It's Knee-High Boot Season—Here's How Everyone Will Be Styling Them This Fall


(Image credit: @modedamour)

The fashion industry likes to say fall is boot season, but if you ask me, only one shafted shoe style matters. I'm talking, of course, about the ones that settle right below the knee and make every outfit infinitely more refined. Knee-high boots are classic for a reason. They go with everything, provide far more stability than any sandal or slingback can, and protect you from the dropping temperatures that might not be here yet, but will be very soon (count on it). A good pair will get you through autumn—even if you wear them every day—and winter, not to mention spring and summer (or am I the only one who can't give up my knee-high boots no matter how hot it gets?).

There's only one problem. Every footwear designer on the planet makes boots in the fall. It's basically law. And though my workplace pays me to navigate clothes, bags, and shoes all day, I'm pretty sure a majority of others do not. That's why I went ahead and spent a few hours finding every chic pair on the market, not to mention a bevy of outfits to inspire your styling of them, and dropped them all in an easy, effortless list below. Thank me when your boots arrive and you can't stop wearing them. 


(Image credit: @_marisamartins_)

I've long been under the impression that no outfit is easier and chicer than an LBD and knee-high boots. Add a stellar coat—be it a super-starched trench or a wool duster—for fall. In winter, add tights, and you have a year-round uniform.

Get the look:


(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

Five years ago, getting me in a pair of sock boots would be as impossible as getting me to wear gaucho pants or an extra-long camisole with lace trim. Nowadays, though, they're my favorite style by a mile. These are vintage Jimmy Choo from the '90s, and I wore them throughout NYFW last February without a single blister but with a dozen or so compliments. 

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(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

The band CAKE really knew what they were talking about when they wrote the lyrics for "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," though they failed to notice one key piece of the outfit puzzle: Western-style knee-high boots, which add the perfect level of kitsch to every look. 

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(Image credit: @laurareilly___)

Keeping it classic with round-toe black knee-high boots is never a bad idea. It allows you to experiment with clothes and accessories, as shown here styled with a Khaite puff-sleeve and plaid minidress and baby-blue Mansur Gavriel shoulder bag. 

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(Image credit: @modedamour)

If you thought you could only wear minidresses and skirts with knee-high boots to show them off, think again. Actually, one of the coolest ways to wear them is with a maxi-length dress and a big jacket, only pulling the hem up to display the boots if you want to. 

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(Image credit: @champagnemani)

Sure, you want your boots to be buttery soft. But what's even better is a buttery-soft pair of leather knee-high boots in a buttery color. Talk about luxury.

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

If you couldn't tell from her outfit, Sylvie lives in Paris, aka the most fashionable city in the world. And if she's advocating for timeless black knee-high boots to be worn with trench coats, turtleneck dresses, and sunnies a la Elizabeth James in Parent Trap, you best follow suit. 

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(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Far less classic and far more daring is the styling concept started by Miu Miu that involves styling high moto boots with teeny-tiny shorts and a long coat. Though similar to the short-skirt-long-jacket phenomenon, this alt takes the look one step further into the dark side (in the best way possible).

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(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

There was a time when I thought wearing shorts with boots was a fashion faux pas. Not anymore. Rather, it's one of my favorite pairings as the boots always dress up extremely casual shorts. It's elevated further when the boots have a sharp, pointed toe and a fitted shaft. 

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(Image credit: @meccajw)

If your outfit's on the more low-key side, might I suggest going loud with the boots, like for instance, something shiny and metallic? I don't know, it's just a suggestion. But after seeing this look from London Fashion Week, I'm convinced it's a stellar idea.

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Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.