Every fall brings with it a new wave of shoe trends, and 2023 is no different. But while last autumn saw a barrage of new TikTok aesthetics every week, this year the trends feel much more solid, with real staying power (unlike Plazacore). In fact, many of the boot styles that are trending right now you very well may already own. But whether you’re in the market for some fresh new footwear or are simply looking to rewear your old stand-bys, it’s important to know exactly what to pair them with for maximum chicness. Here, six boot trends that are sure to garner all the compliments, along with tips on exactly how to wear them in 2023.
The 6 Fall Boot Trends That Will Rule 2023, and One That’s Totally Dated
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1. Lace-Up and Moto Boots
Dr. Martens, a timeless boot choice at this point, are back up near the top of our list of must-haves thanks to the current ‘90s revival. But also up there are more fashion-forward motorcycle boots adorned with buckles and studs, and often with taller shafts for a more attention-grabbing look. Classic Docs can be styled in any number of ways, but for styles with a bit more oomph we suggest opting for a monochrome outfit. Matching the color of your boots to the rest of your look allows you room to play with a variety of aesthetics—glam rock, prairie, quiet luxury, preppy—without looking like you’re wearing a costume or got dressed in the dark.
2. Slouchy Thigh-Highs
Remember in the early 2010s when every single model owned (and wore to pieces) a pair of Stuart Weitzman suede thigh-high boots? Well, those sky-high styles are back, but this time they have a distinctly edgier vibe as leather usurps suede and looser silhouettes replace skin-tight shafts. We love how the relaxed leather helps offset the inherent sexiness of this particular boot, which makes it easier to wear them with mini lengths and not feel quite so Vivian Ward.
3. Cowboy Lite
Cowboy boots have been an ongoing trend for years now, and while funky, statement pairs are definitely a fun option for the Eras or Renaissance tours, for everyday wear we’re opting for what we call “cowboy lite.” This simplified variation has the feeling of a classic cowboy boot, like a curved silhouette at the top and a block heel, just with fewer details (e.g. little to no stitching, no contrasting panels). Lean into the elevated vibes with other sleek wardrobe staples for a simple but stylish finished look.
4. Classic Knee-High Boots
Two major shoe trends for fall 2023 are skinny heels and pointed toes, so why not sport both with this timeless boot silhouette? Simplicity is key here, so opt for a simple single-color boot without much adornment, although we’ll never say no to a good croc-embossed texture. As for how to wear them, we say lean into the timeless nature of these beauties and wear them with dark or medium wash denim (with no distressing), black leggings, a floral midi dress or a silky slip skirt and a button-up blouse, silk cami, plain white tee or cashmere knit up top.
5. Riding Boots
The return of this classic preppy boot style is definitely tied to the quiet luxury trend. Riding boots typically feature low heels (if any), sleek leather uppers and often the addition or a buckle around the ankle or up near the cuff. This time around we prefer to offset the preppy vibes with a hip-hugging ribbed sweater dress, a Mod black mini skirt or a boho nap dress, rather than plaid skirts or riding pants. And whatever you do, avoid leggings or skinny jeans with blazers unless you want to look like you’re lost in the early aughts.
6. Foldover Boots
This funky high-fashion silhouette is a great way to shake up a more classic silhouette without going too outside the norm. Foldover boots are those which have the look of extra material folded over the shaft to create a slight slouch just below the ankle. We likely have Givenchy to thank for this one with its popular Shark Lock Boots made popular by a plethora of fashion influencers. To avoid looking too bottom heavy, we suggest wearing these with mini lengths or light, flowy midi skirts rather than jeans or other pant styles.
7. Retire: Short Western Booties
OK, so these boots will never truly be a fashion faux pas, but with so many more interesting styles popping up this season, we think it’s time you give these standbys a rest. If you’re having a hard time giving them up, try a brown or black Chelsea boot (preferably with a chunkier lug sole, but you do you) as a way to ease you into wearing something different.
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