If there’s one thing I’m always adding to my shopping cart, it’s a colorful new sneaker — during work-from-home, I haven’t needed anything dressier. But as winter and the real world creep in, I know I’m long overdue to invest in some big-girl boots. As a fashion editor, it’s my job to know the trends, and my work often requires me to attend appointments for upcoming collections or run samples all over New York, leading me to see tons of shiny, new things. However, I still have my middle-of-the-night impulsive shopping moments, and new boots have been weighing on my 3-AM mind. Throughout this season’s appointments, the sneaker-enthusiast in me has been sizing up the trendy winter boots that make a case for straying from my usual trainers.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of boots. However, due to a combination of bad ankles and years of opting for platform sneakers instead, my threshold for discomfort is low and desire for versatility is quite high. I need to find a pair of boots that can take me from the office to the bar and back home again without leaving my feet bandaged or my ankles sore. But of course, they must also be trendy. Thus, my journey for a durable, functional, and fashionable boot begins. Being that trend forecasting is a part of my day-to-day work, I’m divulging five key winter boot trends that meet my needs for the months ahead: shearling boots, lug sole riding boots, kitten heel boots, après-ski boots, and platform boots.
Below, I’ve broken down each of these trends and obviously shared my top selects for your shopping enjoyment.
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With Uggs making their glorious return, it comes as no surprise that the boots with the fur are back. Some pairs are lined with or have accents of shearling like the Roger Vivier and the Gianvito Rossi options, while others have a fuzzy exterior like those from Valentino. I prefer these plush boots in neutral color palettes like tan, brown, and white to keep my outfit from being too over the top.
Lug-Sole Riding Boots
The lug sole is having a moment in footwear trends including loafers, sneakers, combat and Chelsea boots. This take on the chunky sole is like a sleek Chelsea boot, but with the classic knee-high height of a riding style, and the thick sole of something that belongs in the mud. Some of my favorite luxury brands have been creating their own versions including Bottega Veneta, Prada, and contemporary brand Ganni.
Kitten Heel Boots
A comfortable but still chic alternative to the pointy-toe stiletto boot is this ladylike kitten heel version. This sensible shoe option comes in so many forms, from Isabel Marant’s zebra print mid-calf boot to Brother Vellies’ peach over-the-knee boot. I can wear this style with my favorite trousers to the office or with a mini dress for a date night and never worry about a misstep off the uneven curb or a rolled ankle.
The après-ski attitude is taking over fashion this season, encompassing trends like puffer clothing, knit balaclavas, and snow-ready boots. Designers such as Balmain, Chanel, and Miu Miu leaned into the ski-bunny sentiment on the runway and thus quilted, puffer boots staked their claim in the trend cycle. These boots are perfect for my desired mountain getaway or ski retreat, but can also be parlayed into my casual winter wardrobe paired with sweats or jeans.
Comfort may not be the first word that comes to mind when you see a sky-high platform, but the right one can change your mind because it offers a stable block heel. After this season’s runway showing, these Y2K-inspired platforms feel both modern and like a kitschy throwback. In muted colors with subtle details, I’ll wear these statement boots with flare pants and a dramatic long coat.