining to keep your toes warm. But for cool fall days, you can opt for lighter suede options.
Mid-calf boots are incredibly flexible from an outfit-building perspective and can pair well with everything from casual jeans or sleek leggings to dresses and skirts. When you create outfits around mid-calf boots, be aware of the proportions of your leg and make sure you’re hitting the most flattering spots.
Knee-high boots are the classic winter boot style, and they make a beautiful place for the warm softness of suede to shine. When they have a non-rubber sole and some heel, they can be incredibly dressy and elegant. When they have a rubber sole and are well-insulated, they add dressy charm to more warm and causal looks, like jeans and leggings.
If you’re pairing knee-high boots with a dress or skirt, the cleanest proportion happens when the hemline is at, or above, the knee.
Tall boots — those that rise to and above the knee — are a perennial favorite of fashionistas, particularly when they’re made with ultra-soft, or even slouchy, suede, because they’re so beautifully dramatic. These boots are attention-grabbers, which highlight the soft fabric and color of your footwear.
Tall boots are usually paired with slim fits, like leggings or tights, on the leg, and with a top that balances the look, like a tunic, a cardigan or jacket, or an oversized blouse. They’re made to make an impression, and you wouldn’t typically wear them when you’re looking to fight the cold.
Top the look off with a pair of oversized sunglasses, and you’ll have people looking for paparazzi wherever you go.
Because suede boots are so fun to play with from a fashion perspective, it can be easy to forget that they also work well when you need tougher footwear.
Although suede is rarely the primary fabric on footwear for sports, you’ll often find the fabric as an accent on duck boots, snow boots, hiking boots, and other ultra-insulated options, which take advantage of the gorgeous good looks of this versatile fabric. They add a stylish touch to incredibly practical outfits.
Perhaps that’s why suede boots are always a favorite option—no matter what you pair them with, they add a cozy and stylish flair.