You see how picky I am about my shoes — and they only go on my feet!

Though I love mostly all of the lines spoken by Cher in Clueless (1995), I have to say, this is one of my favorites — and most relevant to my current situation. Which is why I caught myself speaking this exact sentence, word for word, to my roommate yesterday — followed by a frustrated, “I can’t believe we’re still doing this.”

After spending the better part of Sunday afternoon browsing Web sites, from Zappos to Piperlime to Shopbop in search of the perfect pair of boots, I’ll admit: the long hours expended that day, combined with the nearly daily trips to all of the shoe stores on my way home from work last week, has become more than a little draining — even for me, a gal who isn’t afraid to confess she has a mild obsession with shoes. But the fact of the matter is, by this time of the year just about every year, I am going through the motions of the same frustrating task: searching for boots.

You see, boots — and I think I can speak on behalf of most of the females I know — are an extremely vital element of fall fashion. This time of year we can’t be as flippant with our footwear as we are during the warmer months. In other words, while shelves of cute sandals and flip-flops are appropriate, if not necessary mid-April through mid-September, once the leaves start changing we’re pretty much limited to a standard pair of everyday boots that we’ll wear, well, everyday for the next five (if we’re lucky) to six months.

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And for that reason, it is imperative that I find a pair that I really, really like — and could visualize wearing with 85 percent of the outfits in my closet. (And also why my tireless efforts to find the ideal boot intruded on my original Sunday afternoon plans to catch one of the matinee showings of Burn After Reading.)

Though, fortunately — like most girls I’ve been talking to — I’m seriously impressed with the boot trends this year. From leather riding boots to suede, flat-heeled knee-highs, in very appealing colors other than black (think: charcoal and chocolate), there are a ton of great options out there. But because I am so particular about this important purchase, I’ve yet to find a pair that suits me just right. (Maybe there are just too many fabulous options?) Though it’s okay for the time being, as the temperatures aren’t expected to dip below 65 degrees this week, the shorter days and turning foliage are telling me I haven’t much time until I’m going to need those boots.

What about you? Do you share in my frustration with having to find the perfect boot year after year? Have you spent hours perusing the Internet and running to the shoe stores five days a week for the past month? And more importantly, have you found your ideal pair of boots for this year?

I’d love to hear your stories — and suggestions on where I can find my perfect pair. But if you haven’t found yours yet, here are a few places where I’ve been lucky in the past, and hopefully will (soon) be this time around!

Aldo (eight locations in the Hudson Valley)
Ann Taylor (four locations in the Hudson Valley)
Banana Republic (five locations in the Hudson Valley)
Macy’s (eight locations in the Hudson Valley)
Maria Luisa Boutique, Nyack
Nine West (three locations in the Hudson Valley)
Pegasus Comfort Footwear, Woodstock
Woodstock Design, Woodstock

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