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Boots are definitely our favorite fall item to shop for, but this year we’re even more excited to refresh our footwear collection and actually start wearing our hot new pieces out on the town. While there are some styles that are perpetually en vogue (looking at you brown leather ankle booties), this fall there are five boot trends primed and ready to reign supreme. Here are the best trends to invest in right now, plus one style you’re better off retiring to the back of your closet.

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chunky chelsea boots fall boot trends 2021
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1. Chunky Chelsea Boots

Chunky soles are in for just about every boot style, but we think they’re easiest to pull off as part of a Chelsea ankle boot. Balance the inherently grungy vibe with lightweight, floaty materials (a floral midi dress or ribbed knit pants both work well), and don’t be afraid to let a pair of contrasting socks poke up from the top.

Shop the trend: Dirty Laundry ($70; $63); Caslon ($100); Marc Fisher Ltd ($199; $130); Timberland ($150); Dr. Martens ($180); Ganni ($245)

cowboy boots fall boot trends 2021
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2. Cowboy Boots

Yes, the Western style is back in action. This time, however, we find ourselves gravitating toward color-block designs, stiletto silhouettes and other glam twists on the trend, rather than classic brown, block-heel styles. Wear them with mini dresses while the weather’s still warm. Once chilly fall temperatures truly hit, tuck your old skinny jeans into the boot and layer a standout blouse on top.

Shop the trend: Dingo ($140); Durango ($195); Dolce Vita ($200); Anthropologie ($250); Jeffrey Campbell ($315); Toral ($431)

slouchy tall boots fall boot trends 2021
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3. Tall, Slouchy Styles

Much like workleisure and the rise of tennis-inspired outfits, this trend bridges the gap between our desire to finally get dressed up after so many months of quarantine and our reluctance to fully let go of our sweatsuit uniform. The tall shaft height, which is very often combined with a pointy toe and thin heel (although it doesn’t need to be), feels inherently dressy while the slouchy silhouette helps keep things a bit more casual. Our favorite way to style them is with a tailored shirtdress or A-line midi that hits just an inch or two lower than the top of the boot.

Shop the trend: Public Desire ($63); Journee ($90); Free People ($168); Anthropologie ($200); Silent D ($228); Vince Camuto ($230)

dr martens lace up boots fall boot trends 2021
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4. Classic Dr. Martens

Combat boots of all types are a major trend for fall 2021, but lace-up Doc Martens will never go out of style, which is why we recommend investing in these beauties rather than a more over-the-top pair. That said, if you’ve been dreaming of those mini bag-adorned Prada boots ever since they stomped the runway in 2019, go for it! Wear them with everything, from pleated midi skirts to tailored suiting to mini-length tent dresses and enjoy this super-comfy trend while it lasts.

Shop the trend: Mix No. 6 ($50); Sam Edelman ($180; $108); Dr. Martens ($180); Bernardo ($218); See By Chloe ($545)

pointy toe tall boots fall boot trends 2021
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5. Pointy-Toe Knee-High Boots

This classic boot silhouette is back with a few different heel styles (stilettos, kitten heels, Cuban styles and block-heels are all on trend), but the top picks feature stand-out prints, bold colors or unexpected textures rather than neat, neutral-hued leather. Bold snakeskin designs are perhaps the easiest to pull off (simply pair them with other coordinating blacks, grays or browns), but other animal prints, metallic leathers, two-tone designs and vibrant color combos are also fun options to shake things up this fall. When in doubt, pair these “look at me!” boots with a classic LBD to really give them a chance to shine.

Shop the trend: Journee ($70); Faryl ($125); Who What Wear ($150); Schutz ($238); Raye ($258); Jeffrey Campbell ($320)

retire white booties for fall 2021
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6. Retire: White Booties

This Mod throwback was all we wanted to wear pre-pandemic, but now we find ourselves leaning toward more comfortable options that are easier to maintain—wiping down our pristine white booties after every wear is no longer something we’re willing to spend our time doing. If you absolutely love the look of a stark white boot, try a Chelsea or lace-up silhouette instead to keep things looking fresh.

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