People have lightened black shoes like this and then redarkened them as another color. Often black shoes will have discolorations and issues with the leather that may appear if you attempt to lighten them. For that reason, you'd be advised to recolor them with another dark shade. Still, despite being black, this boot looks great in person, much better than in the photos.
Thanks for the heads-up. I'll make a judgement call after seeing them in person. You're right, AE's website is notoriously bad with pictures.