The Fall 2021 Shoe Trends to Slide Into Now

Good news: Practical yet fabulous cold-weather footwear never goes out of style.

fall shoe trends
BRIDGET BURNS

If one fashion category served as an indicator of the current mood about getting dressed, it would be footwear. Like many things during this year at home, shoes were scrutinized and, eventually, edited out our lives. Pairs that were borderline uncomfortable or unworn for months were banished to the closet or donated in favor of house shoes and easy-to-slip-on flats for the times we left the house. While many of us have embraced a freeing life empty of high heels with no turning back, it doesn’t mean they are going away for good. Designers recognized this for their fall collections, but cleverly offered consumers very strong go-to options we’ve seen before—like lower-heel slouchy boots, platformed boots, and lug-soled oxfords for those who long for a little height. They also took into our at-home dressing into consideration with fuzzy slipper styles that have an indoor/outdoor appeal. So, whether you need a refresh of one of these reliable trends or want to double down on flats in lieu of stilettos, swipe through to see how we’ll be stepping into fall.

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Slouchy Boots
slouchy boots trend
COURTESY OF GABRIELLA HEARST, KHAITE

While this style has been around the block a few times, we love it as a textured staple in a monochromatic look. Plus, it's so easy to wear with leggings (a lockdown staple we’ve yet to be able to part with). Arbiters of chic style, Gabriella Hearst (left) and Khaite (right), both agreed that slouchy is the way to go for tall boots this season.

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Elle Slouch Knee High Boot
Free People Nordstrom
$248.00

These super-slouchy boots pack a ton of texture. Pair with a camel knit dress for a pulled-together monochromatic moment.

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Sunday Morning Boots
Courtesy of Tamara Mellon
Tamara Mellon tamaramellon.com
$795.00

Shoe royalty Tamara Mellon has dubbed these round-toe slouchy boots as the next covetable throw-on-and-go style from her namesake line.

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Leather Knee Boots
Khaite net-a-porter.com
$1,200.00

New York-based It-brand Khaite strikes gold again with this low-heeled boot that has just the right amount of slouch.

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Shushan Slouchy Suede Pull-On Boots
Manolo Blahnik bergdorfgoodman.com
$965.00

I know, I know, an investment white boot? Get your cobbler on speed dial because these will need regular maintenance. However, a pair of Manolos are forever if you take great care of them.

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Punky Oxfords
shoe trends
COURTESY OF PHILLIP LIM, SIMONE ROCHA

A nod to '80s British counterculture, this heavy-soled lace-up is making the rounds again once more for this upcoming fall. Seen in earth tones like this olive green at Philip Lim (left) and with serious platform height at Simone Rocha (right), designers pulled out some interesting twists on this edgy staple. Trade in your trusty loafers for this heavier-soled silhouette to elevate a slouchy suit or floral print day dress.

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1461 Quad Platform Derby
Dr. Martens nordstrom.com
$150.00

It doesn’t get more classic than a pair of Docs, but we love this version in a refreshing pop of white to wear with autumnal neutral tones.

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Dorin Leather Lug-Sole Oxford Loafers
Courtesy of Mark Fisher LTD
Marc Fisher LTD https://www.neimanmarcus.com
$170.00

Pair these with oatmeal slouchy socks and a coordinating sweater and you'll have an instantly fresh fall look.

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Martie Lace-Up Lug Oxfords
Courtesy of Dolce Vita
Dolce Vita macys.com
$59.93

Light beige canvas softens the look of this pair, but the heavy sole keeps up with the toughness of this trend. 

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Lug-Sole Oxfords
Courtesy of Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney saksfifthave.com
$895.00

These platform-height soles are super graphic but also somehow able to go with most things you may already have in your closet, from printed dresses to a short suit. 

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Fancy Fuzzy Slippers
fuzzy slippers
COURTESY OF COACH, PROENZA SCHOULER

This is a trend to tread lightly (and quite comfortably) with, as the designers at both Coach (left) and Proenza Schouler (right) intended. The options for slippers are more widely available than ever, but be discerning about your choice. When looking for a furry slipper that is also appropriate for the outside world, make sure the soles are substantial. Wood or leather soles rather than something soft-soled means they are intended to stand up against pavement. Another tip to look like you’re not just wearing your indoor shoes outdoors: Pair them with a polished dress or peeking out underneath an oversized suit for an unexpected pop of texture.

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Teddy Slippers
Courtesy of Monki
Monki monki.com
$18.00

These puffy slippers are made from recycled teddy polyester, making the case for a better faux shearling option. 

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Ballerina Flats
Marni shopbop.com
$850.00

These are fuzzy but the ballerina shape is narrow so they don't overwhelm the foot.

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Fluff Sugar Sandal
Courtesy of UGG
UGG ugg.com
$110.00

This funky style from Ugg is also one the greenest shoes the brand has produced: the "fluff" is made from Tencel and the sole is made from renewable sugarcane. 

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Jenni Kayne Genuine Shearling Mule
Courtesy of Jenni Kayne
Jenni Kayne nordstrom.com
$395.00

This chic caramel color in shearling will be a go-to all fall long  to pair with knit dresses and slouchy suiting. 

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Power Platforms
COURTESY OF PRADA, BROTHER VELLIES

Platforms made the rounds on runways this past Spring as more stable and comfortable alternatives to stilettos. Unlike those in natural materials like wood and straw espadrille styles, the platform returns for Fall in heavy, dark colored leather boots, shown at Prada (left) and Molly Goddard (right). Opt in for these if you’re looking for a strong and impactful way to add some height under a dress or with extra-long cuffed jeans.

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Leather Platform Booties
Prada Prada.com
$1,020.00

Since the runway styles just shown won’t hit stores for a minute, maybe these tan Chelseas from Prada will hold you over.

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Vegetarian Leather Platform Ankle Boots
Courtesy of Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney net-a-porter.com
$895.00

Like all of her accessories, these Stella McCartney platforms are sustainably minded in vegan leather with a rubber sole.

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Groovy Black Smooth Boot
Dirty Laundy Zappos
$46.90

A little nervous to take this trend to serious heights? Try this one that brings silhouette down to Earth, literally. 

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Preston Platform Ankle Boots
Free People Free People
$248.00

These lug sole platforms in soft suede with a contrasting sole make the look a lot lighter in transitioning seasons.

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