Text by Sharon Mosley

If you can only add one thing to your fall wardrobe, make it a new pair of shoes … or boots. Footwear this fall is an exciting way to change up anything you wear … even that trusty little black suit or dress you wear year after year. So get ready to take a walk on the wild side this season with these trends.

First, fall is all about the new boots. Tall boots make the biggest fashion statement. Boots that hit right around the knee — or even higher — are the perfect accessory for fall’s shorter skirt lengths. And you don’t have to stick to basic black. These boots are disco-ready in bright colors, patchwork leathers and animal prints. Pick your heels in spikey stilettos or chunky platforms.

Ankle boots are still a must-have in fall’s shoe closet, but this year, designers are making strides in laced-up versions that reflect a new era of Victorian chic when updated with floral patterns and rubber lug soles that give them a touch of combat-ready style.

And if you’d rather stick to the classics, the always popular Chelsea boot is still a favorite that pairs with both casual and dressed-up looks. In colorful suede and leathers, as well as animal prints, this ankle boot silhouette will be a go-to in your fall wardrobe. Western boots are always a fashion basic, but this fall, why not try them in white?

But boots aren’t the only footwear getting a reboot this year. Loafers are anything but old school. Loafers even get Gucci-fied. Tod’s shines up its loafers with jewel-toned metallics. Michael Kors does his slip-ons croc-style. Roger Vivier goes the way of the “Pilgrim” look with big square buckles. And Chanel gives its loafers a sturdy, thick rubber sole. If you want to treat your feet to a little love this fall, opt for a pair of loafers for comfort at its best.

Kitten heels are another way to ease into fall this year. Also called “micro-stilettos,” these new mid-heels are retro-inspired in strappy Mary Jane silhouettes, spectators and Oxford brogues. Schoolgirl looks are complemented with delicate ankle socks. For more of a wow factor, look for colorful (sometimes neon) mules and pumps embellished with artistic geometric heels and decorative jeweled details.

Sneakers have never been more of a comfort factor when it comes to footwear. The tall stiletto boots may be our Saturday night favorite, but when it comes to hiking around in our everyday lives, sneakers are lifesavers. The wedge sneaker is fall’s trendiest go-to. Platforms are still rising to the style-setting occasion in the athletic shoe category. Watch for the cozy hybrid “sneaker-boot” to step out this winter for the ultimate in sporty style.

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