Best Boot Forward | My A/W Black Boot Edit From Alternative Stores

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autmn winter boot collage

We might not be doing as much stomping around in our favourite pair of winter warmers this year, but it can't hurt to still be prepared.

The colour black doesn't feature in my wardrobe much, especially not in the form of footwear. My maximalist mindset always pushes me to buy colour. Get the blue metallic heels, invest in a bright orange sock boot, wear those tiger print flatforms. You get the idea. 

So here's a not-so-shocking confession - I don't own a pair of black boots. You know,
the black boots that you grab and pull on every time you leave the house from September through 'till March. As soon as the Autumn leaves fall, you get them from the depths of your wardrobe and proudly hoist them onto your feet, welcoming them back into your life as if you're reuniting with an old friend. And boy, has your old friend seen some shit. They've been through rain, snow, sleet, mud, but they soldier on, year after year. 

It's a partnership I've never invested in because I've never believed in it. But now, I GET IT. Why it's taken me so long to come round to the idea I don't know. But what I do know, is that I'm currently scrolling through the internet like a bloodhound, sniffing out my new go-to pair of black ankle boots.

While the UK fashion crowd's first port of call for such a search would be ASOS, TopShop or Zara, I'm making a conscious effort to steer as clear from high-street stores as much as possible, particularity the ones that are un-famously synonymous with fast-fashion and unethical procedures. Instead, I've been searching for smaller, conscious, more alternative brands that champion the sustainable fashion and slow fashion movement, providing unique and timeless footwear that I'm sure you'll love as much as I do.

One thing I will say, and the one thing that I'm certainly not loving as much, is the cost. You'll quickly realise that these shoes ain't cheap, and could easily be dismissed as not being accessible enough. It's a problem I've discussed before on this blog; sustainable clothing brands and slow fashion options usually come in at a higher price point, and it deters a lot of people from making the important switch-over from fast-fashion. 
This is where our consumer psyche kicks in, reminding us that spending large amounts of money on one item is bad, but still allowing us to think that buying 10 items for the same price is good. If you are investing in a sturdy, well made, versatile pair of shoes such as black ankle boots, then you absolutely should not feel guilty about spending a bit more for them. Of course, don't buy anything that you can't afford. You'd have to be doing pretty well for yourself if you could just see a pair of boots you like and drop £150+ on them there and then. Save up, invest, wear again and again... 

Miista Oliana black leather boots

I'm starting with one of my favourite shoe brands. Miista is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, with some absolute show-stoppers to boot. I was obsessed with these rainbow mules in the Summer, but as my priority has shifted, I've found myself ogling over their A/W boot collection. Especially the Oliana black leather boots. These mid-calf boots have an elongated synthetic stretch ankle, a nod to the sock-style trend that has been dominating footwear collections in the latest seasons, making them the perfect on-trend-but-still-timeless shoes.

paloma wool black leather boots

Paloma Wool 

Paloma Wool is SO cool. Their creations are unique, colourful and playful, while still being practical and wearable. For the purpose of this article I've picked out these black platform boots, which have such a grungy, biker feel to them, but I'm also not stopping you from looking at these boots in blue, yellow and green too.

and other stories black chelsea boots

And Other Stories  *

 Ah, yes, the Chelsea boot. How can I not pay homage to an absolute must-have? These black Chelsea boots from and other stories are the epitome of a timeless classic, wearable with pretty much anything you put your mind to. The shiny leather also gives them an elevated feel of sophistication, but certainly shouldn't be kept for your Sunday best. 
Nae vegan black lace-up leather boots
Nae Vegan Shoes
Nae is a vegan shoe brand that I found through the Good on You app, after typing in 'sustainable shoes for Autumn'. All of their products are made from "ecological, sustainable and recycled materials" and are animal-cruelty free. These black lace up boots are the ultimate Winter-resistant shoes, made from breathable and water-resistant vegan leather. 
jonak paris black leather boots
Jonak Paris 
Similar in style to the boots from Nae, these military-inspired chunky lace-up boots from Jonak Paris offer that same weather-proof promise. They look SUPER comfy, and I love the decorative lace-up detailing up the back (a functioning side zip is how you can slip in and out of these bad boys). 
alohas black leather boots
Slightly more trend inspired, but certainly still identifiable as a timeless staple to your wardrobe, these black, futuristic style boots are a no-brainer for me. The square toe and chunky soles scream street-wear, or as the case may be now, walk-up-and-down-your-street-for-an-allotted-amount-of-fresh-air -wear. 
Toast black leather ankle boots


The comparison to Dr Martens is unmissable in the Solovair Monkey Boots from Toast, and at a similar price point too. However, Toast's shoes are hand-made in Northamptonshire and offer that smaller, independent touch that Dr Martens lacks. They also encourage you to renew the soles when they get worn down, "by any good high-street cobbler". Getting your money's worth and supporting cyclical fashion, we love to see it. 

I'm dying to know which pair is your favourite? I'll be looking to purchase from this edit in the next few days, and of course, I'll report back and let you know which pair I picked!

Wishing safe and sound energy to all x 

Instagram - @emmielois 

* So, I'm v aware that And Other Stories is a high-street store. I am cheating a little by adding them in here. However, they currently score a 3 out of 5 rating on the Good on You app, which is far more than most high-street stores, and does publish a substantial amount of information about its suppliers and supply chain policies. 

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