*image taken from http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com
The boots above represent styles from 1912. As you can see, most of the boot styles feature a button up style and box, or square toes. The heels are relatively the same height, shape and style. Even though this picture is black and white, it's probably true that the coloring of these boots is not much different.
Today, there are so many options of boots. There's dressy ones, casual ones, winter and snow boots, tall boots, short boots, mid calf boots, and the list goes on and on. Buttons are typically used today as accents or finishing touches, not as a means to give you a secure fit. Instead, zippers were put into place. Many more brands, colors, styles and price ranges are available today than there used to be as well.