I currently have five pairs of black boots in my rotation; a knee-high pair, three ankle boots with varying heel heights, and some hiker-style lace-ups that have were incredibly useful during the January cold snap. Typically, boots cost more than other shoe styles as they require considerably more fabric than, say, a pair of slingbacks or loafers, so I always view them as an investment. However, it’s one with no real risk—versatile and incredibly sleek, black boots are the cornerstone of every good outfit I see on Instagram right now. From knee-high to ankle, flat to heeled, it seems fashion people are forgoing the more statement boot trends of the season for failsafe black, just as I have always done. The big question is, with so many pairs out there, which black boots are the best black boots? I’ve assembled a handful for every style below.