Fake-Out Heels & More 2021 Boot Trends You Should Be Shopping

Bella Gerard
Fake-Out Heels & More 2021 Boot Trends You Should Be Shopping
Photo: Courtesy of Jeffrey Campbell; Steve Madden; Vince Camuto; Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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Last year, 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 fall and winter’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 return of the Bratz Doll boot, and in the words of Lizzo, I’ve been waiting on this one. Think chunky, clunky, sky-high platforms made for stomping around and looking chic AF. These can sometimes be hard to style, but if you channel your inner Yasmine or Jade, I promise it’s worth the effort.

Moving right along, the next top trend is a tall boot with a skinny fake-out heel, so say goodbye to block heels for a hot minute I promise, you’ll hardly miss them! These heels look thin on the sides, but are actually wide enough to offer ample support for a day of strutting your stuff.

Two more trends making a comeback? Lug soles reigned supreme last year and they show no signs of slowing down, and this summer’s cowboy boots are still in, too—but with a minor twist. Instead of full-on cowboy styles, Western-inspired details are the moment. You know what that means: Bring on the fringe!

I know you’re dying to shop, too, so read on for 2021’s best boot trends and my top selects for each.

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Bratz Doll

Everyone remembers Bratz Dolls’ mega-clunky shoes—and now, you can get a pair for yourself! Stomp around in chunky platform boots that add volume to your bottom half for a look that makes a major impact. So long, dainty footwear!

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Steve Madden.

Cobra Black Leather Boots

To me, these Steve Madden babies are the epitome of Bratz Doll chic. It’s the double platform and sky-high heel for me!

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Jeffrey Campbell.

Critical Platform Bootie

Jeffrey Campbell is my other go-to brand for statement-making boots, and these definitely serve chunky Bratz energy.


Fringe Fiend

True cowboy boots were all the rage this summer, but as we head into colder weather, the focus is less on actual rodeo styles and more on subtle Western details—think toe caps, decorative stitching or fringe. The latter of the free has become a favorite amongst the party set. This season, consider fringe boots the new stilettos for party attire.

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Jeffrey Campbell.

Cattle Boot

These Jeffrey Campbell boots are pricy, but damn, are they good. Of all the boots that claim to be “made for walking,” fringe boots do it best.

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Free People.

Wild Rose Slouch Boot

If you want something a touch more subtle, these shorter Free People boots get the job done.

Fake Out

If you like the look of a stiletto boot but need a little more stability, fake-out heels are for you. They’re basically slim rectangles that look like block heels from the back and stilettos from the side. Perfect for when you want to look dressed-up but not teeter around all evening.

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Vince Camuto.

Hersha Boot

These Vince Camuto knee-high boots come in tons of colors and patterns and have the perfect fake-out heel for rocking day or night.

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Naturalizer.

Platt Bootie

For something mid-calf, these Naturalizer booties are my favorites—and they’re on sale as we speak!


Lug Soles

Last but not least, chunk it up with heavy lug soles, the trend that’s perfect for outdoor adventuring and edgy street style. Heavy lug soles were all the rage last year, so it’s safe to say they’ll still be chic for fall and winter 2021, especially when paired with a statement coat for maximum drama.

STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Steve Madden.

Hutch Black Boot

A classic black lug-soled boot is a must, no matter where you live, but I’ll be snagging the Hutch boot in Sand and Taupe, too.


STYLECASTER | 2021 Boot Trends

Courtesy of Marc Fisher Ltd.

Meron Platform Chelsea Boot

A color-blocked lug sole boot is truly the season’s most versatile shoe, and these Marc Fisher Ltd babies are begging to be dressed up with leather trousers or down with leggings and your coolest hoodie.

A version of this article previously appeared in December 2020.

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