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Last year, I wore slippers 90% of the time. Don’t get me wrong, it was kind of nice to give my feet a rest while working from home, but my OOTDs suffered greatly, and I’m excited to invest in 2021’s boot trends and get a leg (err, foot) up on fall and winter’s hottest footwear.
When shopping for boots, I always, always ensure I’ve already got the staples in my closet first. Black suede booties? Check. Brown leather riding boots? Check. Sparkly heeled pair I’ll only wear on New Year’s Eve? I know it’s silly, but check. From there, I allow myself to shop a few new pairs according to the year’s biggest trends, along with whatever else catches my eye—and luckily, those two areas overlap when it comes to 2021. Four top trends stand out among the rest, and I’ll definitely be shopping them all.
First on the list is the return of the combat boot and in the words of Lizzo, I’ve been waiting on this one. Just trust that these aren’t the same boots you wore back in high school, as the look has definitely been elevated. Next up are cowboy boots, a trend I absolutely did not see coming but 100 percent adore. Let’s go shopping, y’all!
Moving right along, the next top trend is a tall boot with a skinny-mini heel, so say goodbye to block heels for a hot minute I promise, you’ll hardly miss them! Last but not least, a trend that started picking up speed in fall 2020 and will ride all the way into 2021: the lug sole. Think of the chunkiest, heaviest soles you can image, and slap those on to combat boots, Chelsea boots, etc.
I know you’re dying to shop these trends too, so without any further ado, read on for 2021’s best boot trends and my top selects for each.
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Mallory Leather Combat Boot
A patterned combat boot that doesn’t look cheesy can be hard to come by, but I’d argue that Aerosoles latest collab with Laura Ashley has produced the perfect pair. The eco-friendly and vegan Steph Boots feature a ditsy floral fabric with creamy laces and a tan lug sole.
Even city-slickers can’t resist the charm of a boot with some western flair! High fashion meets rodeo-chic with the return of the cowboy boot trend—and you don’t have to like country music to get in on the fun. Style these up the way you would traditional riding boots to give any look a more eclectic feel.
Dagget Western Boot
Jeffrey Campbell knows a thing or two about a trendy shoe, so I’m hardly surprised that the Dagget Boots are the perfect cowboy boot I’ve been searching for. They come in a few colors and textures, but the bold pink is a power move.
If you’re looking for a more classic all-black pick, look no further than Steve Madden’s Hayward Boot, which looks good with everything from denim to mini dresses. If you’d like a little contrast, these also come in white.
Kiss block heels goodbye, because stiletto boots are very much a thing now. If you aren’t into height, don’t fret! A tall boot with a short heel is the perfect juxtaposition. Reserve these for nights out when you know you’ll call an Uber—you don’t want to risk struggling in the street in these babies.
Kailynn Knee High Snake Print Boots
A snakeskin boot is always chic, so these Kailynn Knee High Boots from Chinese Laundry’s 42 Gold are a timeless investment. You can totally handle a 3.5″ heel, babe! Stop (literally) selling yourself short.
Is marrying a pair of boots legal? IRO’s Hygie Boots have me that deeply in love. Yes, they’re a pretty penny, but you can wear them with virtually everything on your fall and winter fashion mood board, so you’d definitely get your money’s worth.
Last but not least, chunk it up with heavy lug soles, the trend that’s perfect for outdoor adventuring and edgy street style. Heavy lug soles were all the rage last year, so it’s safe to say they’ll still be chic for fall and winter 2021, especially when paired with a statement coat for maximum drama.
Amulet Chain Booties
Someone, anyone, buy me these boots! Boot chains and shoelery (“shoe jewelry”) are also huge this season, so Steve Madden hit the nail on the head with the Amulet Chain Booties.
Meron Platform Chelsea Boot
A color-blocked lug sole boot is truly the season’s most versatile shoe, and these Marc Fisher Ltd babies are begging to be dressed up with leather trousers or down with leggings and your coolest hoodie.
A version of this article previously appeared in December 2020.