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What Are Ankle Booties?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Ankle booties, sometimes called ankle boots, are women's boots with tops that end at or around the ankle. This type of fashion footwear was originally developed for women who liked the look of boots worn under trousers or slacks but found it difficult to fit the high tops of their boots under their trouser legs. Wearing ankle booties solved this problem, as they covered the entire foot but did not extend up the leg. Despite their utilitarian origins, ankle booties are now available in many different styles and are worn with trousers of various lengths, leggings, and skirts. It is possible to find booties in casual and formal styles as well as in varying heel lengths.

Many women like wearing boots under trousers. In colder weather, the extra coverage of a boot can keep a person's ankles warm, and a boot that matches the color of a person's trousers can create the illusion of a longer leg. High-topped boots, however, are often unsuitable for wear under trousers, as tighter trousers can't accommodate the boot top. Even in cases where a boot top does fit under trousers, it can make a woman's legs look larger by adding bulk. The low top of ankle booties fully covers the foot and ankle, creating a continuous line from footwear to trouser leg while not adding bulk underneath.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Some fashion experts have pointed out that ankle booties can both solve and create fashion problems. As the top of the bootie is cut off at the ankle, the eye is drawn to this area. If a woman has thick ankles, this fact will be made more apparent if a woman wears ankle booties with a skirt, shorts, or any garment that reveals her lower leg. Women who are concerned about the shape of their ankles may wish to wear conventional boots or shoes instead of booties in such circumstances.

Footwear manufacturers sometimes sell convertible ankle booties. These boots have fold-down tops that can allow the wearer to achieve the look of wearing an ankle bootie or a low-calf boot. In addition to being versatile, these boots are a great option for women who have thick ankles or calves and who thus feel uncomfortable wearing traditional ankle booties with skirts and dresses. By unfolding the top of the bootie, these women can create a boot that extends higher up the leg, drawing the eye away from problem areas.

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      Woman with hand on her hip