Ankle Boots – Embellished or Plain?

Ankle boots are the city dweller’s best friend in the colder months, easily switching from outside to inside, from sporty wear to fancy wear. Whether the ankle boot is embellished or plain does make a difference – the embellished ones are obviously more visually exciting, but the plain ones are easier to combine with different outfits. I picked out two sets of ankle boots, designed and made in Spain: one embellished, one plain, by four great, reputable Spanish brands. Let’s take a closer look!

Embellished Ankle Boots

RAS Shoes

ankle boots
Stud-embellished mid-heel ankle boot by RAS Shoes FW16-17.
ankle boots
RAS Shoes embellished ankle boots.

I simply couldn’t resist including this gold studded ankle boot by RAS. The brand really wrote the textbook on embellished shoes. I’ve raved about over-the-top fantasy designs by RAS many times on this blog.  This mid-heel ankle boot from the current collection is decked out in several rows of  round gold-colored metallic studs, both solid and hollow, varying in size. The variance in size and style is what makes this whole thing work: otherwise, it is very easy to overdo it with studs or to fall into a rocker boot cliché. The shiny studs also bring out the sheen in the high-quality large-grained leather.

ankle boots
The Chelsea-boot version. From the RAS Shoes Fall-Winter 16-17

How to style them is another question, but all black seems to be the simplest solution. No other pattern, color or monochrome, could successfully compete with this boot’s flashy studdedness. A solid color top, red or another strong color, would work with black pants or skirt and a black jacket. These ankle boots are definitely a statement piece, suited for many settings except the office.

The boot is not currently available to purchase from the RAS online shop, unfortunately. RAS shoes are mainly available in Europe, Asia, and Australia. If you are in one of those parts of the world, you can use the Store Finder feature on the brand’s website to find a shop stocking this gold-studded wonder in your area. The price is likely to be in the high 200s (Euros).

NOTE: RAS Shoes are not suitable for normal to wide or wide feet.

Neon Boots

ankle boots
Jagger Walker Chelsea-style ankle boot by Neon Boots. 199 Euros on the Neon Boots website.

This platform ankle boot by Neon Boots does not feature any extra detailing, but in my eyes, the use of textured leather does qualifies as an embellishment. The metallic python-effect leather in the back contrasts beautifully with the black suede in the front. The two halves are connected by the silver colored elastic. This Chelsea-style boot also gets some additional wow points for the crimson leather lining.

The platform gives it height, without sacrificing the comfort. After all, they are called “Walker” for something!

Now, how well do these ankle boots style? Well, they would go well with both black and light colored jeans, but they wouldn’t work as well with blue jeans. A denim skirt might work, on the other hand. The silver-colored reptile print and gleaming white rubber sole equal a pretty wide choice of tops and jackets, as long as they are not too formal. NOTE: A Chelsea-boot is NOT a formal boot (for a complete run-down on the Chelsea-boot by Franchomme of the popular Attire Club blog you can also go here).

Plain Ankle Boots


ankle boots
Yua” suede ankle boot by Martinelli.

This ultra-feminine, ultra-elegant medium heel suede ankle boot by Martinelli is perfection itself. The company designers call this style the “Belle Époque” – a French term that nostalgically describes a peaceful and prosperous period in Western European history, from the 1870s to the beginning of the Great War of 1914. The enigmatically named “Yua” boot definitely represents a fine example of shoe making finesse. The elongated profile is absolutely lovely, the suede seamless, literally. The seams are all hidden and even the eyelets for the lacing are as understated as they go. The designers did their best to make this shoe appear as one beautiful piece, with the least distraction possible, a polar opposite of the RAS boot above.

Martinelli Laced Ankle Boot
Yua” suede lace up ankle boot by Martinelli.

Despite its Italian-sounding name, Martinelli is one of the most respected and loved Spanish dress shoe brands. In 2007 the brand ran into some financial troubles (as many other brands did, as well) and was bought by Pikolinos, a hugely successful Spanish casual shoes brand, with a distribution net all over the world. Martinelli became a gem in the Pikolinos crown. Under the Martinelli brand, Pikolinos continues to produce the same classic dress shoes for women and men that Martinelli was always admired for.

ankle boots
The “Yua‘ boot by Martinelli would add sophistication and class to practically any urban look.

In terms of styling, the “Yua” boot screams for a skirt and some nice tights – it would be a pity to hide its pretty profile. Of course, it would work great with pants too. Basically, it would work with any urban attire – slacks, jeans, any length skirt, everything except the “lumberjack look“.

The Martinelli online shop, operated by Pikolinos, does not deliver outside of Europe. In North America Martinelli shoes can be found at Nordstrom, though not online, as I found out. They fall into a medium-high price range. A small selection is also available at YOOX at good discounts. I think that the North American romance with Martinelli shoes is only beginning.


ankle boots
Taupe suede ankle boots by Spiffy. Made in Spain.

Taupe suede ankle boots are everywhere this season. I’m in downtown Toronto quite frequently and I see so many women out there sporting those soft looking, neutral color boots. Taupe is the ultimate neutral. The ones above are made by a Spanish company called Spiffy (a quirky English word meaning “cute” in a well-appointed kind of sense). Spiffy is part of the Valencian group of Spanish shoe manufacturers. The company produces its shoes in Elche, a major shoe manufacturing hub in Alicante (Alicante is part of Valencia).

Their taupe ankle boots look comfy. The company boasts its own in-house comfort technology called the AutoClave System. They are also pretty spiffy, living up to the brand name.

ankle boots
Handmade in Spain by Spiffy. 110 Euros on the Spiffy website for residents of Spain and France.

So here you go, four different boots by four different brands, all Spanish made. The number of looks you could create with them is virtually unlimited.

NOTE: Spiffy found out about the Spanishoegallery Blog through a blog post that was written about us by a successful Spanish shoe blogger Patricia Jorge, of the El Blog de Patricia !Quiero Esos Zapatos! (Patricia’s Blog: I Want Those Shoes). They contacted me and expressed interest in appearing on the blog. It’s always nice when that happens. As I liked the shoes, I was happy to oblige. Hopefully, I have an update on whether the shoes are sold in North America soon. The company’s online shop delivers only within France and Spain.

Embellished or Plain?

Preferably both, of course:), as both are great. However, I’m seeing that most women do prefer the plain ones. It is easier, no doubt. Life is busy, winter is chilly, you just want to blend in. However, if you can afford the flashy boot type, by all means, go for it. You will be doing us all a favor.


About Me

Ann Mailsi is a writer and social media buff based in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. Her interests include fashion, technology, and nature adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe to our newsletter and get our newest updates right on your inbox.