If 2016 gave us the white boot, and 2017 served up the sock bootie, 2018 will make its footwear mark with the tall boot trend. That’s good news for anyone that’s ready to move on from the ankle-high mainstay, but for those of us that don’t regularly walk runways (show of hands?), figuring out how to wear tall boots isn’t easy.
As with any trend’s emergence, the best research happens during fashion week. For the Fall/Winter 2018 season, brands like Celine, Fendi, and Balenciaga showed calf-grazing boots in a variety of silhouettes — think: western-inspired cowboy boots, slouchy, oversized styles that hit above the knee, and even a few lace-up iterations emerged. And during the Spring/Summer 2019 season, which showed in New York, London, and Milan this September, it seems that editors, influencers, and buyers alike are already getting in on the tall boot trend, too.
While some paired their favorite styles with midi-hem skirts and or jackets — a favorite of designers like Ian Griffiths at MaxMara and Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez — others were daring enough to pair their over-the-knee boots with short skirts and blazer dresses.
Ahead, more than a dozen ways to style your tall boots, and 15 pairs to shop, too.
The idea of a slouchy boot might bring back memories of a significantly less stylish 2005, but hear us out: The new, modern iteration is a tad more structured — and way more wearable. Try pairing yours with a trench that hits just at the calf.
Brook Slouchy Boot
Snakeskin Print Boots
While conventional wisdom says to balance out a bold print like snakeskin with solids, this show-goer proves more is more is more.
Snakeskin Effect High-Leg Boots
On a rainy day, take a note from Tamu McPherson and let a pair of striped socks peek out from the top of your calf-high boot. Plus, this style from Tibi is a fun way try out the fishnet trend without actually having to try out the fishnet trend.
Lace-up boots might have a dominatrix-like connotation, but this pair from Chloé is equal parts tame and trendy. Wear yours with a flowy midi skirt to let the laces show.
Rylee Glossed-Leather Lace-Up Boots
Over-the-knee croc-leather boots aren't exactly subtle, but a simple babydoll dress in a single color helps keep the look grounded.
Linda Croc-Effect Leather Over-The-Knee Boot
Slightly less slouchy than a true slouch boot, the soft-leather boot gives way to natural wear. Try pairing a knee-high version with a breezy dress that hits mid-thigh.
Keep an on-trend style like these dollar bill boots from Balenciaga from veering into gimmick territory by rooting the rest of your outfit in its base color: green.
Dollar-Printed Knife Bootie
White boots go well with just about everything (jeans, a dress, a paper bag, whatever) but the sock-boot silhouette looks particularly stylish sans socks.
The one resurgence we never saw coming, cowboy boots are a surprisingly chic choice — especially when paired with a knee-length dress.
Marilyn Tall Cowboy Boot
Or, if you want to go full-on rodeo, pair your cowboy boots with double denim. To make it less costume-y, choose a style with a twist, like these corduroy boots from Laurence Dacade.
Simona Corduroy Boot
Cow Print Boots
Not into cowboy boots? During NYFW, TK Quann went more literal with the western trend in a pair of now-sold-out cow-print boots from AGL. This Anine Bing style is just as chic.
Or, you could just opt to go western-inspired.
Red Slouch Boots
Cap off a head-to-toe pink outfit with a pair of slouchy red boots.
High-Heeled Leather Boots
Black Sock Boots
Use this photo as proof that tucking your oversized pants into a tight sock boot can be both chic and comfortable.
Nila Ankle Boot