Boots are to fall what sandals are to summer: a quintessential pairing. They’re flattering and functional, and—when properly styled—they can elevate practically any outfit. With a variety of styles to choose from, finding a pair of fall boots you love isn’t nearly as tricky as figuring out what to wear them with. That’s why we’re breaking down four of this season’s essentials (Chelsea boots, hiking boots, combat boots and knee-highs) and offering ideas on how wear them. Since skinny jeans are a given, and we’re not about the obvious, we strayed away from this style of denim to give you some new and unexpected options.
Chelsea boots are known (and long loved) for their right-at-the-ankle height and the stretchy side panels that make them easy to slide into. While they’re traditionally sleek, this year lugged soles are adding some attitude and driving their status as Best Fall Boots. Given the shorter silhouette, this type of boot is arguably the most versatile and looks great with almost anything—just as long as you pay attention to proportions. If you fancy a modern vibe, try pairing your Chelsea boots with ankle-length pants, then top off with a cozy, figure-framing sweater to balance the look.
Color-blocked hikers are a fresh way to tap into fall’s utilitarian trend—and as a bonus, they’re crazy comfortable. Hiking boots have a sturdy silhouette that’s usually associated with jeans and casual wear, but they’re also surprisingly right with a midi dress and color-coordinated knits. Just keep the tones and textures rich and this city-country combo will always look good.
Ready for Combats
If you’re looking for an easy way to amp up your casual wear, nothing beats a pair of combat boots. With weather-ready construction and utilitarian design, style and function are combined to create a shoe that’s ideal for everything from visiting a pumpkin patch to meeting for a coffee date. For a casual day, style your pair with loose jeans and your favorite layers. Or dress them up with dark, skinny pants and a tailored blazer for a timeless outfit—that offers just a little edge.
There are few footwear options that are as fabulous as sleek, knee-high boots. We love anything that allows us to look like we put a lot more time and thought into getting dressed than we actually did. With their long lines, tall boots create a clean slate, so you have all kinds of options. Try pairing them with pieces that add volume, like a skirt with lots of movement or one of fall’s dramatic cocoon coats.
Once you find your favorites, be sure to give them a little love to help ensure their longevity. Learn how to protect your investment and keep your boots looking great longer with our guide to caring for suede and leather boots.