When it comes to fall/winter dressing, no outfit is complete without a pair of stylish designer boots. Here we share some of the best boots of 2021 to wear this season and beyond.

While they may be synonymous with fall and winter, boots are one of our favorite shoe styles year-round. From knee-high heights to ankle skimmers styles and midcalf silhouettes, boots are a decidedly versatile wardrobe staple. They can be from dressed down, elegant, and party-ready. Whether your goal is to toughen up precious pieces, add interest to everyday basics, or offset a skin-baring silhouette, boots are always up for the job. 

We all have our favorite boots that transcend the years and seasons, but 2021 brings five key styles that compose our edit of new-decade must-haves. The coolest boots of 2021 include knee-high styles and retro platforms as well as utilitarian lug soles with a modern edge. After surveying the spring-summer 2021 boots trend, we’ve earmarked a number of outfit ideas for the season ahead which have boots at the crux, from casual-chic choices to after-hours styling.

Ahead, discover the best boots of 2021 and the on-trend silhouettes that topping the shopping lists of our editors. These elevated boots are more than worth the investment — they’ll guarantee show-stopping style moments this season and beyond.


Lug-Sole Boots

Stompy lug-sole boots were a mainstay on the runway and the streets last fall, and the silhouette looks set to stay. The high-end lug sole trend was spearheaded by Prada and Bottega Veneta and quickly became a hit with social media’s most stylish.

Prada’s Monolith boots are one of the most popular styles and as such frequently sell out in the matte and black patent finishes. Bottega Veneta’s lug-sole Chelsea boots, favored by the likes of Pernille Teisbaek, are definitely one of the best boots of 2021, and are set to retain their cult status season well into 2022. 

Many lug-sole options come in practical black, but Stella McCartney offers an alternative in a peach-beige hue. True to McCartney’s ethical approach to design, her Emilie boots are crafted from faux leather and have sustainable wooden midsoles. We love them for their white tread heel, which, while unconventional, can be paired with almost any winter or fall ensemb

Combat Boots

With utilitarianism continuing its streak as a key trend through fall/winter 2021, the combat boot was bound to make a comeback. Legres and Prada offer subtle takes on a lace-up silhouette that can be seamlessly styled with any seasonal outfit. However, plenty of other brands are also putting their own high-end spin on classic combats.

We love Gucci’s all-black Frances boots featuring the quilted matelassé finish often reserved for the brand’s Marmont bags. The matte leather upper is complemented by silver-tone hardware and a bulky tread sole, fusing fashion and function. For an even more stylish approach, Balmain’s patent brown Ranger boots with gold-tone hardware add a dressed-up touch to the most casual of outfits.

Platform Boots

You may not have expected to see these appearing on our list of the best boots of 2021 but the resurgence of 1970s style means one thing: Platform boots are back. Though certainly inspired by the glam rock era, most of these styles are much easier to wear than you might think. 

Our go-to in platforms are Nodaleto’s retro-inspired Bulla boots. With their snug, knee-high shape and trapeze heel, they’re the perfect accompaniment to short or mid-length skirts and dresses. Gucci’s Madame boots in crisp white leather have a similar appeal and are like a luxury, contemporary rendition of go-go boots—perfect for channeling a 1960s vibe!

Or you could stick with the stage-ready look in Christian Louboutin’s statement croc-effect Izamayeah boots, complete with 5.1 heels and the designer’s signature red sole. 

Square-Toe Boots

Square-toe footwear took over our closets this past spring and summer, and the trend is set to continue well into winter with square-toes being a key feature on the some of the best boots of 2021. Brand of the moment Peter Do has one of the most versatile pairs of the season, with a smooth leather upper, metal rims on the heel and toe, and a combat-style rubber tread sole. For something even more offbeat, look toward Swedish label Eytys’ futuristic Gaia boots with a wide square toe, patent panels, and an edgy sculpted heel. 

Khaite’s Davis leather knee-high boots, ideal for those who prefer a taller boot silhouette, pair well with skirts and over denim. If you’re not fully convinced by square toes, why not cheat the look with Martine Rose’s Hacienda boots. This cleverly designed pair actually has a rounded toe set atop a geometric midsole, which gives the impression of a square silhouette without the risk of discomfort.