With the arrival of fall come two thoughts: new clothes for your wardrobe to accompany the first-day-of-school feeling that always seems to accompany this season, and a hunger for new boots. Designers are hip to both ideas, of course, but for Fall 2021, the focus on high-wattage boots seemed to hit an unprecedented peak (then again, perhaps we’re just beyond ready to get dressed up in entrance-making styles once again). The bounty of fabulous boots can be distilled into three key details: lug soles, platforms and space-age styling. Here’s a look at the season’s best:
For Fall 2021, the focus on high-wattage boots seemed to hit an unprecedented peak…
First used on mountaineering and combat boots, lug soles have never looked as glamorous as their multiple appearances on the Fall 2021 runways. A variety of high-end labels has put this detail front and center on the boots they crafted for the season, resulting in a stylish juxtaposition of this rugged detail against the polished leathers and accents. Roger Vivier has paired its iconic pilgrim buckle, rendered in gleaming gold, with a lug sole in its Viv Rangers Metal Buckle Platform Bootie, while Maje’s Black Leather Heeled Boots combine refined and industrial with sleek leather and lug soles.
How high can you go? For some designers, the sky’s the limit—that’s the first thought when viewing some of the ultra-glam platform boots key to Fall 2021 runways. Versace reigns above all others in crafting some of the season’s most stunning platforms, in ankle boots, mid-calf and knee-high styles that also evoke some of the house’s signature elements, from its iconic Medusa to Greek-key motifs, as seen on its La Greca Signature Ankle Boots. At Loewe, meanwhile, the Wedge loafer ankle boots in mock-croc calfskin have been designed with illusion styling to look like a pairing of platformed mules worn over socks.
If you like your platforms a bit more grounded, several styles offer a blend of glamour and everyday wearability. Stuart Weitzman’s iconic 5050 boot has been styled this season to include the label’s proprietary Ultralift sole, adding 50 millimeters of height to this classic style, rendered in hunter green suede. At Chloé, the platform is hidden in a snow-boot design that combines leather and knit with lace-up details, while Tod’s signature T buckle adorns the toe box of a pair of platform boots with combat styling.
Futuristic details are key to many boots seen this Fall, as designers sought to combine forward-thinking elements with a touch of Space Age influence – and why not? With its roots in the 1960s, fashion’s Space Age movement was founded largely on an idea of what the women of the future would be wearing. More than 60 years later, that styling continues to feel wholly current.
Among the season’s best: Dolce&Gabbana’s runway was teeming with space-age styles, including rubberized calfskin boots topped with attached socks in a high-shine foiled fabric. Miu Miu’s Padded Nylon Booties combine snow styling with a quilted motif in entrance-making pink, while Valentino offers its take on a moon boot with the Valentino Garavani Atelier Shoes 03 Rose Edition in white rubber, d with 3D-printed petals.
For chic boots that effortlessly blend space-age details with elements of Mod or the more relaxed 1970s, Zimmermann’s Patent Ankle Boot in navy patent leather offers a sleek, clean look that’s also highly versatile. And at Stella McCartney, the designer known for her commitment to sustainability has introduced a new family of boots, dubbed Duck City: This sculptural, Chelsea-style design in a navy glitter fabric with zipped front features a duck-boot toe and is crafted using recycled materials, while its solvent-free sole is biodegradable.