Robin Keeler, fashion director at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto, provides shopping tips to help simplify your search for the perfect pair of winter boots.

1. Shop for boots after you have been on your feet for a while (when they swell to their largest). The true test is how boots feel on tired feet.

2. Don’t buy boots in the hope they will eventually “stretch out” — they rarely do. Remember: No one looks good when his or her feet hurt.

3. Boots come in so many styles that you probably will need more than one pair, depending on your budget. Consider the following styles for the following uses.
• Active (flat, fur lined and cozy)
• Everyday (low heel, neutral colour, quality, versatile style)
• Fashion (trendy, high heels, hardware details)




4. A pair of good black boots is a wardrobe staple. A flat, wedge or low heel will provide most comfort and versatility.

5. Get some good insoles in your boots — they can tighten boots that are a touch loose and eliminate foot odour at the same time.

What kinds of heels and soles are best for women who want to be practical and stylish at the same time?
RK: Practicality states that a flat boot or one with a low heel makes most sense in winter. A higher heel, however, is more flattering to the leg and is, of course, dressier. Whatever the heel height, make sure that the sole is waterproof and slip resistant. 

Boot care
Keeler offers these tips to help you keep your boots looking their best season after season.

– Boot care is simple but important. Looking after leather boots, especially, requires some effort. Many products on the market keep leather protected and conditioned.

– When not being worn, preserve the shape of your boots with boot trees.

– In winter, remove salt stains with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Once the boots have dried, condition and polish them.

– Check heels and soles periodically. Are the heels run down? If so, send them to a repair shop immediately.

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