Riskey Black Leat Boots, Steven by Steve Madden ($179.00)

Rating: Proceed with Caution

I loved these boots when I saw them in-store, and I was thrilled when I was able to scoop them up via a Gilt sale.  Since then, I've been wearing these boots about every other day for the past week, going to work, going out around town, etc. So far, I'm impressed. The heel is just high enough to give you that confidence boost, yet doesn't kill your feet when you've been walking around in them all day. Sometimes I have to park up a very steep hill at my work, and yes, while it is not optimal to wear these shoes when climbing a small mountain, they seem to be able to be up to the task.

A few words of caution: if you're relying on the top portion of the boots to remain tight to the ankle, don't count on it. They really do stretch out as your ankles move, so forget the notion of a "tight" fit in the ankles. Also, there have been a few small threads coming lose, and the heel is starting to show more wear than I would expect (although the bottom sole for the ball of the foot has held up like a champ, hardly any change!). The material for the body of the boot does not show too many scrapes, but its wear is definitely reflected. My personal recommendation: find these on sale for goodness sake. To me, it is not worth the stress to buy at full retail price.

I've really enjoyed having these boots in my repertoire and they add an edgy touch to an otherwise preppy outfit. I will definitely continue to wear them, but I won't be surprised when the wear is reflected.

... in the experience of Katherine Hanson.