I have free-fallen into a world in Rome where the only thing more common than pizza, pasta and gelato is the LBB — otherwise known as (perhaps more self-proclaimed) the little black boot. Every store, from thrift to vintage, designer to discount street stand, all unite in selling some version of the LBB.

I love the fact that whenever I am in need of a new cheap boot to survive this bipolar weather, I don’t have to look very hard or stretch my wallet too far. The LBB is practical for walking miles and miles around the cobblestoned city. They are also the perfect shoes for any type of setting. Wearing them to class, to gelato and then to a night out in Campo di Fiori (but here’s hoping your night never ends in Campo) — every girl, American, Italian, whatever, all sing their praises of the LBB when at the end of a long night of dancing or drinking, they can walk home (when the night bus fails to arrive as it always does) and their feet won’t feel like they’ve been through hell.

Ankle boots have been trending for a few years, but there has never been this much variety. Designers like Alexander Wang, Christian Louboutin and ready-to-wear rag & bone are just some of the fashion labels taking stock and offering designs of their own, versions with an added touch, as well as a zero or two onto the price.

The LBB is definitely also popular in the United States, but not to the extent that it is here in Europe, especially in Rome. I find my wardrobe slowly being taken over by LBBs. And that’s the beauty of it, no two pairs look the same. Simple and black, sleek or bulky, with zips or chains, buckles and heels, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Affordability is also something I have noticed here, especially with a pair of LBBs. I may be in a major fashion hub with designer labels left and right, however for every designer store there are four shoe boutiques or leather shops just waiting to sell a quality pair of LBBs for 15 euros or less.

So here I am, wandering the cobbled streets of Rome in my LBBs simply looking for the next pair to add to my collection. Who knew picking out a pair of little black boots could turn into a hobby?

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