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Fall Shoe Trends 2013

Top Styles in Women's Shoes for Fall


Among 2013's top fall shoe trends for women are a variety of styles in flats; chunky, lower heels; and casual ankle boots. But that's not all. Keep reading for all the divine details.

d'Orsays, Oxfords, Loafers & Other Flats

Flat, d'Orsay, blue suede shoes that have openings at the side, and separate front and back pieces.
Chinese Laundry 'Easy Does It' Image: Zappos.com
Flats are always hot, especially with certain women. But this year, we're seeing a wider variety of styles than ever. And even though there is no shortage of classic ballet flats to be found, this fall, you can also choose from menswear-inspired oxfords; d'Orsay and two-piece flats; simple flats with pointy toes; smoking slippers; and a vast selection of modern, casual loafers.

Honestly, it's been a long time since I've seen such variety in this department. Naturally, I'm loving it. Not just because I'm a fan of flat shoes myself, but also because it's a great opportunity for all of us to stock up on stylish, heel-less shoes. It's great for those among us who simply can't wear heels. For the rest of us, we get a much-needed break from those sky-high heels we've been wearing over the last several seasons.

Of course, most of these flats would go well with jeans, leggings, casual or dress pants, but don't feel obligated to stop there. Many of these styles would also look great with tights (full or cropped) and casual skirts and dresses.

Hot for Fall : Western, Casual, and Ankle Boots

Red suede, western, ankle boots with curved openings, side zippers, and slightly elongated toes.
Seychelles 'Lucky Penny' Image: UrbanOutfitters.com
The big trend in boots this fall is western styles, which come around every few years or so. If you like the idea of western, but don't want to go full-on "cowgirl," look for moderate styles with pointy or almond toes; harnesses; distressed uppers; and low, stacked or block heels. If you like round toes, engineer boots have a lot of those features, and consequently, are also really in right now.

And, if you do want a more full-fledged rodeo look, feel free to mix in multicolored uppers, lots of studs, fancy stitching, and elongated toe boxes.

As a carry-over from last year, there are also a lot of sleek, streamlined, and fuss-free ankle boots to choose from, like chukka boots and Chelsea boots. These styles work well with jeans, or with tights and casual dresses, but to get the most wear from them that you can, you'll want to choose a really simple style. You can wear classic boots like these for years.

Happily, for those of us who like to wear dress boots to work, there will never be a shortage of simple, heeled boots. But, if you're just buying a pair for a bit of on-trend fun, look for any form of casual with chunky, low or no heels, and you'll be in good shape when it comes to boots this fall.

Single Sole Shoes & Heels

Classic, pointy-toed pumps with hunter green suede uppers, and 3.75" stiletto heels.
Vince Camuto 'Hallee' Image: Nordstrom.com
You might have seen retailers and magazines touting "single-soled" shoes as one of fall's hottest trends, and wondered what they were talking about. Well, I'll tell you: high-heeled shoes without platform soles. Which, ironically, used to be called... well, high-heeled shoes.

But, because the platform craze lasted so long, and became so extreme, it seems that now we have to specifically point out when shoes don't have platform soles. Which, BTW, is most of this fall's hottest styles. I have seen some platforms. For the most part, they're just not as crazy as what we've been seeing. And, of course, there will always be some stores that specialize in that really "over the top" look that we've all come to love or loathe. I also have a hunch that platforms won't be missing in action for too long, so grab up those "single-soled" shoes while you can.

In other heel news, options seem to be experiencing a comeback. That's right, ladies, this fall, you're not going to be forced to choose between flats and heels that are in excess of 4-inches. You will actually be able to find kitten heels, low heels, even mid-height heels in a variety of shapes: stiletto, block, dress, or chunky. It doesn't seem like that should be a trend, but there you have it. That's what happens when extremes become the norm.

And finally, this season, we'll be reminded what a well-placed strap can do, as both ankle strap pumps and mary janes are experiencing slight uptrends.

Fall Shoe Color Trends: Deep, Dark, Saturated

Flat, simple, Chelsea-styled boots with tan leather fronts, and brown suede backs.
Lacoste 'Rosemont Chelsea' Image: Piperlime.com
Brown is always one of the most popular colors for fall shoes and boots. Given that this year's trends are so slanted towards western and casual styles, there's even more brown footwear than usual. We'll be seeing some deep, chocolatey browns, but not so much. However, if you're looking for a mid-tone, tan brown with orange undertones, you're totally going to score.

Beyond fall's usual choices in earth tones and dark neutrals, we're also going to have a lot of reds, blues, and teals to choose from. Think royal. Think rich. Think saturated with dramatic color. Blood reds, royal blues, and dark teals and turquoises.

Adding a bit of levity to all that drama, there will be a light smattering of berry, fuchsia and even purple shades; as well as a good number of darker green shades.

All in all, if you can see past the forest of browns and blacks, it's basically going to be a jewel-toned fall and winter.
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