NEW SHOES? WALK THIS WAY – With the cowboy boot riding high again, FRANCESCA HORNAK tries it on for size
- Cowboy boots are now predicted to be the biggest trend of autumn 2022
- We last had contact with them 20 years ago back in the noughties boho period
- Joanne Toolan picks the new-season shoe styles the fashion influencers wear
I made peace with the fact that I’m not a cowboy-boot person years ago. By that, I mean the kind of intrepid, hedonistic soul who still has the pair of knackered ‘ropers’ they wore to death in their 20s – through Californian road trips, Ibiza nights and Glastonbury sunrises. I’m not the other kind of cowboy-boot person either – the mythical, insouciant Parisian who casually adds her Isabel Marant Duertos to an evening slip.
I did buy some cowboy boots once. I was 26, alone in Manhattan for two days, writing about the first Sex and the City film for a newspaper. Nothing like this had happened to me before, and the whole situation was so thrilling that I lost all judgment. For an afternoon, I believed I was Carrie Bradshaw and bought a pair of vintage navy and gold cowboy boots in SoHo.
Back at home I looked as if I had dressed up as Captain Marvel, but only from the knee down. Also, the mid-calf height was very unflattering. I had really bought a pair of blue cankles, to use an appropriately noughties term.
Rodeo boots, £375, russellandbromley.co.uk. Cowboy boots are now predicted to be the biggest trend of autumn 2022
Speaking of which, the last time most of us had contact with cowboy boots was the best-forgotten noughties boho period. But here we are, 20 years on, and they’re set to be the biggest trend of autumn 2022. And despite all the above about not being a cowboy-boot person, I also know that the thing that doesn’t seem quite ‘you’ – at first – often ends up being the thing in your wardrobe you come to dote on. So I’m cautiously reconsidering.
This time round, there are three ways to do the trend. First, what I’d call the Sheriff boot. Basically Woody from Toy Story, this follows the classic Western formula of knee-height brown leather, low heel and swirly stitching. M&S’s version (left) will work well with floaty or slinky dresses (aren’t the best clothing combinations counterintuitive?), but if you want to reduce the 2006 boho factor there are plenty of monochrome pairs.
Left: Sand, £69.99, zara.com. Right: Sand, £69.99, zara.com
Second, you have what I’d call the Vegas – a statement boot in metallic leather, cow-hide or lurid python, possibly with fringing. The likely sellout is Russell & Bromley’s Rodeo (opposite). Also see Urban Outfitters, Free People, Reformation or rhinestone-era Elvis for inspiration. If you’re a genuine Carrie Bradshaw, then a pair like this could be just the thing to perk up the four o’clock November darkness.
Left: Western, £185, ariat.com. Right: Black and blue, £475, aeyde.com
Taupe, £125, marksandspencer.com. We last had contact with them 20 years ago back in the noughties boho period Joanne Toolan picks the new-season shoe styles the fashion influencers wear
Third, the Mini. An ankle-height, discreet cowboy boot, this works just as well with jeans and dresses as with more structured workwear and coats. Ba&sh’s pixie-eque Casey boot (above) is the holy grail, but Zara has a tempting sand-coloured pair (left) that’s more or less a chelsea boot with subtle embroidery.
To break myself in, this is the one I’m going to try. I’m hoping that I might finally become the mythical Parisian, effortlessly combining spurs and silk. The reality is more likely Compeed blister plasters and the school pick-up. Yee haw anyway.
THE LOAFER: Cool, comfy and often chunky, it’s the autumn standby no feet should be without
Cool, comfy and often chunky, it’s the autumn standby no feet should be without.
Left: Tan, £169, kurtgeiger.com. Right: Blue, £69, whitestuff.com
Left: Khaki, £20, Tu, sainsburys.co.uk. Right: White, £130, boden.co.uk
Blue, £259, lkbennett.com. These court shoes are a great alternative to an ankle boot or classic court this autumn/winter
THE BUCKLED PUMP
THE BUCKLED PUMP: From fabulous flats to dramatic heels, the Mary Jane gets a makeover
From fabulous flats to dramatic heels, the Mary Jane gets a makeover.
Left: Black, £45, johnlewis.co.uk. Right: Burgundy, £69, charleskeith.co.uk
Left: Triple buckle, £259, lkbennett.com. Right: Angled heel, £325, russellandbromley.co.uk
Ankle strap, £119, massimodutti.com. These high heeled sandals are made of leather and have a square toe
THE MULE CLOG
THE MULE CLOG: It’s back to backless with the hippest hybrid of the new season. Just watch out for puddles
It’s back to backless with the hippest hybrid of the new season. Just watch out for puddles.
Left: Khaki, £65, fitflop.com. Right: Rust, £650, tods.com
Left: Black, £135, arket.com. Right: Shearling, £100, stories.com
Black buckle, £149, whistles.com. These mule slippers are a great way to elevate your lounge wear
THE SKATER SNEAKER
THE SKATER SNEAKER: Channel your inner teen (or borrow theirs) for the ultimate in too-cool-for-school comfort
Channel your inner teen (or borrow theirs) for the ultimate in too-cool-for-school comfort.
Left: Block colour, £90, boden.co.uk. Right: Green and animal print, £49.50, marksandspencer.com
Left: Orange stripe sole, £69.99, zara.com. Right: Suede, £100, clarks.co.uk
Brown, £22.99, stradivarius.com. These lace-up trainers with multi-piece details and a perforated toecap are available in several colours
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