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The Definitive Guide to Fall Boots

The Definitive Guide to Fall Boots

If the shift in weather brings with it a certain level of closet anxiety, take comfort in knowing that starting from scratch is far from the only solution: A fresh pair of boots goes a long way toward fall-ifying what you already own and tying together a handful of trend-driven additions. Here, the six silhouettes we’re relying on to do the heavy lifting—whether it’s borrowed-from-the-runway newness or the classics making their annual appearance (tweaked just so to feel right for the season).

COWBOY (LITE)

A far cry from its somewhat costumey ancestors, the revival of the cowboy boot is kept purposefully minimal: gently slanted heels, strategic stitching, slight pops of color, and little else. Most are slim enough to tuck into jeans vs. the other way around.

The Definitive Guide to Fall Boots

Brooke Shields for Calvin Klein, shot by Richard Avedon

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KITTEN-HEEL

The ladylike kitten-heel has proven its staying power season after season. In the spirit of balance, the hyper-girly shape works particularly well with menswear-inspired suiting and shorter hemlines; for a more modern take, consider a pair with a sock-like body.

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COMBAT

A love letter to ‘90s-era grunge, the new combat boot—tough, edge-driven, and sleek all at once—has come a long way from the clunkers of our youth. The minimalist profile pairs especially well with slinky, feminine skirts and floaty dresses.

The Definitive Guide to Fall Boots

BLOCK-HEEL

Whether you’re replacing a well-loved pair (take the opportunity to play with color—burgundy, white, and more—and texture, just for kicks) or finally buying into the versatility of a stacked heel, this staple is as chic as it is functional, accommodating all hemlines and silhouettes with zero effort.

SLOUCHY

It’s no surprise that this polished, go-with-everything shape (try skinny jeans, flowing skirts, and mini-dresses) has been a key player throughout the decades. Done in varying heights and degrees of detail, there’s something for everyone.

The Definitive Guide to Fall Boots

COURTESY OF SAINT LAURENT

The Definitive Guide to Fall Boots

Maude Adams by Irving Penn, Vogue, August 1967

OVER-THE-KNEE

This dramatic silhouette demands attention, meaning you don’t have to work too hard with your outfit choices—simply team opaque tights or skinnies with an oversize boyfriend sweater. Done and done.

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