Fall trends are fun, but we tend to get really serious when footwear is involved. We have a decidedly practical bent here at The Mom Edit, and we’re looking for shoes and boots that can keep up with life. Many of us walk around a city a lot of miles a day — whether doing school drop-offs and pickups, running errands, or walking to work. Some of us live in areas with extreme weather, some of us have, ahem, aging feet, while others are chasing toddlers and/or doing all of the above with a baby strapped to their chest.
My point? This crew wants our shoes and boots to be cute…but we need them to be practical.
So, with this perspective in mind, let’s explore the 2022 fall footwear trends.
Strong Opinions Incoming: The Best (Cute + Practical) Boot & Shoe Trends This Fall
We’ve been doing research (peeking runway shows, street-style blogs, social media and perusing actual inventory online) for months at this point, as well as playing around in our own closets — what is actually working?? And now, as per usual, have some fairly strong opinions.
We also focused more heavily on shoes and boots that work with straight-leg and wide-leg jeans. We think these two silhouettes are the most current, both the full-length and cropped versions, so this was often the discriminating factor when deciding which shoe and boot styles to feature here.
We also made one fun prediction, based on the growing momentum of the coastal-grandmother trend. I don’t know if we’ll be right, but I’m feeling pretty strongly about this one (can you guess?).
What didn’t make the cut? Well, some trends were easy to ignore, platform shoes being one of them. Brands have been successfully incorporating platforms into a wide variety of shoe types for years (Golden Goose is one example, my GANNI boots are another), so we didn’t feel like we had to make a special category for platforms. Besides, the exaggerated, Mary Jane-style platforms now driving this trend don’t really have staying power (but wear them if you love them).
We also, after much debate, removed cowboy boots from this list. I KNOW. But hear me out: Cowboy boots are a classic. If you love cowboy boots, you’re going to wear them. If you’re an actual cowboy, you’re going to wear them. If you’re just looking for a new fall boot…cowboy boots can be tricky to style, hard to break in, and — this is where our Spidey-fashion-sense is tingling — they’re not really taking off. The fact that the fashion set has been declaring cowboy boots The New Trend every fall and spring for the past two to three years? Hmm. Something is off.
Even worse, the cowboy boot’s closest cousin, the western-style ankle boot, is a trend that has now been around for years and, I think, could be on it’s last leg. Bottom line? I probably won’t be buying either style this fall. (Unless, of course, I can get my hands on this absolute work of art, and then I say yes, absolutely.)
Lastly, we ultimately believe in “wearing whatever the eff you want,” so here’s a gentle reminder to take our words here with a big ole grain of salt. 🙂
The Best Fall Shoe & Boot Trends of 2022 (Says Us)
- The Modern Ankle Boot In Tan
- Lug-Sole Chelsea Boots
- Duck Boots
- Hiking-Inspired Boots
- Clogs & Clog Boots
- Ballet Flats
- Y2K Strappy Heels
- Tall Boots
- Over-The-Knee Boots
- White Leather Sneakers
- Retro Sneakers
- Checkered Vans
Keep reading to see examples and styling ideas.
1. The Modern Ankle Boot (In Tan)
What, pray tell, is a “modern ankle boot”? Yeah, don’t bother Googling, we made up that name. But after surveying our editors about what is high on their fall wish lists, it turns out that most of us are looking for basically the same exact ankle boot. We all gravitate toward subtle differences (block heel versus stiletto, tan versus taupe versus brown, leather versus suede), but in short, this is what we’re looking for:
- An ankle boot with a higher shaft (to wear with cropped and full-length jeans)
- A sleek toe (pointed or almond — or mayyyybe square, as long as the takeaway is still feminine and sleek)
- Walkable heel (2 to 3 inches max)
- No black! Light or dark tan, taupe, camel — decidedly neutral but a much lighter one.
This style of ankle boot will work with both cropped and full-length denim, looks amazing peeking out of flares, can be worn on the daily, will look good with any color bag and/or coat, and feels so much fresher than a black ankle boot. There’s something rich and elevated about a using tan as a neutral.
2. Lug-Sole Chelsea Boots
These were my most-worn boots last winter (soooo practical, soooo cute), and I’m thrilled to see they’re back. The long, slim shaft slides up under all different types of jeans; the lugged sole makes them especially good in bad weather; and the huge platform, quite frankly, helped to keep my toes warm (that said, these are NOT full-on winter boots).
If you’re looking for a black boot, these.
3. Duck (Lace-Up, All-Weather) Boots
Sooo. This is where my Spidey-fashion-sense is going: duck boots. There aren’t a ton of examples — yet — but I have a sneaking suspicion that the coastal-grandmother trend of this summer is going to evolve into something preppy-ish for fall and winter…and duck boots will be the result.
4. Hiking (Or Outdoor-Adventure-Inspired) Boots
Fashion sneakers and athletic sneaker styles now have so much overlap, it’s hard to distinguish one from another…and I think hiking boots are heading in that same direction. While Danner and Sorel tend to do this the best, I was excited to see all of the options this year.
To style hiking boots, throw on a pair of straight-leg denim and roll them to the top of the hiking boot (think: a boyfriend-jeans vibe). Wear with thick, woolly socks (they can peek out).
5. Clogs & Clog Boots
From Birkenstock’s so-ugly-they’re-cute clogs to Veronica Beard’s gorgeous heeled clogs to the coziest, shearling-lined boots…clogs are a yes. Not only are these comfortable, but they’re an easy shoe to style with straight-leg and wide-leg jeans.
6. Ballet Flats
It might be cliche, but nothing nonchalantly shrugs “French-girl style” like a ballet flat + straight-leg jeans combo. And the whole “balletcore” trend that started this spring ensures that there are now plenty of ballet flats to choose from.
7. Y2K-Inspired Strappy Heels
While the internets are calling these heels “Y2K shoes,” I know them simply as my date-night shoe. Which, if I think back…I HAVE been wearing since 2003, so there ya go. These are just “strappy heels” for anyone as old as I am. 🙂
They’re minimalist, barely there, and will work with everything from jeans to dresses. My favorite is to match them to your skin tone for a really long, leggy look.
8. Tall Boots
Wondering what footwear to wear with a dress or skirt? Easy: tall boots. I’m also going to play around with the tall boot + straight-leg jeans combo to see what that feels like.
9. Over-The-Knee Boots
I’d wear over-the-knee boots the same way I’d wear tall boots…but in more-extreme cases. For example, while midi dresses rock with tall boots, the proportions of a mini dress will often look better with a pair of flat, over-the-knee boots.
I still swear by OTK boots in the winter, as a method of warming up my workout leggings. Adding OTK boots and a cute puffer to your workout clothes while running to school drop-off helps make it A Real Outfit.
10. White Leather Sneakers
These are dangerously close to becoming classics, but either way, white leather sneakers aren’t going anywhere. Whether we’re talking about chunky dad sneaks, or the little white French-girl sneaker, or high-top or platform Converse…white sneakers add a solid pop of fresh to any outfit. These are still some of our most-worn shoes.
11. Retro Sneakers
After soooo many years of white sneakers dominating, we’re thrilled that colorful, retro sneakers are also having a moment. I plan to wear these with full-length, straight-leg jeans, a cozy sweater and a trenchcoat this fall.
12. Checkered Vans Slip-On Sneakers
While this may not be *a trend* per se, we had to add it in. Too many of us over here at TME are wearing checkered Vans on the regular. They’re the one type of shoe that effortlessly goes with cropped and full-length jeans, trousers, dresses, jumpsuits, everything. And these shoes are just as beloved by Raines (age 14) as they are by Abby (20-something) and by me and Laura (mid-40s). That’s some pretty impressive range.
Note: If you haven’t yet tried Van’s ComfyCush line — looks just like the regular but with a cushier insole — it’s totally worth it.
Any trends you think we missed or were hoping to see us style? I’d love to know — leave us a comment below!
This one’s for the Pinners…