Boots for Summer

How to wear boots in summer!

I own plenty of pumps and sandals, but consider boots to be my favorite type of shoe. This is partially due to the fact that I am much comfier when I can wear socks, and boots make that possible. But more than that, I feel my sassiest, sexiest, and most powerful when I’m wearing a fabulous pair of tall, heeled boots.

So I make damned sure to keep that sassy, sexy, powerful feeling going all summer long. Who says that every summer day must be a sandal day? Not I!

However, I think that wearing boots – especially tall boots – can be a bit tricky during the summer months. No one wants to look all summer-on-top, winter-on-bottom, right? So here are some tips for keeping your boot-based looks seasonally appropriate.

Short boots and booties

Already Pretty outfit featuring Raw Earth Wild Sky dress, sustainable dress, Frye Kelly Belted boots, fringe handbag

Tall boots will always hold a special place in my heart, but shorter ones are automatically more summery since they cover less leg. These black boots may seem a bit dark, but since they hit at the ankle and are balanced by both black and pale gray in my outfit, they feel seasonally appropriate. Ankle boots of all types work well in summer, especially with skirts and dresses.

Light-colored boots

Already Pretty outfit featuring brown polka dot dress, Frye Carmen Woven boots, denim jacket, Ellington hobo
Many, MANY of my boots are black. And while I think that booties in black may work for warm weather, I don’t often pull on my knee-high black pairs in the summer. Grays, tans, taupes, and even cognacs in both tall and short styles keep the overall look lighter.

Cowgirl boots

Already Pretty outfit featuring plaid shirt
Cowgirls continue cowgirling all winter long, but it’s during spring and summer that cowgirl-wannabes like me feel most comfortable donning our Western garb. Boots included. And cowgirl boots go beautifully with skirts, dresses, shorts, and all manner of lightweight summer attire.

Some women can’t imagine covering their toes when it’s warm outside, but others jump at any chance to don closed footwear during the summer months. It rains, there’s wind, offices are air conditioned to the point of causing frostbite. And if you worry about the state of your pedicure or the amount of stubble on your legs, boots can provide a welcome respite.

Originally posted 2010-06-01 05:29:00.

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42 Responses to “Boots for Summer”

  1. Casey

    I love all these summery boot-centric outfits! Alas, in Florida, where we suffer from heat and humidity during the summertime, the last thing I can imagine wearing are boots. I honestly think I'd pass out from heat stroke. 😉 rofl. I have a killer pair of 70s tan boots, which I adore to death, but haven't seen the light of day since I moved to FL–I miss wearing them!!!

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  2. MarieBayArea

    i've been wearing out my boot collection all fall and winter, and part of this spring, as the weather in california has been friggin' cold! i prefer sandals and open-toed heels for spring/summer. it just cheers me to look at my pedicured feet.

  3. Anonymous

    Hope you will enjoy your boots even in summer, I'd be happy to finally be able to wear sandals 🙂 Summer is still not here (here= Berlin, Ger), and I wore tall black boots yesterday in rain and cold weather, not even a chance of trying out my new flats. Otherwise, as long as you are comfortable in your shoes, you should wear what you feel like!

  4. Kasmira

    I plan to wear my cowboy boots all summer. Leather boots aren't that bad in the heat, because they breathe and don't stick to your skin.

    I also have a pair of perforated boots I like to wear in the summer, but they are suede, so I have to be sure we aren't scheduled for thunderstorms that day.

  5. Laura

    I love all your boots and pictures, you always look so happy!

    Laura xx

  6. veronika, tick tock vintage.

    you bet i'll be wearing boots – just wore a pair in the high 80 degree weather with knee socks and cut-offs.

  7. Diana

    I love my boots, and I wear them all spring and fall, but unfortunately I just can't wear them in the summer (maybe for a couple of hours in the evening would be OK, but not more) because I hate hate hate having hot feet (as in, I hate it so much I literally sleep with my hands and feet sticking out from under the blankets). I also started noticing this spring on warmer days that my tall boots would stick to my calves near the top where they are tight and caused a bit of uncomfortable itchy chafing (I think the lining of the boots up on top is synthetic, though, which might have something to do with it) so I'm a little leery of wearing tall boots on warm days.

  8. Cynthia

    Ha. I was just thinking that I badly need these because I need some non-black boots ("need" being a very flexible term around here) and then you go and post about boots in summer and so many cool things to do with them.

  9. dawn

    My daughter wears her white cowboy boots all summer! And,even all grungy and dirty, they look fantastic.

  10. Hello*Pretty

    Great post! LOVING your gray boots! I myself am a huge fan of boots and completely agree with your boot selection. The way it's been raining and will continue to rain, I guess I am lucky (??) that I get to wear my tall brown riding boots a bit longer. xo- karrie

  11. Jenniferocious

    I am much more comfortable in socks, too. I actually really hate the feeling of my bare feet in any type of closed shoe, but also don't like wearing socks with things like heels and flats. Tights are my favorite thing ever, as well as those little ballet slipper socks that can hide in a flat shoe. I would love to wear my boots all summer long, and today seems like a perfect day, since its horribly rainy outside!

  12. Ivy

    I LOVE boots. I live in the San Francisco area, so summer is really more of an abstract concept than an actual season with predictable weather, so I do tend to wear boots year round. I'm trying to break free…but it's so hard. I LOVE my boots!

  13. Sheila

    I haven't done boots in the summer in the past, but I think my yellow ones might have to make at least one appearance. I love the look of the light-coloured ones.

  14. Trudy Callan

    It would be a bit difficult to wear boots here in Southeast Texas in the summer with our 100 degree F with high humidity weather. Possibly for a couple of hours in the evening. But evening in the evening, it's still in the 90s. The heat gets so unbelievably unbearable, anything extra is intolerable. You look cute in your boots. The light colored ones are especially nice.

  15. Future Lint

    I do wear my two pairs of cowboy boots in the summer, but otherwise, I am a sandal girl all the way!

  16. isleen

    I stomp around in my 8-hole Docs whatever the season, so I obviously agree with you, Sal! Truly, my issues with feet mean that walking takes priority above all else and when do I do the most walking? Summer, of course. I feel like Docs are timeless so I can get away with wearing them all year (although I try not to pair them with shorts as it looks odd). I do find myself tempted to pick up colorful Docs these days, though.

  17. Lisa

    No way would I even think about wearing boots in the summer! Summer is so short as it is! I have so many pretty sandals that I like to get as much wear out of as I can, they is plenty of time in fall and winter for boots! Love to let my feet breathe and paint my toes, bust out the toe rings!
    I like the outfit combinations you put together but for me, I would wait until fall to pair the boots with them. Al my boots and socks are packed away until September!

  18. Vie

    love love the red dress and the boots.. you look super cute with those!! <3

  19. Healthy and Homemade

    You're totally rocking the summer boots!! It's still pretty chilly here, so maybe I'll wear a pair today ^_^

  20. Rachel

    You always look so cute in your boots! FL heat is not conducive to wearing boots in summer and I like my feet to be free anyway. I think I was in my early 20's before I owned a pair of boots or any shoe besides a flip flop. My feet just don't like to be stifled!

    tall boot question: Do you ladies feel that tall boots must hug your calves? I've shied away from tall boots b/c of my skinny legs, I've always thought I looked weird if there was a gap between boot & leg. Sal-I'm naming you boot guru, what's your take?

  21. Kelly

    I don't wear boots in the summer – to be honest I think anything outside of cowboy boots look out of place in warmer months, and I'm not a cowboy boot kind of girl.

  22. sara star

    I have only three pairs of boots, and I wear them whenever I want to. I have a pair of combat boots, a more lady like high heeled chocolate suede pair and a pair of dark tan frye knock offs. I also have three pairs of sandals, and those seem to only get summer wear, but all my other shoes do year round duty. I still have what my husband thinks to be a lot of shoes, but I have less than 20 pairs and I starting to get rid of pairs that don't get use.

  23. lisa

    I wear boots for 4-6 months of the year and almost every day during the winter. By the time good weather rolls around, I'm more than ready for ballet flats and sandals!

  24. Savvy Gal

    I have not sport boots in the summer but cute idea. : )

  25. Inder-ific

    Yeah, another SF Area resident here – year-round boots is a definite part of our local "look." In the winter, we wear boots with tights or pants. In the "summer," boots with bare legs are perfect.

    But honestly, I would trade it for more "sandal weather."

  26. WendyB

    When I first saw people wearing boots in summer in NYC, I thought they were out of their minds. Then all the peep-toe bootie styles came along and it made more sense. At least the look was modified for the weather.

  27. Rollergirl

    Love a western boot. I'm like you, I like socks! Never thought about it much before but it's true. One thing I can't stand is flip flops. Ugh, toe-posts are NOT for me!

  28. Pat

    Thank you so much for this guide, Sal. (I'm the one who requested it…or one of the ones anyway.) Our summer is usually 65F and foggy so perfect for socks and boots, but I don't wear them because I feel self conscious wearing boots in July. I'm so going to try cowboy boots this summer. I wish I had light colored boots so I can try them, too! I love all your outfits especially the first one.

  29. Julia

    I'm with Diana on this one – I hate hot feet (also sleep with my feet sticking out of the covers!) I love sandals and would wear them year round if I could. I'll put my boots away until fall.

    But if I were to wear boots in the summer, I would definitely go with lighter, shorter, breathable ones 🙂

  30. The Curvy Life

    OOH thank you for sharing how to wear boots in Summer! I am always wondering… I love my boots… but always afraid to try it! These are great examples!!


  31. Sal

    Rachel: I know many style experts insist that tall boots should sit flush with the calf, but I don't agree 100%. A boot that hugs the calf will generally look more polished and professional so if that's a priority, you might seek out a style that sits close. But slouchy boots have been in style for years, and many pairs look darling sitting well away from the calf.

    The main thing you want to avoid is the inadvertent-ga1oshes look. If other features of a boot make it look Wellington-esque AND it doesn't sit flush with your calf, you might re-think.

    Does that help? Anyone else feel differently?

  32. K.Line

    Boots are my natural footwear too, and I wear them from early Sept. till late April unfailingly. But for 4 months in the summer, I do not put them on. I hate hot feet – esp. when walking. And although stylish boots are more comfortable than 9/10 pairs of fashion sandals, I have to change it up occasionally.

  33. Rachel

    Thanks Sal! Good guideline. I have roughly 6 pairs of boots of different height, but I've been to chicken to wear them with skinnies tucked in or with a dress. Maybe I can bulk my calves up this summer and try them next season!

  34. Ruby

    Thanks for addressing this, Sal, as you know, I'm a big fan of boots year round.

    I'm coveting a pair of perforated tan boots from Frye but they are too expensive. Alas…

  35. hikari07

    Thank you so much for this post Sal! I recently bought a cheap pair of western inspired boots. (waiting til later in the summer to invest in real boots as I've got other more important things to buy) I love wearing this with sundresses and skirts, but I'm at a bit of a dilemma. I personally like the look of them with my mid length shorts (which might be short for older people, I've seen much shorter though…) but got called out in my marketing class for wearing boots with shorts. They go up to about my shins, and I only wear them with skirts/shorts that are at least a few inches above my knees. Do you think shorts and boots are ok?

    Also, I just wanted to comment on how awesome it is that you will wear western clothes even though it seems from your pictures that you don't live in a country environment. Sometimes I feel like wearing western clothes doesn't fit who I am (or my normal style which tends to be very classic and sometimes trendy) but I just love the look of it and mixing things up! It's good to see someone else that doesn't fit the western clothes stereotype wearing them.

  36. Sal

    hikari07: Oh I am a big fan of cowgirl-y looks! Glad you're a kindred cowgirl spirit.

    OK, so shorts and boots. I actually love this look, and I'm wondering how you got called out. Did someone tell you it was an unflattering combination? Not on-trend? Did it look "too Western" to someone? What was the objection? It sounds like you've done everything right in terms of leg elongation – short-ish boots and shorts that fall above the knee. I bet you looked fab, and hope you'll continue to rock the look!

  37. Amanda

    Boots are also my favorite type of shoe. I hate open-toed shoes, so every summer when I "have to" put my boot collection away and start wearing flats I get grumpy. I don't care about the heat issue, personally – people wear jeans in the summer, why not boots with a skirt? – but I feel like people look at you strangely if you're wearing them when it's 90 out. It didn't even occur to me until reading this that cowboy boots are totally summer-appropriate – and I have a pair! Oh joyous day! I wore them today and will probably wear them tomorrow – you may have created a boot monster.

  38. Audi

    Hooray for summer boots! Heaven knows we need 'em in SF!