“These Boots Are So Versatile You Could Wear Them Every Day. And I Did…”

1 Pair of boots. 7 Days. Challenge accepted...


Wanita Nicol |

I’m not a huge fan of winter for one simple reason: I live in Cape Town. And winters here are, in a word, miserable. The only thing that makes it bearable to wake up and commute to work in darkness that feels like the dead of night, is that I get to do it in boots.

Boots are the perfect footwear, IMO. They’re comfortable, they look smart – or sassy or grungy, whatever you’re going for – and you can march in them with purpose, confident that you’re not going to topple over if you take a corner too quickly.

They’re also, sadly, on the pricey side if your plan is to match a different pair to your outfit each day. What you need is one pair of go-to boots that are so versatile, you can wear them with pretty much anything. And fit the bill. I know, because I wore them, Every. Single. Day. For a whole week.

The Dressed-Up Style

I kicked off my seven-day boot experiment in a bodycon dress. I very rarely wear dresses to work because ordinarily that means having to wear heels for nine hours. But the CAT boots were smart enough to rock the dress while still being kind to my feet. I enjoyed the dress look so much that I rebooted it with another dress on day five.

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DAY 1: I’ll wear the dress, but don’t you put me in heels!

DAY 5:

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The Power Boot

The WH office isn’t hugely formal when it comes to dress code – okay, that’s an understatement; half the team is in active wear on any given day – but we still like to step it up now and then. On a day when I had client meetings scheduled, I paired the boots with black pants, a shirt and a blazer. Again, I would normally have worn heels with this outfit. It was so liberating to feel comfortable and smart at the same time.

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The Weekend Chill

My week-day wardrobe is typically not exciting, if I’m honest. Mostly because I’m dressing out of a gym bag after a 5:30am training sesh and there’s only so much inspiration a girl can muster. But on weekends I like to have fun. Saturday was one of those iffy autumn days when you don’t know if it’s hot or cold and I was heading out to a pub with friends, which could mean sitting inside or outside. So I played it safe with lots of layers. Sunday was warm, which gave me freedom to be more playful. So I did a throwback to “Clueless” with a short skirt and thigh-high socks.

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Weekend fun: Layers for the win!
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Sunday Funday: Keep your skirts short and your socks long.

The Go-To Basic

A good pair of boots doesn’t only work with curated outfits – it also elevates your look on those days when you just couldn’t be bothered. On Day 2 my calendar was a juggling act of gym, deadline and events. I needed something simple that would be easy to pull on and off for training, look smart enough for a launch, but also leave me unencumbered on deadline (generally my deadline outfit would be leggings and takkies).

I opted for a classic white shirt and denims and the boots lifted the look enough to go from office to function. Similarly, when Day 6 was chilly and I just wanted to wrap up warm, the boots smartened up my ultra-basic combo of jeans and polo-neck jersey.

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DAY 5: Boots and jersey weather is coming.

The Whimsical Finale

The last day of the challenge was one of those balmy, sunny days that feel like summer’s last hurrah before the chill sets in. I decided to celebrate by throwing on a flouncy, Sixties-style dress. The weaker autumn sun meant it was still cool in the shadows, but wearing boots instead of sandals staved off the chill.

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DAY 7: Skipping through the week like…

The Verdict

These really are extremely versatile boots. They went with everything. I even tried them with shorts and, while the outfit looked a tad Cowgirl Barbie, it worked. The first day they pinched my feet a little – like any new leather shoes – and I worried I was in for a week of pain, but by the next day, the pinch was gone.

They also feel sturdy and well made, like they’d last. I have a pair of formal leather boots that’ve been going strong for more than 10 years and I feel like these CAT boots would be a similar investment. And because they’re such a classic style, they wouldn’t go out of fashion. As for wearing the same boots for seven days in a row… I’d do it again. It actually makes life so much easier when you’re living out of a gym bag and it’s a fun change, planning outfits from the boots up.

The CAT Footwear ladies’ MIDI boot retails for R2 299. It’s available in four shades of brown. I wore a shade called dogwood. Sizes range from UK 4 to UK 7. You can find this boot and other great styles at .

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