Our summer dresses are packed away, pumpkin spice is on every corner and it’s time to embrace autumn for all it’s worth – especially in our wardrobes.
Ankle boots might be a staple all year round, but they become more of a staple as the weather gets colder and wetter. Whether it’s a classic pair of black boots or something a bit bolder, finding your perfect footwear is the best way to mark the new season.
In our search for the best boots, we wanted to balance cost, quality, style and practicality. While some items can seem like the most important purchase of your life in store, trends come and go, and when you’re investing in boots for several seasons to come it helps to be picky.
Boots are supposed to protect you from the elements, but it doesn’t hurt to look good while doing it.
It might seem like an impossible feat, but we scoured the high street and online shops to find you the best autumn boots of the season.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Topshop bliss western boots: £31.20, Topshop
Topshop has upped its shoe game in recent years, bringing out must-have after must-have. We were instantly drawn to this western-inspired pair, which are not only bang on trend but surprisingly comfortable. The heel comes up at 2in tall but is blocky and gentle on your feet, even during the longest of days. These are a versatile choice and our tester loved how they gave even the simplest of outfits an edge. It doesn’t hurt that they’re so purse-friendly, either.
Dr Martens 1460 pascal virginia mono: £139, Dr Martens
You might balk at the price, but Dr Martens are an investment for years to come, not just this season. Not only do they go with literally anything, but the brand’s trademark air-cushioned sole technology leaves feet comfy all day long, and thanks to years of perfected craftsmanship, they’ll also be dry after the heaviest of autumn showers. While any pair of Dr Martens are a safe bet, we particularly love this pascal style. These are made of a softer, slightly thinner real leather than the classic boots, which are notoriously difficult to wear in. Our tester found that these were immediately wearable as a result.
I Saw It First black croc western ankle boots: £30, I Saw It First
Coming up slightly higher on the ankle than the other entries on the list, these boots have a glossy, croc-style finish that is wipe-clean and impermeable to wet weather. They’re easy to dress up and down, as well as accomplishing that rare feat of looking good with both skirts and trousers. However, we’d recommend sizing up, as our tester found that they pinched slightly in her regular size.
Charles and Keith embellished block heel ankle boots: £69, Charles and Keith
You can never go wrong with a pair of black ankle boots, which makes this pearly pair even more of a necessary purchase. Our tester loved the block heel, as well as the soft cushioning on the soles. Versatile without being boring, they’re a simple twist on a wardrobe classic. Although pointed toes can often pinch toes after a few hours, we were impressed by how quickly these moulded to our feet, and have since nominated them our boots of choice for a night out.
Tommy Hilfiger sock heel boots: £120, Tommy Hilfiger
It took us a while to come around to the sock-heel trend, but this pair changed our perspective. These boots are snug and warm for those darker nights, and versatile enough to make the transition from day to night. They’re a bit of a struggle to slip into at first, but well worth the effort – we would suggest going up a half a size to make it easier.
New Look lace detail chunky flat hiker boots: £29.99, Asos
If you’re looking for an alternative to your everyday trainers, these boots are destined to become your new favourite. With a round toe, chunky sole and padded interior, they’re designed for all-round comfort. Our tester paired them with jeans for a day of constant rain and was impressed by how they fared – she was also grateful for the side-zip, which made them all the easier to kick off at the end of the day.
Public Desire heidi snakeskin block heeled western ankle boots: £39.99, Public Desire
The snake print trend is going nowhere anytime soon (except straight into our wardrobe). Public Desire offers these boots in three shades, but we loved this bold, pink pair which brightens up the usually neutral autumn palette. They take a bit of wearing in but our tester fared surprisingly well after wearing these all day, despite the 4in heel. However, those with wider feet may find that they’re a bit tight across the arches of your feet.
Koi Footwear gin jewelled platform military boots: £42, Koi Footwear
These are Koi’s best-selling boots, with the addition of jewels on the laces to spice things up for the new season. Thanks to the platform, these boots give you all the height with none of the pain. While they’re lace-up at the front, there’s a handy hidden zip on the side for ease of wear. Added bonus: they’re animal-friendly.
Asos Design Ellen chunky lace up boots: £40, Asos
Lace-up, heeled boots are all the rage right now and Asos has done what Asos does best with this on-trend but affordable pair. They’re easy to keep clean thanks to their patent finish, but the elasticated inserts make sure that they slip on just as well. As the weather gets colder and wetter (and, inevitably, slippier), these boots also have you covered with their moulded tread, which gives them a better grip. Available in up to a size 10 and in a wide-fit edition, Asos has covered all bases here.
EGO monterey block heel ankle boot: £39.99, EGO
This round-up wouldn’t be complete without some autumnal shades, and we love this mustard yellow pair from EGO. The 4in heel takes some adjustment, but we loved how easily these boots brightened up our outfit, and those averse to laces will appreciate the subtle side zip. Our tester was sceptical at first of how these boots would maintain their brightness, but the synthetic leather is easy to wipe clean.
The verdict: Ankle boots
When it comes to style, comfort and value for money, we love Topshop’s bliss western boots. However, if you’re looking to make a wardrobe investment, Dr Martens 1460 pascal virginia mono boots will see you through months to come.
10 best perfumes of 2019: Classic and unusual longlasting scents
10 best women’s autumn jackets and coats that are cosy but lightweight
8 best women’s running jackets for autumn that are weatherproof
10 best women’s wallets and purses that store your essentials in style