The 17 Best Knee-High Boots for Women

Add Vagabond Ansie Tall Boots to your shoe collection now and you’ll reach for them day after day, fall after fall.

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knee high boots

Jessica Juliao

Take a stroll through the painted portraits section of any art museum and you’ll see just how integral knee-high boots have been to fashion history for the last several hundred years. They were initially designed as functional footwear for men starting in the 15th century since the riding boot style provided both warmth and protection. Now knee-high boots are a classic for womenswear, the ideal mix of fashion and practicality. If you’re looking to add a pair to your shoe rack, we guarantee you won’t regret it.

While you can rock knee-high boots for three of the four seasons, they’re especially helpful during the transition times, when you want to squeeze out a little more of your summer styles. Stylist Maddy Gutierrez finds that "styling knee-high boots with maxi dresses, especially in the cooler months, allows me to get the most out of my favorite dresses."

Shopping for knee-high boots can be overwhelming though. They come in a variety of materials (leather, suede, synthetics), heel height (from a little lift to stiletto-like spikes), toe shapes (rounded, square, and extremely pointy), and not to mention price points. We think the Vagabond Ansie Tall Boots fits most styles, making it the perfect universal boot. But we went the extra step for you, scouring the market and turning to fashion experts to reveal their favorites.

Best Overall

Vagabond Ansie Tall Boots


What we love: Not only are the flared block heels cool, but they’re comfy too.

What we don’t love: If you’re between sizes, beware: these are sold in full sizes only.

Channel Twiggy with these retro-inspired black leather boots. Even though we were originally drawn to their look — classic yet just different enough to stand out amongst a sea of basic black boots  — we also appreciate how comfortable they are to wear, so much so that you can wear them all the way from your 9:00 AM meeting through a late-night dinner and not even notice. The wide, rounded toe ensures your toes won’t be cramped, while the flared black heel makes for a cushy landing for each step you take. Because it only comes in full sizes, we recommend sizing up if you tend to be between sizes.

We’re envisioning them paired with a mini skirt, tights, turtleneck, and an oversized blazer, but the sky truly is the limit styling-wise with these versatile boots.

Price at time of publish: $295

Size: 36 - 41 | Material: Leather | Heel Height: 2.3”

Vagabond Ansie

Best Budget

Dream Pairs Knee High Stretchy Boots

Dream Pairs Knee High Stretchy Boots


What we love: There’s a warm faux-fur lining on the interior of the shoe.

What we don’t love: They’re not meant for wide feet and are a little tight around the calf.

At $56, you’ll be surprised at how comfortable these boots are. They come with a faux-fur interior lining that gently braces your skin and a 2.3-inch heel that is high enough to give your legs a little boost but short enough to not cause any pain. They’re easy to slip on as well, as the side zip goes up the entire length of the boot. Both in look and feel, these boots kept reviewers happy and coming back for more colors. Although we have to say, if you have wide feet or calves, reviewers think you might find them to fit a little snugly. While the circumference claims to have some elasticity to it, many buyers still found it to be a bit tight.

Price at time of publish: $56

Size: 5-11 | Material: Rubber sole, suede, faux fur  | Heel Height: 2.3”

Best Splurge

Khaite The Dallas Knee High Boot

Khaite The Dallas Knee High Boot


What we love: These allow you to dip your toe into the cowboy boot trend without embracing the look too much.

What we don’t love: Suede can be difficult to maintain.

“I love a New York City approach to cowboy boots,” says Agee Gretta Leinberry, co-founder of Couper. “The Dallas boot from Khaite nails subtle western and bohemian details while still feeling chic.” They’re surprisingly effortless to wear, slipping on easily thanks to the buttery suede and pairing with all kinds of outfits. “Plus, the dainty toe feels more approachable and less clunky than a traditional western boot,” she adds. (Leinberry recommends tucking them into jeans and topping off your look with Couper’s exclusive cardigan from Fanm Mon.)

She calls the brown suede “the perfect neutral to enhance any fall styling,” but just be aware that suede can be more difficult to manage than other materials — make sure not to wear these in any wet weather.

Price at time of publish: $1,380

Size: 36 - 41, including half sizes | Material: Suede | Heel Height: 2”

Best Designer

Saint Laurent Jane Monogram Boots

Saint Laurent Jane Monogram Boots

Saks Fifth Avenue

What we love: The sleek design and leather material will last you a lifetime.

What we don’t love: The higher heel might not be ideal for long hours on your feet.

Sleek in design and style, these YSL boots, made of 100 percent black leather, give you a subtle nod to the brand with a small metal monogrammed trinket on the side of the boot without being too showy. At 3.5 inches, these boots are taller than most of the other options on the list. But luckily these come in a stacked heel, rather than a stiletto, making them a touch more accessible as everyday boots (not to mention more comfortable) — we just don’t recommend spending all day in them, especially with a pointed toe. That said, though, even if you don’t wear them all day every day, you’ll still find plenty of opportunities to wear them and make use of the hefty investment.

Price at time of publish: $1,750

Size: 36.5 - 12 | Material: Leather  | Heel Height: 3.5”

Best for Wide Calves

Baretraps Autumn Wide Calf Boot

Baretraps Autumn Wide Calf Boot


What we love: With a 14-inch circumference, they give calves of any size plenty of room to breathe.

What we don’t love: No real leather here — these are made out of synthetic materials.

Knee-high boots aren’t always friendly towards wide calves, but that’s not the case with these lug sole boots. Designed with extra roomy calves — approximately a 14-inch circumference — these boots can be zipped up easily without suffocating your legs. Their simple, sophisticated design makes them a no-brainer for everyday wear throughout all of the cold weather months. We love the almost witchy vibe they evoke, which would pair perfectly under a long prairie dress or with a head-to-toe black outfit. Even though they’re made from synthetic materials, they still look real, so you’re the only person who would know.

Price at time of publish: $120

Size: 6 - 11, including half sizes | Material: Synthetic materials | Heel Height: 1.25”

Best for Short Legs

Freda Salvador Angie Tall Western Boot

Freda Salvador Angie Tall Western Boot

Freda Salvador 

What we love: The slight heel and curved shaft will make you feel — and look — taller than you are.

What we don’t love: They feel snug at first and require a break-in time.

When you’re five-foot-barely-anything, opt for an eye-catching pair of knee-highs to draw attention to your bottom half — not away from it. Like these metallic western boots from Freda Salvatore. There’s nothing shy about them, and that’s just one of the reasons why we love them for legs of all lengths, but especially those on the shorter side. The two-inch heel will give you a boost of height, while the curved shaft ensures it won’t look like you’ve cut your legs in half.

These crocodile-printed boots are handcrafted in silver-embossed Italian leather, as yes, they’re just as lush in person as they sound. They do require a break-in period, but after a few wears they’ll be good to go. Punch up simple jeans and a white tee outfit with them or add an unexpected metallic twist to a prairie skirt. No matter what you wear them with, be prepared to garner plenty of compliments.

Price at time of publish: $695

Size: 6 - 11, including half sizes | Material: Italian leather with rubber-capped heel | Heel Height: 2”

Best for Long Legs

Stuart Weitzman City Block Square Toe Knee High Boots

Stuart Weitzman City Block Square Toe Knee High Boots

Stuart Weitzman

What we love: The stretch back makes these easy to slip into and comfortable enough to spend all day in.

What we don’t love: They’re final sale and can’t be returned or exchanged.

There’s a reason why Stuart Weitzman used supermodel Kendall Jenner as the face of many campaigns — the boots are made with long legs in mind and even accentuate long frames further. The split hem at the top might allow the front to go above the knee on average height individuals, but for taller folks, it will hit right at the knee. And the slim fit ensures you won’t be swimming in your boots either.

The stretch construction on the back makes these easy to slip into, and once you’re in, the 1.8-inch block heel and square toe combo will keep your feet from hurting. Because these are final sale, you won’t be able to return or exchange them, though, so make sure you’re sure before you purchase them.

Price at time of publish: $795

Size: 3.5-12 | Material: Rubber sole, suede, leather  | Heel Height: 1.8”

Best Leather

Sarah Flint Perfect Riding Boot

Sarah Flint Perfect Riding Boot

Sarah Flint

What we love: The luxe leather truly feels like butter.

What we don’t love: They’re a serious investment.

When it comes to shopping for shoes of any kind, but especially leather boots, there are three words that make our fashion-loving hearts sing: “handmade in Italy.” Yours too? Then let us introduce you to these luscious leather boots from Sarah Flint.

They’re made (in Italy, of course) from vachetta leather, a vegetable-tanned cowhide leather known for its high-fat content, which creates an unmatched soft-to-the-touch finish. They’re polished and practical, with anatomical arch support and bonus footbed padding that ensure you’ll be able to wear these boots morning, noon, and night. Sure, there are cheaper boots out there made of leather, but you likely won’t find craftsmanship like this.

Price at time of publish: $995

Size: 34 - 43, including half sizes | Material: Leather | Heel Height: 1”

Sarah Flint Riding Boot

Best Suede

Schutz Rianne Suede Boot

Schutz Rianne Suede Boot


What we love: The metal boxy toe makes for an edgy look.

What we don’t love: These shoes are only eligible for exchanges, not returns.

Mildly resembling cowboy boots, this slightly toned-down version wowed us with its details. A slim buckle sits around the ankle, while silver studs border the back seam around the back of the block heel. A similar metal detailing is found around the tip of the boot as well, but rather than a simple pointed toe, these ones come with an edgy box toe.

The real leather suede will feel luxurious and last a lifetime, although you will probably need to take good care of it to maintain its pristine texture. Just make sure you really love this style before purchasing as it’s only available for exchanges and not returns.

Price at time of publish: $248

Size: 5 - 11 | Material: Rubber sole, suede, leather  | Heel Height: 3.26”

Best Cowboy

Dolce Vita Solei Boot

Dolce Vita Solei Boots


What we love: You don’t have to be in the wild wild west to rock these cowboy boots.

What we don’t love: If you have wide feet, keep scrolling. These run narrow.

To wear tall cowboy boots without looking like you’re about to lasso a horse, nab a pair of these Dolce Vita knee-highs. The stitching, along with the pointed toe and slanted stacked wood grain heel, wink at being western without feeling like you’re wearing a cowgirl costume. No need to worry about yanking them on or off; the half-side zipper makes taking them on and off easily. They do run narrow, though, so anyone with wide feet should steer clear.

Aim to pair these with sleek, modern outfits — anything that doesn’t feel too Annie Oakley. Go for sleek dresses in graphic patterns or unexpected color combinations instead. Leave the denim jacket, plaid shirts, and white blouses for another day.

Price at time of publish: $260

Size: 6 - 11, including half sizes | Material: Suede | Heel Height: 2”

Best Block Heel

Madewell Selina Tall Boot

Madewell Selina Tall Boot


What we love: Pair your long legs with this slight high and you’ll feel on top of the world.

What we don’t love: They’re online only and final sale.

These boots were definitely made for walking, particularly if you’re all legs. Embrace your height — long legs are a gift! — with the two-and-a-half-inch stacked heel on these knee-highs. Good luck choosing which color to add to your shoe collection; we’re equally enamored with the tan, maple, and black colorways.

Best of all, they’re ultra comfortable too. Thank Madewell’s signature cloudlift lite padding for the super cushy steps, which allow you to wear these every day without achy feet. The subtle inside zipper allows for easy on-and-off, and their overall classic look is versatile to wear with dresses, jeans, skirts, or even a flowy jumpsuit. Make sure you really love them before you buy them, though (we’re sure you will), because they’re final sale and only online, so you can’t try them on in-store either.

Price at time of publish: $348

Size: 5 - 11, including half sizes | Material: Leather | Heel Height: 2.5”

Best Stiletto Heel

Larroudé The Kate Suede Boot

Larroude Kate Boot


What we love: There’s a memory foam cushion on the insole, making these extra comfortable.

What we don’t love: The different colors come in different textures, like suede, smooth leather, and glossy leather.

InStyle writer Bianca Kratky (one of the writers of this story) is a big fan of the Kate leather boots, which the team at Larroudé kindly sent her. Despite the 3.8-inch stiletto heel, she says she can spend an entire day out without sore feet. That’s because the insole is lined with memory foam, which cushions the landing of each step — she says she worn boots with shorter heels that hurt the ball of her feet much more. The durable leather looks as good as new even after four months of consistently wearing them. The opening is quite large, which makes them ideal for wider legs or layering thick pants underneath as well. We only wish that the different color options all came in the same leather finish. Instead, you’ll notice that some are in suede, and others have a glossy look to them.

Price at time of publish: $485

Size: 5 - 11 | Material: Leather | Heel Height: 3.8”

Most Comfortable

Aerosoles Roman Knee High Riding Boot

Aerosoles Roman Knee High Riding Boot


What we love: The lug sole provides proper traction no matter the surfaces you encounter.

What we don’t love: The 100 percent leather material might take some time to break into.

Aerosoles has always let comfort lead their designs, so you can expect the brand implemented that same commitment with these boots. Be patient with these, however, as the 100 percent genuine leather might take some time to break in at first. Once you do, you’ll find it easy to walk on the block heel and lug sole, which not only look cool but provide traction and stability no matter the surfaces you encounter. They come in black and tan, with ample sizing to choose from. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll be happy to learn that they offer free shipping and returns.

Price at time of publish: $240

Size: 5-12 | Material: Leather | Heel Height: Not listed

Best Waterproof

Cole Haan Greenwich Boot

Cole Haan Greenwich Boot

Cole Haan 

What we love: Finally! A waterproof knee-high boot that doesn’t scream “rain boot.”

What we don’t love: This design isn’t available in a wide-width version.

Leather and rain are like oil and water; they don’t mix. That’s why it’s imperative you treat your leather boots before taking them out into the elements. That’s also why you should invest in a pair of waterproof knee-highs for questionable weather days, especially if you live in a rainy climate. (Looking at you, Pacific Northwest.)

These black knee-high boots from Cole Haan are made from a rubber-like material called EVA, yet they don't evoke rainboot vibes in the slightest. They feature fully padded sock linings for extra cushiness and the rubber outsole provides extra traction too, so you don’t have to penguin walk on slippery sidewalks. At last, a pair of waterproof boots that you can comfortably wear inside and outside. We only wish it came in different widths.

Price at time of publish: $300

Size: 5 - 11, including half sizes | Material: EVA | Heel Height: 1”

Best Riding

Franco Sarto Women's Meyer

Franco Sarto Franco Meyer Tall Riding Boot

Franco Sarto

What we love: Embrace your inner horse girl with these exquisite riding boots.

What we don’t love: The foot is stiff to start.

Whether you’re saddling up a horse or not, riding boots are a classic for any shoe collection. This pair from FrancoSarto nailed this category for their luxe hand-finished leather, barely there back zipper, and pull tabs for easy on and off. The foot starts off stiff but as you wear them more and more (we expect you’ll wear these weekly, if not daily). The only problem? We don’t know how you’ll narrow down which of the four rich tones to add to your closet. The light brown, dark brown, black, and Bordeaux options are equally as beautiful.

They’re sleek, they’re sophisticated, and they’re not just for ranch life. While sizes tend to sell out fast — this is a popular style, after all — be patient and keep one eye on the product listing. They may restock.

Price at time of publish: $250

Size: 5 - 11 | Material: Leather | Heel Height: 1”

Franco Sarto Tal Riding Boot

Best Embellished

Téjahn Burnett Naomi Convertible Boots

Téjahn Burnett Naomi Convertible Boots

Téjahn Burnett 

What we love: You can zip off the top half and turn these into ankle boots.

What we don’t love: The zippers that hang down are two different zippers.

Sure, these heeled boots might be considered a splurge, but technically, you get two boots in one: the top half zips off to turn the shoes from knee highs to ankle boots (you can see the change here). The ornamentation also makes for an eye-catching detail, turning a simple outfit into an outstanding one, while the high, four-inch heel turns them into nighttime-ready shoes. We don’t mind that the zippers on the boots hang down over each other, but the zippers happen to be two different kinds. Of course, this won’t be a problem when zipped completely off, but keep this in mind when you wear them as a knee-high option.

Price at time of publish: $349

Size: 35 - 43 | Material: Lycra, lambskin leather | Heel Height: 3.9 inches

Best Combat

Frye Veronica Leather Tall Combat Boots

Frye Leather Tall Combat Boots

Neiman Marcus

What we love: The designing is backed by Frye’s history of creating combat boots for generals.

What we don’t love: Adjusting the laces might be a hassle.

Frye is far more than a fashion-forward shoe company. Since their founding in 1863, they were the pioneers in crafting shoes for World War II generals, making these combat boots, quite literally, boots intended for combat. But now you can enjoy its style and comfort for everyday wear. These classic combat boots have a pigskin lining, leather outsole, and one-inch rubber heel. We love the lace-up front that all classic combat boots have, but don’t worry thinking about how long it will take to lace them up — Frye smartly inserted a side zip for you to easily get them on and off. The only time you’ll have to fuss with the laces is if you for some reason want to adjust them, in which case, we wish you luck.

Price at time of publish: $398

Size: 5.5 - 11 | Material: Rubber, leather, pigskin | Heel Height: 1"

What to Keep in Mind

Heel Height

When shopping for knee-high boots, you’ll likely want to opt for one with a slight heel; that way you don’t look (or, more importantly, feel) squat while wearing them. You don’t have to go sky-high though; a one- or two-inch stacked heel is enough to provide you with a little lift. Gutierrez recommends a “mid-heel height,” adding, “They are the most versatile style in my wardrobe and make it easy to dress them up or down.” Plus, who can resist the click that heeled knee-high boots make while strutting down a sidewalk? Everyone will know you mean business.


Leather is the most classic material for a knee-high boot — and for good reason. If taken care of properly, a quality leather will keep in good condition, well, forever. (As will a well-designed boot.) They’re also soft-to-the-touch, available in an array of neutral colors, and easy to maintain. Pretty much all of the boots on this list are made of leather, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Knee-high boots come in other materials though; you just have to dig a little deeper while shopping. You could also opt for a suede pair, like the Rianne Suede Boot from Shutz; just be prepared to treat the suede before venturing out on slippery, snowy sidewalks. For rainy days shop for a waterproof material, which you can find in Cole Haan’s  Greenwich Boot, or for a less expensive pair, there are plenty of synthetic materials on the market too.

Your Questions, Answered

What are the best pants to wear with knee-high boots?

To show off the boots, pair them with slim-fit jeans — that will evoke the most effortless look. Don’t feel limited to just denim though. Leinberry tends to them with wide-leg culottes that hit just below the knee or suggests tucking a wide-leg trouser into the boot, too, for an edgier style.

Caroline Gilroy, co-founder (along with Leinberry) of Couper, who is pregnant with her third child, prioritizes comfort. “Spanx leggings are the most versatile with my knee-highs, and obviously the most comfortable with the bump,” she says.

What are the best socks for knee-high boots?

As long as the socks you wear are comfortable, don’t get caught under your heel (the worst), and don’t slouch around your ankle, any tall sock will do for wearing with knee-high boots. Chances are you won’t be taking them off in public. We (and Leinberry) are big fans of Bombas, but other favorites include Comme Si, Paper Project, Girlfriend Collective, and Margaux, which Gilroy owns in “every color” to wear “with every pair of boots” in her closet.

How do I style knee-high boots?

Knee-high boots have gotten a bit of a facelift in the last few years, with increased opportunities to wear them with a variety of clothing. Most notably, stylists have been combining them with “oversized blazers” and a “maxi dress,” suggests influencer Aarica Nichole. “A pointed or square-toe boot adds a soft sophisticated touch to an oversized boxy blazer,” she continues. They’re a great way to add a touch of warmth to otherwise summery skirts during the transitional months. While we used to reserve knee-high boots for our jeans and tights, nowadays you can wear them with rompers, shorts, and dresses alike.

Why Shop With Us

Megan McCarty is a full-time freelance writer and editor covering topics in fashion, beauty, wellness and travel, while Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer for InStyle with two years of experience covering fashion and lifestyle products. Together they researched the best knee-high boots in terms of comfort, durability, and versatility while enlisting the help of influencer Aarica Nichole, stylist Maddy Gutierrez, and Co-founders of Couper, Agee Gretta Leinberry and Caroline Gilroy, to provide insight on what to look for in style and quality.

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