Women's boots are vastly different from the boots worn by men for the simple reason that women wear them more for their oomph factor. The knee-high and the thigh-high boots really have to do more with the sexy feminine factor than functionality. These have been made famous by ramp strutting female models and movies like Pretty Woman.
These come up to the knees when worn. Generally, the boots will end somewhere below the kneecap, and there are several ways of wearing them. Women might wear them with pants like men's cowboy boots, they might wear them with a short skirt, or just in about any way that is the flavor of the season. There are endless colors here, and sometimes their style is so unique that women would prefer to shop for the boots first and then the rest of their ensemble.
These boots can be made of leather, synthetic rubber, or any material from the polyvinyl carbonate family. The materials can be kept plain and matte-finished for ordinary wear, or they might be made ultra glossy for a more glamorous touch. They can be zipped, buckled, laced, braided, or simply slipped on if they fit right. Common heel types that you can find on these shoes are stilettos and platform heels, but flats are also becoming common.
Generally, these shoes can be worn to work as well as to a party. Women who have to work outdoors a lot can wear them for protection. They are also good for picnics. At the same time, they can be a proud part of the woman's entire ensemble for a party. As such, these boots are quite versatile.
'Thigh-high' implies that they come up to the thighs. Their length is variable, but they can be identified by the fact that these shoes will be generally way above the knee. Their make and structure is mostly the same as the knee-highs, but the materials used is more flexible to allow for the movement of the knee as it will be inside the boot.
But unlike knee-highs, the thigh-highs are used by women exclusively for fashion. Julia Roberts made these boots famous with her act in Pretty Woman, which included a scene of her seductively getting out of them. In recent years, these boots have stepped from the world of pure glamor to the world of erotica, and even fetish. Foot and leg fetishism is a huge domain for thigh-highs, and there is a whole world of alternative sex around these boots. Women wearing thigh-highs are usually typecast as the upper hand in sadomasochism.
Most female music divas of today have sported thigh-highs somewhere or the other, and some of them have even performed live concerts in these boots. Some of the big names in the world of haute couture are creating a fashion niche for these shoes and they are marvelously succeeding. So, even when there is a lot of typecasting for these boots, it is quite evident that they have their place in the mainstream fashion too.