Shoeperwoman to the Rescue: Brown boots or black boots?

Pristine writes:

Hi Amber!

It’s winter here in Australia and I’m looking for boots. I think I’ve lucked out and found a pair I like, which actually look similar to yours shown here. I’ve attached a picture of them–they’re the zipper boots. Here’s my question…between chocolate brown and black, which would you go for? Maybe even both?

I also found tan boots with a similar silhouette (cone heel, pointy toe). I’m trying to inject more colour into my shoe wardrobe. Would getting two boots (or even three…) that looks similar in style, but different in colour, be pointless? That is…is colour enough to change up your look?

I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your trip! I know you’re a little sick, so I’ve tried to keep my query short. I’d love to hear what you think! I’m weighing up the pros and cons and will be making my purchase in a few days.

Ooh, this is a tricky one!

If the price isn’t too high, then I have no problem whatsoever with buying the same style in different colours: in fact, I’ve done it many times, both with shoes and with clothes. I tend to think that if you find something that’s absolutely perfect for you, it can be a good idea to stock up when you can, because you never know when you’ll find it again. Following my own advice on this, a few years ago I found my ideal pair of boots, and I loved them so much I bought them in both black and tan.

What I found, though, is that while tan really works with just about everything, black doesn’t: I don’t like it with navy, for instance (I know a lot of people do, but I’m not keen on the two together, and I tend to wear a lot of navy), or with other very dark colours, so while the tan pair were worn until even my cobbler threw up his hands in defeat and said, “No more! I can do no more, these boots are dead, woman: accept it and move on!” the black pair were still kicking around until last winter, when I finally sent them to the shoe store in the sky, because my tastes had changed and they were looking rather dated.

If it was me, then, and given that the shape of the tan boots you’ve found is pretty similar to the black/brown ones, I’d probably go for the tan which I think would be more versatile. (Although obviously this depends on your taste and wardrobe. As I said, I wear a lot of navy, which makes black less versatile than it would be for someone who tends to wear mostly brighter colours, say.) If money is no object at all, though, and you really, really can’t decide, my advice would be to buy either black and tan, or black and brown. And yes, colour is absolutely enough to change things up: the same shoe, or boot, or dress in a different colour can look like a totally different style!

What does everyone else think? Which boots would you choose?


  • As you say, it depends on the main colours Pristine tends to wear. If it was me I’d probably buy both black and brown, but if limited to one colour it would be black because I usually wear either cool colours (blues and purples etc) or black and white. If Pristine wears warmer colours your reccy of the tan would be spot on. They’d also be great with dark skinnies.

  • Hmm, they’re both nice! I’d say, if you wear a lot of navy then the brown would go with more, else you might get more wear out of the black. Also, beware of the “trying to inject more colour” thing – I’m always going through that, and often find I hardly wear the coloured stuff because it doesn’t fit the outfit or isn’t quite the right shade of brown/whatever.

  • Shoeperwoman and co, thanks for the advice! I just came home with both tan and brown boots. I do wear a lot of warm colours (reds and purples) and so the default black shoes usually work. But recently, I’ve been working more black into my wardrobe (especially with key items like the winter coat), so I’ve been finding I need to change up my accessories from neutrals to brighter colours.

    For any other Australian or New Zealand readers, the boots are from Pulp Shoes ( and are on sale at $129.95 at the moment.

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