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2012 Fall Shoe Trends for Women


Update: Looking for the latest? Be sure to check out this article on the top trends in women's fall shoes for 2013. Or you can keep reading to see what we were drooling over this time last year.

If you're bored with platform soles or weary with sky-high heels, you'll be happy to know that many of the hottest styles in women's shoes and boots for fall 2012 feature neither of those elements. But that doesn't mean we'll be relegated to sensible shoes and boring boots -- quite the contrary. In fact, there's loads of fancy footwear to be excited about this season.

For a look at some of the top trends for fall shoes 2012, keep reading.

Women's High Heel Trends for Fall 2012

For the first time in recent history, this season's catalogs and look books weren't overly-saturated with thick platform soles. But, for those of you who detest platforms, don't start dancing on their grave just yet, because they're still available in abundance. However, if you prefer a more classic look, there is certainly cause to rejoice, as their are loads of non-platform heels to choose from as well.

In the "trends I was expecting to see a lot more of" category are wedge heels. Don't get me wrong, you definitely won't look out of place in a pair of wedge pumps or boots, and they're still super-easy to find. But given their prevalence this past year, I simply expected to see them everywhere. I think maybe their lower-than-expected numbers are down to the fact that they've been nudged out by another of this season's biggest shoe trends: chunky heels.

Chunky High Heels

Image: Zappos.com
I've always been a big fan of hefty high heels, as I find them easier to walk in than stilettos, but I'm especially happy with this season's selection because there are chunky heels in a wide variety of heights, including lower heels (for a great vintage look), and higher heels, for a retro glam vibe.

Pictured: Vince Camuto 'Verona'

The Return of Classic Pumps for 2012

Image: Endless.com
Another trend in women's shoes for fall 2012, really isn't a trend at all. In fact, it's actually the welcome return of a classic: pointy-toed pumps. It's important to note here that I'm not referring to pumps with extremely elongated, point toes; I'm talking about pumps with toes that aren't extended, but have a pointed or almond shape, as opposed to styles with rounder toe boxes.

Pictured: Nine West 'Jeneil'

Fall 2012 : What's Hot in Flat Shoes for Women

In another departure from recent years, some of this season's most headline-worthy shoe trends are in the flats department, which is great news for those of us who have grown weary with the ever-increasing height of today's heels.

Women's Stylish Dress Loafers

Image: Endless.com
Dressy, unadorned, and streamlined loafers are hot, as are women's flats that are inspired by men's smoking slippers. If you really want to have fun with this trend, look for styles in lush materials like suede and velvet; rich colors like burgundy, black, or deep purple; or, go really bold with styles featuring animal prints, metallic uppers, glittery finishes or shimmery stud embellishments.

Pictured: Cole Haan 'Sabrina'

Cap Toe Flat Shoes

Image: Zappos.com
Another accent that's been popping up on flat shoes (as well as on pumps) is the cap toe. I've seen them on the same loafers mentioned above, and also on classic ballerina flats. Whether you're inclined to choose a shiny silver cap toe, or something with a little more texture, like spikes or rhinestones, this is another great way to add a little something extra to a pair of flat shoes.

Pictured: Marc by Marc Jacobs '626070'

Women's Boot Trends for Fall 2012

Following the lead of fall shoes, many of this year's hottest women's boot styles feature flat heels or chunky heels, and again, with the latter of those, there is a good selection of heel heights to choose from.

Women's Ankle Boots are Ultra-Hot for Fall

Image: Zappos.com
The real news in fall 2012 boots isn't the heels at all, it's the shafts. Shorter boots are hot, hot, hot. Booties, yes, but especially ankle boots are popping up everywhere, in casual and dressier styles.

Pictured: Donald J Pliner 'Danee'

Other Fall Boot Trends for Women

Image: Zappos.com
The most notable women's boot styles for the season fall into one of three categories, all of which are very casual in nature: motorcycle-inspired, western, or chelsea boots (think streamlined, flat, "Beatle-esque" boots if you will).

And if all of those trends are a little too pedestrian for your tastes, then you can always opt for this season's mini-trend of boots with fringe on them.

Pictured: Kelsi Dagger 'Trulux'

Shoe Colors Trends for Fall 2012

Image: Zappos.com
Along with the usual earth tone palette that pops up every autumn, this fall's go-to color in footwear is red. Dark red, bright red, ruby red, berry red, burgundy red... you get the idea. Great news for those of us who adore red footwear any year or season, but if you're looking for something a little less predictable, you could always opt for one of the season's other hotter hues like royal blue, deep purple, or dark turquoise.

Pictured: Rebecca Taylor 'Skylar'

Women's Shoe Trends for Fall : Animal Prints and Glitter

Image: Heels.com
Or, you could disregard the color wheel all together, and instead check out some of the trendy animal print shoes and boots. Leopard prints are especially hot for 2012), as are reptile prints, gold shoes, and anything with a hint of glitter.

Pictured: Sam Edelman 'Frances'

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