Fall Boots

Whoops, I disappeared there for a while.  In all honesty, after I opened my etsy shop I became very discouraged with myself and my work.  Not quite sure where I was going with it and it sort of led to a rut.   But enough on that topic...
In a recent post I wrote about how I cleaned out my wardrobe, with nothing left but my favorites and essentials.  Now that it's slowly getting colder, it's time I add a few pieces for fall and winter.
Boots Boots by scriptandserif on Polyvore.com

 Boots have definitely been on my mind lately.  After my trip to Portland I realized that all my shoes didn't really cover my feet! For every day wear I usually slip on a pair of ballet  flats or moccasins, neither of which cover the top of my foot or even allow me to pair them with woolly socks.  As much as I love the Clark desert boot inspired wedges on the left,  I think I'd wear a pair of flat boots more often.  Unfortunately I haven't really found one that fits the bill.  I did however come across a pair of my ideal boots, except they have a heel!

Other than looking for my ideal boot, I'd like to learn more about the process of them being made.  What's the difference between a moderately priced shoe and a designer shoe?  Is it the quality of materials?  Craftsmanship? I'm sure both play a part, but what about ethical production?  There are plenty of clothing designers that design with the environment in mind, and we are often given a glimpse into their production.  Some examples of such are not using sweat shops in third world countries and using organic materials. But what about shoes?  How and where was the leather sourced? Where were they assembled? How do I know quality pieces are being used? As passionate as I am about ethically produced clothing, it is much harder to find information about the origin of my shoes.