Men have been wearing ankle boots since Victorian times and since then, they have become popular in both the dress shoe and hiking markets. Ankle boots are also referred to as Chelsea boots or dealer boots. They are a stylish alternative to typical dress shoes. For a more professional appearance, look for dress boots made of materials like leather or suede. Ankle boots designed for hiking provide ankle support and withstand cold temperatures, heat, and water seepage. Ankle boots should all be made of high-quality leathers and all-weather material. Before purchasing a pair of new ankle boots, determine first if they are needed for dress-casual or for more athletic activities. Choosing the right pair of ankle boots requires familiarity with the basic anatomy of boots, popular brands, and sizing options.
Anatomy of an Ankle Boot Even before the search begins for finding the perfect ankle boot, men need to understand the basic terminology of shoe anatomy. Below is a table of common terms and definitions associated with ankle boots.
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Types of Ankle Boots Ankle boots permeate two very different markets. The first is the more formal dress-fashion market and the second is hikers needing support. A solid pair of ankle boots must be comfortable, stylish and versatile. Inexpensive boots might have an enticing price tag. However, lower cost typically results in cheaper quality. If buyers choose a pair of ankle boots made of durable materials, with proper care, they can last for many years. Dressy ankle boots are commonly worn for formal occasions and business, while hiking ankle boots are obviously intended for hiking. Because of these two very different uses, ankle boots come in an assortment of materials, colors, and styles.
Dress A sleek alternative to dress shoes, ankle boots can be worn casually with a pair of slacks or dressed up for formal or business attire. Men in the market for ankle boots should survey their wardrobe to determine which colors will match. Ankle boots are available in more traditional colors such as black, brown, and tan, but can be found in white, green, beige, and more. Leather and suede are two popular, premium materials used although some ankle boots are made of other synthetic materials. In addition to color and material, ankle boots have more features to consider. Some men prefer a boot with a little bit of lift while others want a minimal heel. Laces are another feature available for dress ankle boots. Depending on the style, the laces may be either decorative or functional. Men who want a shoe with a little more character should look for ankle boots with broguing. The tiny holes punched in the leather or suede create ornate designs, making for a unique look sure to get noticed.
Hiking Men looking for ankle support in their hiking boots may not want a clunky, mid-calf boot. In that case, one should opt for an ankle boot. A good pair of all terrain boots prevents ankle sprains and other similar injuries. Leather, suede, and nylon are the most common materials used for hiking boots. While leather and suede are more likely to withstand rough terrain, nylon and other synthetics materials are much lighter on the feet. Men covering a lot of ground on their hikes need lightweight boots to keep them from being weighed down. Alternatively, keep feet warm by purchasing boots with insulation in the footbed. Ankle boots designed for hiking, like their dressier counterparts, come with an assortment of features to best suit hikers’ needs. Tread is another feature to consider when buying ankle boots. Soles should be tough, and must provide enough friction in wet, rocky, and other rough conditions. A decent pair of ankle hiking boots should promote stability and prevent unnecessary slipping. Look for waterproof or water resistant boots to keep feet dry and avoid blisters. Popular Brands of Ankle Boots A good pair of ankle boots are not cheap, but well worth the investment. Dr. Martens ankle boots are typically chunky and made of mid-quality leather; some lace up, while others have ankle zips. The Dr. Martens brand offers a variety of heel heights and can accommodate both men looking to add an extra inch, or those who prefer flats. The brand caters to both hikers and the dress-casual crowd. Timberland offers a similar collection of ankle boots for men in both categories. Men exclusively looking to buy high-end designer ankle boots should check out Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole, Johnston & Murphy, Ralph Lauren, and Cesare Paciotti. Keen, Northwest, Frye and Nike dominate the market for quality ankle hiking boots. Sizing Ankle Boots Whether for a night in the woods or a night on the town, ankle boots should always be comfortable. In order to achieve supreme comfort, men must first know their shoe size. Wearing shoes too small causes toe cramping and blisters, and shoes too big are also prone to giving blisters and may cause the feet to slid
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