How to Style Combat Boots + A Review of 3 Brands

I’m actually glad I waited to write this post because now I’ve had enough time to style my combat boots and try a few different brands to really share my overall thoughts. Combat boots are a trend/style I’ve shied away from in the past. They’re a very tough boot to pull off for petites, so if you’ve been having a hard time figuring out what looks best on you or how to style them, you’re not alone. But, I found my perfect pair and I’m sharing everything I learned from mastering the combat boot in today’s post.

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What To Look For In Combat Boots If You’re Petite

  • Almond Toe Shape
  • Shorter Shaft Height
  • Sleeker Design – Stay away from thick soles, extra wide footbeds

Good petite style is all about proportions and chunky combat boots don’t do anything for petite frames or short legs. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Any chunky boot is hard to pull off for petites – it overwhelms your frame, it’s the first thing you’ll look at, and they’ll make your legs look even shorter because your legs come to an abrupt stop (not streamlined). But, with the right boot you can definitely make them work. First and foremost you want to find a pair of combat boots with an almond shape toe. Anything too round will overwhelm your frame (proportion thing). If you’ve noticed, I tend to stick with pointed toe pumps and boots because it helps elongate my legs and they’re so much more flattering on my frame. Combat boots don’t come with pointed toes (lol, thankfully!), so the closest thing is an almond shaped toe. Next, you want to find a boot with the right shaft. And the right shaft depends on how you’re going to style your boots. If you’re only going to wear your boots over jeans/leggings, then you definitely want to go with a low shaft. You want to show as much of your legs as possible (a higher shaft will cut off your legs and make them look short). If you want to wear your boots under your jeans, skirts, or dresses then you can get away with a little taller shaft (you need enough shaft to tuck under your jeans). If you want the flexibility to style your boots both ways (over and under jeans), you’ll want something in-between (ish). My Schutz combat boots can be styled both ways, but more on those below. You also don’t want to wear anything with a ton of bulky details. Look for something with a sleeker design. Thick soles, extra wide footbeds, thick fabric details – all make for a more chunky boot and as a petite are a disservice to you.

How to Style Combat Boots

After styling my combat boots for over 2 months now, I realized they serve as both fashion and function. I reach for them more often than not because it’s cold and I can wear thick warm socks with them and the longer shaft adds more warmth. They’re also comfortable to walk longer distances in because they’re a flat boot with support. I didn’t even think about the function part when I initially thought about combat boots, so this is a huge plus and adds more versatility, IMO. As mentioned above, you can either wear your boots under jeans, skirts, dresses or over your jeans/leggings/pants. If you’re going to wear your boots over your jeans or leggings, I would highly suggest sticking with black on black. This helps elongate your legs and has the most flattering effect. If you’re wearing blue jeans with black combat boots over your jeans, you immediately cut off your legs and they’ll look even shorter than they actually are. Stick to black skinny jeans or leggings. The other way to style them, which is the style I prefer, is to wear them under your jeans. This allows for a little more flexibility with your jeans (color wise). The only thing, your cropped jeans need to be the right length. This can be tricky because a lot of times you’ll want to pair them with your cropped straight leg jeans, but they’re too long and it’ll look like you’re wearing full length straight jeans with clunky boots (lol). For me, I typically pair my combat boots (or any boot with a shaft) with cropped straight leg jeans that I cut a little too short. Jeans that I cut too short look weird with flats (with so much skin showing), but work perfectly with boots with shafts. Since not everyone has a million jeans they cut, I would suggest finding a pair of straight leg jeans, you’ll cut, try them on with both flats and boots with shafts (or the boots you’ll wear them with most often), and find a happy medium. 

Another tip when styling combat boots, tuck in your tops and wear them with high waisted bottoms. When you’re working with a not-so-flattering shoe for petites, you want to help elongate your legs as much as possible. A high waist gives the illusion your legs are longer than they are and when you tuck your tops, you’re able to really see that streamlined effect more.


Combat Boot Review

Loeffler Randall Brady Knit Combat Boots (similar) 5.5- These were on my radar in 2019, so I had to hunt them down to even find them in my size. I had high hopes for these because they’re a knit and run really snug along your foot and legs (so I’m thinking they could be very flattering). Sadly, the ball width of the boot is very wide and not flattering. What could have been very sleek boots, with an almond shaped toe, are now chunky. The knit material is super flattering along the leg, though. I have these in a 5.5 and I’m still looking to sell them. If you’re interested, send me an email.

Sam Edelman Lydell Mixed Media Boots 5 – I was gifted these boots from Sam Edelman. I don’t think I would have picked these on my own, only because I would have known the shaft would be too long. But, I tried these on for you anyway. The heel on these are a bit stiff, so I think they would take some wearing in before they were truly comfortable. Overall, the boot isn’t too chunky, but it does have a very round toe, which isn’t very flattering on my frame. And the shaft is thick and very tall, which makes it harder for my jeans to go over. These are a nice option and affordable option if you’re tall.

Schutz Sibyl Boots 5 – These are the combat boots I’ve been wearing and loving. I was initially drawn to them because of how simple and sleek they looked on the website. Thankfully, they’re exactly the same in-person – sleek, simple, with a beautiful almond shaped toe. Because they have a more narrow fit, they do appear large on your foot. They also run big, too. I wish I could have gotten the 4.5. But overall, the leather is butter soft, they’re super comfortable, and check off everything on my combat boot checklist. They work great under my jeans and look just as great over black jeans. If you’re still in the market for black combat boots, I would check these out. 

2 Pairs Not Photographed

Sam Edelman Nina Combat Boots 5 – I ordered these to try and compare them to my Schutz boots and OMG, they were so stiff I couldn’t even put my foot in them. If the leather on the black boots were soft, I would 1000% recommend these for petites. 

Rebecca Minkoff Janyi Chain Boots 5.5 (sold out) – I was super intrigued by the shape of these and ordered them. They were small, so I didn’t get a chance to take any photos with them on, but these are fantastic! A little heavy, but the shape is beautiful and perfect for petites. Not so chunky, not overly wide, with the perfect almond shaped toe. The chain detail is a nice way to spice up your black combat boots, but I know they won’t be for everyone. I would go up a full size in these.