Splurge/Spend/Save: 5 Wearable Shoe & Boot Trends for Fall 2018

The most frequent questions I’m getting right now are about shoe and boot trends for fall 2018.

Styles are definitely changing, and that can take some getting used to. Fortunately, fashion is very much “anything goes” these days, which is nice for those of us who have strict parameters around what we can and can’t wear, but there are definitely some styles that are more “of the moment,” and those are the ones I’m talking about today.

While I don’t want to be a slave to fashion, I do like to be a little bit ahead of the trends, so I find it fascinating to watch others who are more fashionable than I to see where the trends are headed. Then I try to incorporate the ones I like in a way that makes sense for my lifestyle and the culture of my area. I think it’s important for us all to take those two factors into account when making decisions about how and when (and whether or not) to incorporate the current trends into our wardrobes.

For example, I watched the white bootie trend take hold over the past year or two, and I’m just now getting around to feeling ready to wear them. They’re not mainstream here, by any stretch, but I’m starting to see them some when I’m in areas that are closer to Philly (i.e. more fashion-forward than my area of the suburbs, which tends to catch on to the trends a little later.)

To decide which styles are trending, I watch the bigger designers and see what they’re bringing out for fall because that’s what trickles down to the more mainstream fashion brands. I thought it might be fun to do a Spend/Splurge/Save post to show you the spendy styles that are setting the stage for fall trends, and then some more affordable options.

FYI, there are three retailers having a Friends & Family Sales this weekend — Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Neiman’s. I KNOW!!! All three have 25% off a large portion of their inventory, and they all have free shipping and/or Shoprunner. Plus, Nordstrom is price matching. It’s like Black Friday, MDW, and the #NSale all rolled up into one!

Okay, maybe not quite that good, but the 25% off is good on a lot of big designers that don’t usually go on sale like Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, and more. All that to say, I’m linking to shoes that are on sale this weekend as much as possible in this post.

5 Shoe & Boot Trends for Fall 2018

Before we get started, let’s talk briefly about heel and toe styles. I’m seeing a lot of block heels and cylindrical heels, which are both nice for comfort and stability. Kitten heels are also gaining popularity, which is a great thing for those who can’t wear a high heel. I’m not seeing a lot of platforms or wedge heels, and while stilettos are a classic and definitely still out there, they don’t seem to be as prevalent this season as they’ve been for the past few years.

I’m seeing all different shaped toes — everything from round to pointy and everything in between — but not many peep toe styles right now.

Okay, here we go!!!

#1. Sock Booties

Ankle boots (or booties) are hot, hot, hot this season, and the sock bootie is one of the most popular styles. Of course, other styles of ankle boot are trending too, but this is a style I would definitely advise considering for your closet this season if you don’t already have a pair.

I tried a few last year, and finally found a Club Monaco pair on sale at the end of the season that I love, and I can’t wait to start wearing them again this year. They’ve been discontinued, but there are tons of new styles to choose from this year.

SLURGE: Stuart Weitzman Margot 75 Round Toe Suede Mid-Heel Booties (note the cylindrical heel)

SPEND: Splendid Charlie Suede & Stretch Booties

SAVE: Circus by Sam Edelman Carinda Sock Bootie

Shop More Sock Booties:

#2. Slouch Boots

I’m seeing slouchy styles in both short boots and tall boots, but I went with tall boots for these product picks.

One question I keep getting asked is about what shaft height is trending this season. Are OTK boots still “in” or is it all about the ankle boot? Basically, anything goes, but I’m definitely seeing to-the-knee boots making a comeback this season. It’s hard to say if they are edging out the OTK boots, or just evening out the playing field, but I find them much easier to style so I’m all for it.

SPLURGE: Stuart Weitzman Eloise 75 Almond Toe Suede Boots

SPEND: Dolce Vita Coop Slouchy Suede Tall Boots

SAVE: Kelly & Katie Kuzma Platform Boot

Shop More Slouchy Boots: (Some of these are just for fun.)

#3. Animal Print Everything

Animal print is one of those classics that never really goes out of style, but right now it’s also a huge trend. From ballet flats to loafers and pumps to booties, it’s all about the animal print — and not just leopard, either. Snakeskin, zebra, cheetah, leopard… it’s all hot right now.


Right now the trend in pumps is leaning towards cylindrical and block heels, and toes are pointy or round. While I love a good stiletto as much as the next fashionista, I can’t help but appreciate the practicality of a block heel, and they have a more casual vibe that works well with my style aesthetic. I’m really jonesing for a pair of these. I love the Alice + Olivia pair, but I’ll probably end up going with the Marc Fisher, if I decide to add a pair to my closet.

SPLURGE: Alice + Olivia Demetra Genuine Calf Hair Pump

SPEND: Marc Fisher Zalaly Leopard Print Calf Hair Pumps

SAVE: 1.State Saffire2 Block Heel Pumps


I think snakeskin is a really fun look in a bootie. It’s neutral but has  great pattern and texture so it will go with so many outfits. I’m currently waiting on this Vince Camuto pair to arrive, but I’m drooling over the Marc Jacobs ones. If only they were on sale…

SPURGE: Marc Jacobs Rocket Round Block Heel Chelsea Booties

SPEND: Vince Camuto Creestal Almond Toe Snakeskin-Embossed Leather Booties

SAVE: Chinese Laundry Daria Booties

Shop More Animal Prints: (Again, I threw in a some that are a little out there, for the fun of it.)

#4. Western Inspired

Western-inspired styles are also gaining ground in popularity this season, but I prefer a subtle take on this trend. Sure, you can rock your cowboy boots, but for me personally, I to look for western elements in a more classic boot. I’m personally crushing on these Dolce Vita suede booties, but I’m not sure I can justify another ankle boot purchase this fall. ☺️

SPLURGE: Allsaints Melanie Suede Western Pointed Toe Booties

SPEND: Dolce Vita Saint Suede Zip-Up Booties

SAVE: Easy Street Legend Western Booties

Shop More Western Inspired Shoes:

#5. White Out

Yes, white shoes and boots are still trending, and probably hotter than ever. I realize this trend may be out of the comfort zone of many, but I felt like it deserved a spot in the top 5.

The bootie I picked as my splurge inspiration incorporates several trends of the moment — the kitten heel, the white trend (of course), and it also has just a touch of western flair in the shape of the shaft. Personally, I prefer a more casual white bootie, but I had a hard time finding what I had in my head, and I realize that’s because that’s what was trending the past two years. This year the pointy toe and short stiletto/kitten heel seems to be emerging, although you can definitely find all styles of booties in white.

SPLURGE: Joie Ralean Almond Toe Bootie

SPEND: Something Navy Nix Bootie

SAVE: IMPO Nixxie Booties

Shop More White Shoes & Booties:

Notable Mentions:

Combat Boots

I didn’t include this trend in my top 5 because it’s just starting to surface, and I doubt many of us are ready for it yet, but leveled up hiking boots and combat boots are also a big trend for fall. I’m going to give this one a few seasons, though…


Loafers are still going strong, but they’re well into their second or third season by now. I’m definitely gravitating more to loafers and less to ballet flats these days, even though I still like and wear both. Loafers just seem more of the moment.


Again, this is a trend that’s been around for a few years and is pretty mainstream, but they’re not going anywhere this season, and I love them. I’ll be sad when it gets too cold to wear them.

So what do you think? Any of these trends resonate with you? Are you already wearing them, or just getting ready to try one or two? 

And before you tell me you aren’t seeing them where you are yet, that’s okay! They will come, and it’s fun to be a little bit ahead of the trends. Don’t wait until everyone else is wearing them. Dare to be the first!

If you like a trend but you’re on the fence, I suggest trying it in a budget-friendly version first to see how it works for you. If you end up loving it, you can always invest in a quality piece later on. If not, no great loss.

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