Best shoes for fall

Shoes

Chelsea style boots are a popular fall choice for all genders considering their enclosed uppers that keep excess cold air from reaching your feet.

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Which shoes are best for fall?

When the seasons start changing, it’s important to find the right shoes to fit the weather changes. If your wardrobe is leaving you lacking, it’s probably time to find a new pair of shoes or boots to upgrade your fall fit. The air is getting colder as the leaves turn to autumnal colors and the precipitation is getting far less pleasant, so it’s crucial to kick your fall footwear into gear. 

Whether you are a sneakerhead, a fashionista or a rugged outdoorsman, there is definitely a pair of shoes that fit both your personality and the season. The top pick are the Dr. Martens 1460 Greasy Boots for their durability and popularity. 

What to know before you buy fall shoes

Temperature

One of the first signs of fall is the drastic drop in temperature, when sunny summer days are rapidly replaced by brisk air and early sundowns. When choosing new fall footwear, make sure to check out shoes and boots that are lined for extra warmth or built for minimal exposure. You can also look for shoes that leave a little extra room for thicker socks. 

Weather

Along with the drop in temperature, fall begrudgingly ushers in overcast skies and cold wind and rain. Your footwear should be as weatherproof as possible, built to protect you from the bitter elements of autumnal weather. Waterproof materials, minimal exposure and well-bonded soles are a few ways to protect your feet from an unpleasant fall climate. Thick and sturdy slip-proof heels and soles are also ideal for wet and slick conditions.

Usefulness

Your fall shoes should be as useful as possible. Unlike winter boots, which are sometimes built solely for outdoor use, fall shoes and boots should be as useful walking down a windy street as they are traversing the office. Unless you plan on changing your shoes often, it’s smart to find fall shoes that are useful in multiple autumnal scenarios.

What to look for in a quality fall shoe

Durability

The durability of your fall shoes depends largely on their materials. Leather, velvet and suede are all popular materials for their warmth and durability. Internal padding or fur should also be protected to ensure the longevity of your fall shoes. 

However, proper maintenance is essential to extending the lifespan of your footwear, which means treating your fall shoes with extra care. If they aren’t already weatherproof, consider spraying them with a waterproof protector. The better you take care of your fall shoes, the more likely they will still be useful next year.

Versatility

Fall shoes should fit multiple scenarios and conditions. In many places in the US, autumn weather is inconsistent and fickle, so it’s important that your footwear is adaptable to the fluctuating conditions. Also, without the worry of tracking snow, salt and sludge everywhere, your fall shoes should be comfortable on long scenic walks, Black Friday shopping sprees as well as general everyday use. 

Style

No matter how well-built your fall shoes may be, what’s the use if they don’t bring joy with every wear? No matter your personal style or fashion sense, it should be easy to find a pair that is functional and fashionable. Dark and neutral tones are popular for good reason, since they match a wide variety of outfits. On the other hand, if you prefer vivid color no matter the season, there are plenty of fall-friendly shoes and boots that are still colorful and striking. 

How much you can expect to spend on fall shoes

In order to assure your fall footwear’s longevity, avoid spending less than $40. Solid fall-friendly shoes typically run between $40-$100 and boots between $50-$150. 

Fall shoes FAQ

Can I wear winter boots in the fall?

A. Yes, of course you can, but many winter boots are insulated for the low temperatures of December through February. However, winter boots are often slip-proof, making them ideal for slick fall conditions. In many cases, you can find boots or shoes that work well for both seasons.

What is the best material for fall shoes or boots?

A. Leather, faux leather, velvet and suede are all ideal materials for colder weather use. Natural materials like leather help absorb moisture and prevent sweating, odor and bacteria as well.

What are the best fall shoes to buy?

Top fall shoes

Dr. Martens 1460 Greasy Boots

Dr. Martens 1460 Greasy Boots

What you need to know: Dr. Martens is one of the most time-tested and trusted footwear brands for a lot of reasons, including their strength against fall weather. 

What you’ll love: This pair of boots is one of the most popular in their arsenal, partly because they are great for men and women. The expertly-bonded “bouncing soles” keep water from seeping in, and the 100-percent leather build is rugged and long-lasting.

What you should consider: Docs take a bit more time to break in compared to other boots.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fall shoes for the money

Toms Women's Paxton Slip-On Shoes

Toms Women’s Paxton Slip-On Shoes

What you need to know: From the maker of a popular summer slip-on comes a warm and weatherproof pair that women’s shoe lovers will get hooked on. 

What you’ll love: The winterized water-resistant suede makes these casual-feeling shoes ideal for cold fall weather, while the soft felt inner lining adds comfort and warmth. 

What you should consider: These shoes may feel too casual for some occasions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Clarks Collection Women's Camzin Dime Ankle Boots

Clarks Collection Women’s Camzin Dime Ankle Boots

What you need to know: For the fashion-forward, these stylish ankle boots are a great investment for matching with most fall fits.

What you’ll love: These medium-wide boots feature OrthoLite cushioned insoles for maximum comfort and full grain leather uppers for weather protection.

What you should consider: The leather construction takes time to break in.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Cole Haan Men's Grand Crosscourt Sneakers

Cole Haan Men’s Grand Crosscourt Sneakers

What you need to know: These 100% leather sneakers are a great fall option for casual men’s footwear fans thanks to their adaptability and multiple color options.

What you’ll love: With simple design and quality construction, these sneakers are a great blend of classy and casual, making them ideal for most autumn occasions.

What you should consider: The low cut design doesn’t add any cold protection to the ankle and lower leg.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Skechers Men's Afterburn Lace-Up Sneakers

Skechers Men’s Afterburn Lace-Up Sneakers

What you need to know: These “dad-style” sneakers are sturdy and durable, making them ideal for fall weather of all varieties.

What you’ll love: With a memory foam insole, these rugged shoes are comfortable and easy to wear for long durations.

What you should consider: Since these are lace-up sneakers, there is a bit more exposure risk compared to sealed shoes and boots.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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