It's really hard to find a pair of lace-up boots that are this shaft height, so I was excited about these. The black suede is substantial, but overall the boots don't look heavy. The rounded toe makes these boots look fairly casual, just a little slouchy, but they still work well with a casual dress or tucked into leggings. The lacing is a bit problematic because it shifts around as the day progresses, but I think that's just a trade-off if you want the convenience of the side zipper. I have a high arch and instep that is sometimes a problem with boots, but this pair even accommodates my inserts or orthotics.