Peter Pan revisited

Never before have I loved ankle boots the way I do this year. Though my affection up to now has been single-mindedly for knee-high riding boots with a snug calf, the moment the first cool breeze of September swept into town I found myself salivating over every bootie on the shoe store shelves.

Okay, there was this time back in eighth grade when I had to have a pair of red pixie boots. They were made of buttery-soft leather and featured a snap pocket on each ankle just spacious enough for a quarter. I proudly wore them back to school that autumn, only to be relentlessly heckled. My unwelcome nickname? Peter Pan. The prized booties quickly moved from high rotation to the shoe purgatory in the back of my closet – and I’ve shied away from ankle boots ever since.

Fast-forward twenty-something years and, like a woman struck down by the animal magnetism of blood lust, I’m all-consumed with thoughts of booties. It’s the stiletto versions that catch my eye, with devil-may-care scrunched detailing and neat zippers up the backs. But I walk too much for precarious heels, I’m too urban for even the most citified of urban-cowgirl booties, and the omnipresent fringed, ankle-high moccasins say “Grateful Dead” to me but not “gratefully handing over my credit card.”

I figured it was a crush that would simply have to run its course, unrequited. And then the heavens parted and I came face to face with a pair of Merrell’s Lily boots. Now, Merrell has always been a brand (in my mind) of ultra-practical hiking-walking hybrids. The kind of footwear you pair with a fleece vest and backpack, not a flouncy mini-dress and Boho bag. The Lily boot, however, promises both free-spirited fashion and blister-free comfort. The wedge heel is more girly than girl scout, and the boots come in a shoulder-season-appropriate dove-gray suede.

So, can this ankle boot fashion victim finally come full circle after twenty years of wardrobe trauma? All signs point to a full recovery.


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