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Fall Shoe Trend Guide

Boots are definitely in.
Boots are definitely in.
Hemera/Thinkstock

For the fall 2010 season, your shoe choices will help define and refine your style. This is a banner year for shoe fashions, with big boot trends vying for your wardrobe dollar against classics like kitten heels and stilettos with high-rise attitude.

If there were ever a year to layer up on leggy looks, this is it. But there are also styles to fit everyone's tastes - from extravagant to comfy and feminine. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started.

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A bevy of boot styles are in this year, many of which work to soften or strengthen tailored dressing trends for fall. Layering is big, and a nice, trendy boot may add just the look you need to update some of your existing wardrobe pieces.

  • Hiking Boots -- Hiking boots are fashion forward this season. This year they're exaggerated, with big buckles and lots of them, or laces that go on forever. If you like the look, and it's probably one shoe design that's actually foot friendly, reserve an extra five minutes for shoes-on, shoes-off duty, because this choice is bold, dynamic and labor intensive. If you just have to add a girlie touch, try a hiking boot with a high heel -- yes, they are making them, and they add just the right feminine note. For some extra softness, pair hiking boots with lace or animal print stockings.
  • Thigh-high Boots -- If hiking boots just don't do much for you, give over-the-knee boots a try. They're long and plush, and they make the new short, pleated, skirt styles look flirty and finished. Also known as thigh boots, a pair of these beauties belong in everyone's closet.
  • Fur Boots -- There are no bland boots this year, and adding fur boots to your wardrobe is just the thing to modernize your silhouette and give your foot gear a makeover. The Eskimos call them mukluks, but this fall we call them just plain fun. If you love the idea of a little fur (faux, of course) you can expand your choices to include a fur handbag, scarf, coat, shawl, vest or even skirt, too. It's all good.

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You can't go wrong with kitten heels.
You can't go wrong with kitten heels.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

If you think boots hide your best assets, you'll love the new shoe styles:

  • Kitten heels -- These diminutive heels are feminine, delicate and popping up everywhere in shoes with sparkling finishes or soft fabrics. They're the opposite of what we're seeing with most boot styles -- buckled and brassy without a frill in sight. These low-heeled shoes will remind you that you're still allowed to be a girlie girl once in a while.
  • Wedges -- Both low and high wedges are still showing, but this may be a shoe fashion that's on the fast track to the back of your closet.
  • Stiletto heels -- Although this heel style is always flattering, every year sees some increased elevation with the resulting risks involved. This season is no different. You'll find skinny heels with boot and shoe fashions as well as with rounded and pointy-toed styling.
  • Platform high heels -- As if exaggerated heel heights weren't enough to make those skirts and pants look amazing, this year we're also seeing stiletto high heels with platform shoes. They're high, sometimes very, very high, and even though they can look dramatic and may eliminate the need to have your new pants hemmed, use some restraint. Some of these over-the-height-limit shoes are a broken ankle waiting to happen.
  • Chunky heels -- We said chunky not clunky. Where stiletto heels look sexy and sophisticated, chunky high heels can carry this year's tailored looks in suits and coats without appearing mannish. They're surprisingly feminine given their overall girth, and they have the added advantage of being much more stable to walk on than their narrower-heeled counterparts.
  • Mix and match colors -- If you love dramatic dressing, these two-toned shoes on steroids may be just for you. In bold contrasting colors, you'll see shoes sporting heels, straps or buckles in shades so different from the rest of the shoe that they look like someone stepped in a bucket of paint. They're brash and make a great focal point if you're up to the challenge.
  • Pointed and rounded toes -- We're seeing both toe styles in shoes this year, but you'll probably find that the pointed-toe options are somewhat exaggerated, with toe-pinching points that make a romantic walk in the moonlight more toe torture than it's worth.

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Sources

  • Become Gorgeous. "Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Shoe Trends." Undated. 8/16/10.http://www.fashion-style.becomegorgeous.com/shoes/fallwinter_20102011_shoe_trends-2487.html
  • Chatham Journal. "Shopsmart Shoe Poll Finds Women Own an Average of 19 Pairs of Shoes." 11/12/07. 8/16/10.http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/women-own-many-shoes-71112.shtml
  • Fashion Allure. "Hottest Shoes of Fall 2010 Winter." 8/10/19. 8/16/10.http://fashion-allure.com/style/hottest-shoes-fall-2010-winter/
  • Glamour Vanity. "Hot Fall/Winter 2010/2011 Shoe Trends." 7/1/10. 8/16/10.http://www.glamourvanity.com/latest-trends/hot-fallwinter-20102011-shoe-trends/
  • Goldsmith, Belinda. "Most Women Own 19 Pairs of Shoes -- Some Secretly." Reuters. 9/10/07. 8/16/10.http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0632859720070910
  • Style.com. "Fall 2010 Trend Reports." Undated. 8/16/10.http://www.style.com/trendsshopping/trendreport/072610_Trend_Reports/
  • Valter, Veronica. "Shoe Trends Fall/ Winter 2010/ 2011." Million Looks. 7/8/10. 8/16/10.http://www.millionlooks.com/trends/footwear-trends/shoe-trends-fall-winter-2010-2011/
  • Vogue. "Autumn Winter 2010/11." Undated. 8/16/10.http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/

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