This is the last of my keep or return threads, thank goodness. My apologies for clogging up the forum!

I love the look & feel of knee high boots & wear them a lot when the weather's cool enough. My current collection is in photo 1: Reiker dark grey/brown weatherproof leather boots with lug sole & wool lining, cheap off brand faux suede lighter grey boots, and LL Bean sage green weatherproof waxed canvas lace up boots with rubber foot & lug sole. I bought the middle boots at Marshall's for $18 3 years ago, and they've served me well, but now one of them has a rip/tear in the faux suede. So I've been looking for a higher quality replacement, only to discover there are no medium or light grey leather (not suede) knee high boots anywhere. Black, dark brown, and cognac dominate, with maybe a charcoal grey if I'm lucky. Meurgh: it's enough to make me want to dye my hair brown. When I narrow the boot search on Zappos to just grey or taupe or beige or anything that could bookend my hair and go with my wardrobe, there's almost nothing left. I thought I'd found the perfect one in the Wolky Pardo and ordered it when it went on sale, only to discover that even though it's a lace up, the tightest it will go is still far too big for 13" my calves. Outrage ensued, and then bargaining (maybe it doesn't look so bad?), and then I finally accepted the inevitable and returned it.

Then last week, Amazon had a really good sale on the Frye Melissa Button Back Zip in burgundy in my size (only $110!), so I ordered it and asked the forum about Frye quality. Thanks to the ensuing discussion, and a couple more Amazon sales, I ordered two more to try: the Campus Lace Up Lug in tan and Veronica Slouch in beige and promised a Frye boot off.

I've shown them in my typical fall silhouettes (full skirt + body con knit or skinnies + whatever type of top) and then also provided close ups. I've pretty much ruled out the Campus Lace Up Lugs (hence they only appear in one pic): they're fabulous boots but fill the same hole for me as my current LL Bean waxed canvas ones (casual, rugged, make me feel like I can kick ass). Which is a shame, as they colour almost exactly matches my hair & the sturdy sole makes me very happy. I *love* the look of the Melissas: sleek, refined, this would definitely be my version of a dress-up boot. Burgundy would also go with most of my fall/winter wardrobe (I'm not sure about burgundy & navy: thoughts?). I love the colour of the Veronicas, good for light bookending and cool enough to work w my closet, but I'm kind of mystified as to how to wear them. Is this how they're supposed to look? They're definitely casual, but I think they'd wear well because of that (i.e.: the leather will still look good w scuffs). I'd get rubber soles added to either the Melissas or Veronicas.

The other thread made me realise that I'm not actually looking for a Northern winter boot, lol. I am looking for a Texan fall/winter boot (since the Reiker's wool lining means I have to wait until even cooler days to wear them) and a Northern fall/spring boot. I could keep both the Melissas and Veronicas (together they cost as much as the Wolky Pardo), as I think they'd fill separate holes. Or should I return them & keep searching for a refined, simple medium grey riding boot that might never show up? The NAS grey options are either not my style, too big for my calves, or too tall (what's up with all the 16"-17" boots all of a sudden?!). The nice thing is if I ever find the HEWI, neither the burgundy or the beige would suddenly be duplicates. But if the dream grey riding boots show up next month of course, I won't be able to buy them. There's always Christmas I suppose: my LL Bean boots were a Christmas surprise.

Also, while my clothes closet is extensive, my shoe closet is smaller so I'm not worried about them not getting worn enough, even if I keep 2 and thus have 4 total (for year round wear I have 2 t-strap flats & 2 oxfords; for cool weather I have 3 ankle boots as well as the knee highs; for warm weather I have 3 sandals; for dressy occasions I have 1 pair of heels & 1 pair of ballet flats).

Sorry for the rambling! Anyway, the actual feedback I'm looking for is the on the fit & style of the Melissas and Veronicas (do they fit me? suit my style?), as well as any experience you have with their durability. Or if you feel really strong in favor of the Campus Lugs, and that they're not a duplicate with my LL Beans, feel free to tell me that too! I welcome differing opinions/discussions & my feelings aren't easily hurt.

(Apologies too for the photos; clearly I'm fed up with doing so many, lol, hence chatting on my phone. Thistle must be fed up too, as she's perpetually photo bombing! And the millions of photos might be overload for some, I know. Trying to get as well-rounded a view as I can without all of you actually hanging out with me as I try them on!)

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