Kate Moss and J.Lo Wore These Boot Trends in the '90s—Surprise, They're Back

Now that boot weather is in full swing, I've noticed that many of the trends in the footwear market are inspired by '90s fashion. This isn't a surprise, as a lot of things in fashion are just throwbacks. Many brands often look toward archived or vintage silhouettes for new market, so it makes sense that you get a little flashback when looking at new trends. Plus, I've found myself on a specific niche of social media (mostly TikTok) of girls thrifting their dream 2021 trends, and '90s boots seem to be a common theme among their finds. I've found that "nostalgic" styles, especially from the '90s, are often timeless, as that period of fashion was the blueprint for minimalistic style. (Think Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy or Jennifer Aniston—they were often seen dressed in the basics.) Even though I consider myself to be on the maximal end of the fashion spectrum, I like to keep my shoes on the simpler side so they can be styled easily.

The nostalgic styles happen to be my favorite of the boot market right now, so I rounded them up for you to sift through. They've been seen on the runways, all over fashion month's street style stars, and on your favorite fashion folks' Instagram feeds. There are six specific '90s styles that have made a comeback for 2021 fashion and have staying power. You can read about and shop them below.

1. Combat Boots

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(Image credit: GETTY IMAGES)

With celebrities such as Willow Smith and Kourtney Kardashian adding more edge to their fashion aesthetic, it's no surprise that grunge fashion items like combat boots are in high popularity right now.

2. Platform Boots

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(Image credit: MARY ELLEN MATTHEWS/AFP via Getty Images)

I can't help but think of the Spice Girls whenever I see a pair of platform boots. It's a style that may not be the most convenient for every day, but it's sure to make a statement.

3. Knee-High Boots

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(Image credit: RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Knee-high boots have to be the most classic style of them all. Ankle and thigh-high boots are still on the market, but there's something about the middle length that seems to hit on the leg perfectly.

4. Square-Toe Boots

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(Image credit: RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES)

I still remember a time when I had to sift through pages and pages to find a square toe among all the rounded options. Now, the search is over, as brands everywhere have added square-toe boots to their standard fall/winter mix.

5. Patent-Leather Boots

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(Image credit: THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Hello, high shine! I know patent boots are on the riskier end, but they'll pair well with your basics. Follow in Naomi Campbell's footsteps and mix up the textures with velvet or leather.

6. Kitten-Heeled Boots

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(Image credit: RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES)

I'm personally not a high-heel person, but I also don't want my shoes to be completely flat, so kitten heels are perfect for that touch of height.

Next, The Coolest Boots Right Now Are All Coming From These 10 Brands

Assistant Market Editor
Yusra Siddiqui is an editor who resides in New Jersey but bounces between the suburbs and NYC. (She's a Jersey girl at heart.) After interning at Who What Wear in 2019, she found her way to the team after graduating from LIM College in 2022 with a fashion media degree. She's also spent time writing and working for publications such as Fashionista, Coveteur, and Nylon, but she always knew that Who What Wear was where she was meant to be. When she's on the job, she's perusing runway shows, analyzing the latest thing fellow Gen Zers are up to on the internet, and sharing what she can about the modest-fashion market. You can also catch her dabbling in entertainment, talking about the costume choices of the latest Netflix series or diving deeper into how the plotline affects the viewers in a myriad of ways. Lastly, she likes to create content for Who What Wear's TikTok. Her personal time is spent doing similar but also different things—deep diving into almost every new TV show (Bridgerton, Gilmore Girls, and Stranger Things are favorites), planning her next local getaway (whenever that may be), and reading the latest Emily Henry or Sally Rooney novel in one sitting.