The Bootmakers are the Happymakers

DSCF1995_2 DSCF1997_2 DSCF1998_2Top: Glassons

Vest: Barkins

Jeans: Old Navy

Boots: The Bootmakers

I don’t know whether it’s just because I’ve come back to a very chilly Melbourne after spending two weeks in hot and humid New York, but I’m really feeling the cold this winter.

I have my usual complaints of chilly arms (all of my cardigans are stretchy, cotton, and provide practically no protection from the wind) cold legs (I really need to get some more thick tights, but I’ve been putting off buying hosiery until Sonsee Woman launched… which it just did, so I’m about to do a big order!) and numb ears (one day I will buy earmuffs. I don’t care how stupid they look). I don’t have a wardrobe that lends itself to cold weather, and I always find myself a little stymied in the style department once the mercury starts to drop.

The only thing about this cold weather that’s making me happy right now, is that thanks to The Bootmakers I now own the classic, black, knee-high leather boots of my dreams.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair of black knee-high boots for a few seasons now, since my old faithful Madrid’s are looking a bit tired and dated, and I’ve never been that sold on the long rectangular toe anyway.

I’ve been a bit fed up with the fit of the boots coming out of my old favourite Duo Boots lately too. The quality is as good as ever, and the range of styles is great, but my legs just don’t work with whatever fit block they’re working from. The ankles always bag, the tops always billow, and they’re inevitably too tight around the calves and work their way down during the day, resulting in me having to constantly adjust, unzip, and rezip every hour or so.

Enter The Bootmakers. Bespoke boots – every pair made from scratch to your specific calf, ankle and length measurements. Wide calves, but narrow ankles? Covered. Short legs, but big feet? Covered. Different sized feet, even? Covered.

They’ve got nearly 30 different styles, available in a range of over 15 different leathers, and with prices sitting around the 200 pound mark, they’re not that much more than Duo. Plus they’re constructed in a family-run workshop in Portugal from Italian leather.

I wanted a pair of boots that I could wear for years to come. A style that didn’t date, heels that I could walk in, and a colour that I could wear with everything.

I decided to order a pair of the Capri boots in black leather, because I liked the squat rounded toe, the panelled details, and the chunky 5.5cm heel. It only took a few weeks before my order was ready to ship, and a few days after that before the courier came knocking at my door.


Readers… I love them.

They looked surprisingly dainty when I unpacked them – I actually had a heart-stopping moment where I thought “oh God, I’ve ordered the wrong shoe size!” but they actually fit the foot perfectly. The leather is soft and supple, and the shaft of the boot is fully lined with calf-skin.

DSCF2005They zipped up smoothly, no pulling or tugging around the lower part of my leg where the calf starts to swell, and the boot curves sweetly around the contours of my calves, leaving no gumbooty gap below the knee.



There’s still a little more room around the ankles than I need, but because the boots are narrower at the top they don’t slip down and scrunch up, exacerbating the extra bulk. I’ve been wearing them religiously for the last week or so, and I’ve found that no matter how much I walk and no matter if I’m wearing them over jeans or tights; they don’t sag, or twist, or need constant adjustment like every other pair of boots I’ve ever owned.

The squat little heel is comfortable for all day striding, and is leather covered for a bit of extra luxury.


The boots came in their own fabric dust-bags for careful storage, but the bags won’t be seeing much action until the weather starts to turn warm again, because these babies are going to be getting a workout until then.


I’m so pleased with these that I’m seriously tempted to get another pair…. which I should do SOON, because for the month of July The Bootmakers are offering 20% off with the code July20% … and if you’re ordering from outside the EU, you also qualify for a 20% UK Sales Tax discount on the prices shown, so the boots are PRACTICALLY HALF PRICE!

Plenty of winter to go, so if you’ve been deliberating over treating yourself to a pair boots I can wholeheartedly give The Bootmakers two thumbs up. And ten toes, too.


47 thoughts on “The Bootmakers are the Happymakers

  1. So, first you made me buy a dress from Sohomode, and now I want some boots. Loving your blog is making me go broke.

  2. I’m waiting for someone to invent a nose warmer for winter- I can cope with cold ears(low pulled hat) and there’s scarves and gloves but my poor nose gets so cold and nothing to keep it warm! Every winter I complain it’s colder than last winter…apparently it’s just thing I do!
    Your boots are gorgeous and non baggy ankles are great!

  3. OOh, long boots that fit!!! That’s a good tip for me for the future. I have had some Evans’ black riding boots (flat) for years and they are still looking good (considering only £80!) after a revamp at the shoemakers (sole/heel) last winter. And I found some brown ones that fit my calves – cost a fortune and another for the shoemaker to put a dart in the top 6″ around my knee so they wouldn’t look like swashbuckling waders… but happy with them.
    However, what I really wanted was a boot like this that goes with narrow trousers and skirts/dresses alike… love these! Though I’d hesitate to have a leather covered heel – first gravel patch I hit they’d be ruined, possibly even while driving 🙁 Still, I’ll definitely be bookmarking the company and fingers crossed they’re still good in a few years when I’m next looking for boots (I wear mine for many years!!). Thanks.

    1. Hi Mel. I’ve tried boots from Evans, but they seemed too big in the foot. Bit weird actually, as I do wear a wide shoe! May have just needed a size down 🙂
      I’m the same as you with heels – I destroy the backs of my shoes with driving all the time too. I wonder if shoe repair people can fix scuffed heels…?

  4. My husband bought me a pair of boots from The Bootmakers last year and they are brilliant. I’ve worn them almost every day this winter and last they are still in excellent condition and so comfy. The first pair of knee high boots I’ve ever owned because I’ve never found ones that fit me right!

  5. Oooh! I’ve been lusting after boots from The Bootmakers for quite some time. I’m now sold. They look fabulous, Lilli. Such a classic style that will last for years. The perfect choice.

  6. How did you find their shoe sizing? I’m usually a 39, but sometimes go up to a 40 in boots. I’m wondering whether to size up or not. Thanks for any advice!

  7. You look fantastic, warm and comfortable. I have the same trouble with Duo Boots, so glad to have a better option! Thanks!

    1. It’s weird because I don’t remember it being a problem when I first ordered from them. but either my leg shape has changed, or their fit model has, because it’s a huge issue with every pair I buy now!

    1. Hi Ang,
      I doubt it’ll be a problem – just try emailing Stephen & he should be able to sort you out! If all else fails you could try Boots for Broads. Not as good quality, but they are a custom boot company that work off foot measurements not shoe sizes.

  8. Lilli do you know about Woolovers cashmere merino cardigans? Sometimes their photos look a bit daggy but in person they’re lovely. Such good quality and they have free shipping offers All The Time.

  9. You should get commission for a sale! A pair of the Balmorals in dark brown will be arriving just in time for Fall weather in North Carolina. I’d never heard of The Bootmakers before seeing them here. Knee high boots that actually fit…..can’t wait!

  10. It’s your fault I am going to have a massive argument with my husband when he gets the credit card bill for these. You know that, right?

    But let’s face reality: these are the perfect boots. I bought a pair of Malmos from Duo in April and while I love them because they are so comfy to walk in, the ankle baggage is giving me the shits big time. And don’t get me started on the rezipping… 5, 6, 7 times a day. ARRGGHH! Plus they will be delivered in time for our trip to Melbourne and I really need nice warm (comfy) boots for that!!

    K xx

  11. Was just wanting an idea of sizing for the Old Navy Rockstars. I’ve looked at them so often but am wary because there are always so many comments re sizing. I’m usually a 14-16 in plus size jeans (Autograph or City Chic) or an 18 in ‘standard’ stores like Target. Did you size up or go for your ‘standard’ US size, which I assume is 2 sizes smaller than your AU size?? I’m dying to order some Rockstars!!!

    1. Hey Bron! I bought the size 16, and they’re absolutely perfect. I think I’m about the same size as you. 14 at City Chic and 18 at Target 🙂

      1. Just wanted to come back to this and say a huge thankyou!! My Rockstars arrived and I’m in LOVE! I bought the denim in a 16 short and the coloured ones in an 18 short (all reviews say that these ones are smaller) and they’re perfect, just as you suggested. The shipping is crazy from ON, but when the jeans are less than $10 I don’t think it matters. Anyway, thanks for the sizing inside info. xxx

  12. Hey Lilli,
    I’m looking at these bootmaker boots and I’m a size 11 in AUS women’s, which is apparently a size 43 European. But bootmakers suggest that a 42 is an Aussie 11.5!! How did you find the size correlation? I don’t want to order a 42 and find it’s too small, or too big even (because really a 10.5 would fit me I think).

    Any light you could shed would be awesome 🙂 cheers Hun.

    BTW, love your jeggings. Super cute xx

    1. Hmn, I’ve got no idea! I bought the 39, and I usually wear an 8.5 so the chart was right for me.
      If in doubt shoot Stephen though an email on the customer service email – I’m sure he’d be happyt o help. You might be able to measure a pair of shoes that you already own and have him suggest to you what size you need.

  13. You may have just changed my life! 🙂 I just bought the sienna boots, and I can’t wait for them to arrive. You’re right that I saved a ton with the coupon codes. I’ll let you know how they come out. Now I gotta check out this sonsee thing. Yay colored tights!

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