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Fashion: Combat, riding boots among top picks for fall

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Combat boots complement almost every outfit perfectly, adding a utilitarian feel to whatever you’re wearing.  Credit: Photo illustration by Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Combat boots complement almost every outfit perfectly, adding a utilitarian feel to whatever you’re wearing.
Credit: Photo illustration by Shelby Lum / Photo editor

There’s nothing I enjoy more than walking along the sidewalk on a crisp autumn day and hearing the dry, fallen leaves crunching beneath my feet. I’ve found that the only proper shoes for this are in the boot family — there’s just something amazing about stomping around outside in clunky footwear that makes you feel like a warrior preparing for battle. Read on for my top picks of boot styles to hunt down this season.

Riding boots

Though I often hear snarky comments regarding the fact that these boots are worn by people who have never, in fact, participated in any sort of equestrian-related activity, that doesn’t diminish their style quality one bit. These boots are available in all sorts of neutral colors, but look especially fantastic in a dark chestnut with a low heel and adorning buckles. These boots can easily bring the slouchiest outfit into more fashionable territory. I always find myself pairing them with my favorite leggings, a big comfy sweatshirt and knit scarf.

Motorcycle boots

Yet another style of boot where the actual utility of the shoe is not realized, these are as heavy and clunky as it gets. Even if you’ve never rode a motorcycle, much less ridden one, these boots are a great option if you’re hoping to toughen up your look. Add a black pair to dark jeans and a leather jacket and you’re pulling off some true style, circa James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause.” These boots are also excellent for when the temperature drops lower — they’re often thick and insulated, meaning you won’t have to wear five pairs of socks to defend against potential frostbite.

Ankle booties

I consider these to be the high fashion footwear of boots, especially when they have a stiletto heel attached. They are the perfect shoes to dress up with for fall — you need never have frozen toes when you go out again. Simply tuck in your stovepipe jeans or wear over your tights and you’re all set. If you’d rather not totter around in sky-high heels, flat ankle booties can be just as stylish. They add a more casual vibe to an outfit, though, so compensating with dressier clothing or more accessories will likely be necessary.

Combat boots

This is my personal favorite style of boot, and there is almost no outfit that these shoes don’t complement perfectly. These shoes add a lovely utilitarian feel to whatever it is you’re wearing. Do you love mixing up tough and feminine elements? Add combat boots to leggings and a soft, flowing top. Are you into military-inspired looks? Pair the shoes with an olive utility jacket and you’re all set. I recommend stocking up in various colors and styles so they don’t get too stale — there’s nothing wrong with having a black pair that folds down as well as a beige set covered in studs and spikes. The more variety, the better.

There’s no need for you to stick to one pair of boots this fall when there are plenty of options to choose from and invest in. You can easily keep yourself from wearing the same variation of an outfit day after day by switching up essential footwear.

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