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In 2020, I wore slippers 90% of the time. Don’t get me wrong, it was kind of nice to give my feet a rest while working from home, but my OOTDs suffered greatly, and I’m excited to invest in 2021’s boot trends and get a leg (err, foot) up on next year’s hottest footwear.
When shopping for boots, I always, always ensure I’ve already got the staples in my closet first. Black suede booties? Check. Brown leather riding boots? Check. Sparkly heeled pair I’ll only wear on New Year’s Eve? I know it’s silly, but check. From there, I allow myself to shop a few new pairs according to the year’s biggest trends, along with whatever else catches my eye—and luckily, those two areas overlap when it comes to 2021. Four top trends stand out among the rest, and I’ll definitely be shopping them all.
First on the list is the knee-high shaft height, and in the words of Lizzo, I’ve been waiting on this one. I love the look of an over-the-knee boot, but the feel? It’s a no from me. Pulling them up all day and having them continuously fall down is such a drag. Next on the list is chain link details—think jewelry for your shoes. From gold chains to silver bars, the possibilities are endless.
Moving right along, the next top trend is a western flair, but don’t think you have to go full cowboy to get the look. Even more formal silhouettes will play with this trend, and the results will put your basic, round-toed boots to shame. Last but not least, a trend that started picking up speed in fall 2020 and will ride all the way into 2021: the lug sole. Think of the chunkiest, heaviest soles you can image, and slap those on to combat boots, Chelsea boots, etc.
I know you’re dying to shop these trends too, so without any further ado, read on for 2021’s best boot trends and my top selects for each.
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Bickley Quilted Tall Boot
It’s hard to believe, but knee-high boots have finally knocked over-the-knee boots off the trend list. Finally, no more pulling them up for hours on end! Splurge on a great black pair like this faux-quilted pick from Kurt Geiger.
Dexie Block Heel Tall Boot
Patterned OTK boots were always a little intimidating, but they’re totally doable for the knee-high height! These fun Steve Madden boots serve just the right amount of snakeskin.
Chain Lift Bootie
Jewelry-like details are all the range for 2021 footwear, from sandals to slides to (duh) boots. Don’t hesitate to splurge on these dreamy Stuart Weitzman booties with their gold chunky chains.
Black and gold too obvious for you? Try something different with this gorgeous camel and silver combo from Franco Sarto. Loving those croc-embossed uppers!
Cowboy Like Me
Maryana Pointed Toe Boot
Hondouras Western Boot
Booties with some cowboy flair are just as in, and I love the shiny brown patent leather look on these square-toed Topshop boots, also available in black.
Ava Platform Combat Boot
Last but not least, chunk it up with heavy lug soles, the trend that’s perfect for outdoor adventuring and edgy street style. This is a great way to elevate a classic combat boot, like this style from Topshop.
Painter Lug Sole Booties
A white boot always makes a statement, and paired with a chunky black lug sole? Talk about head-turning. These Villa Rouge boots are total must-haves, also available in black if you prefer a more understated colorway.