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2013 Fall Shoes Preview

A Sneak Peek at Fall Footwear for Women

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We'll be delving further and really carving up all the juicy details of 2013's fall shoe trends over the coming month or two, but in the meantime, I wanted to at least give you a bit of a preview as to what's in store for our feet.

Below, I've touched on a few of the most basic trends we'll be seeing: what's happening in flats; the most popular heel heights and the current status of platform soles; where boots are headed; and which colors we'll be seeing the most of in footwear this fall. So, kick back, get into an autumn mindset (maybe by thinking about fall foliage, hot chocolate or cozy sweaters), and have a look at what's coming our way in shoes and boots. And, don't forget to watch this space for more details in the coming weeks.

Flat Shoes Continue to Trend through Fall 2013

Loafers like these flats from DV by Dolce Vita will be especially hot for fall 2013.
Image: Zappos.com (Buy Direct)
Even though women's flats are always popular, they've really come into their own in 2013, and there has been a lot more to choose from than just the ubiquitous ballerina flats -- although there are still plenty of those around.

Like last year, we'll be seeing women's flats inspired by smoking slippers, but also picking up speed are the d'Orsay flats; pointy-toed flats; women's oxford shoes; and the various loafers we began seeing in abundance this past spring and summer.

While your safest bet would be to go for a simple, rich-looking version of any of those styles, you certainly won't feel out of place if you snag a pair of flats that have been accented with metallic trim; exotic skins; embroidery; studs; glitter; rhinestones; ankle- or t-straps; or cap toes. And if they have a suede, glossy or metallic finish, you'll definitely earn bonus points.

State of the Heels Address

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Image: Nordstrom.com (Buy&Direct)
Despite their recent decline in popularity, it would be wrong to declare the death of platform shoes for two reasons: 1) They're still incredibly easy to find and a small percentage of women seem more committed to them than ever; and 2) Of the platforms that are available, many are more extreme than ever.

Having said that, single-soled heels have definitely made their comeback; and even though, in the grand scheme of things, they're the more classic of the two styles, they also happen to be "trendier" this season than their thick-soled counterparts.

Of course, that means that heel heights have started to come back down as well -- although not as dramatically as one might have hoped. While we will be seeing a lot of lower heels, and even some kitten heeled shoes, there is still an abundance of pumps, boots and sandals that feature heels over 4-inches, but without a platform sole to counter their height -- and trust me on this: a single-soled shoe with a 4.5" heel is never going to be comfortable.

But back to the heel trends: there is no real leader in this category. A bit of this and a bit of that leaves us with more choices than ever and options for every kind of heel lover. But you certainly wouldn't go wrong with a pair of classic pumps with heels that are 3 to 4 inches tall -- chunky, block, round, tapered, or skinny, the choice will be yours this fall.

Boot Trends: Short, Casual, and a Hint of Western Flavoring

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Image: Zappos.com (Buy Direct)
There are no huge shake-ups in the boots department for 2013. Short, casual styles will be as readily available as they were last year, so, if you scored a pair you loved last fall, let them serve you well again this year.

Chunky-heeled boots, as well as western and cowboy boots are all having a bit of a surge in popularity, but again, that's really nothing new -- at least, here in the States. The same can be said for boots inspired by military, motorcycle, and even grunge styles, and if you have your heart said on grabbing a pair influenced by one of those fashions, you definitely won't have trouble finding them.

While that news may not be as exciting as hearing about a new or divisive trend in the category, it might actually be a good thing. See, I tend to view seasons like this as a great opportunity to grab a pair of classic casual or dress boots -- or, even better, a pair that can serve as both -- that you can wear for years to come, instead of splurging on a trendy "must-have" that you won't want to wear in a year or two.

If you need a new pair of fall boots and you have a limited budget, my recommendation would be to get yourself a pair of flat to mid-heeled, knee-high boots that are very simple and free of trendy details. Those styles work well with skirts, dresses and jeans. If you're more of a jeans-only kind of girl, then you could apply the same suggestions to a pair of flat or low-heeled ankle boots, and set yourself up for years to come.

Hot Shoe Colors for Fall 2013

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Image: Nordstrom.com (Buy Direct)
In addition to the usual fall palette of earth tones, this year we'll be seeing a lot of blacks and grays, as well as really deep, dark, and dramatic shades -- think: blood red, burgundy, inky blue, and royal purple. And, as a more fall-friendly carryover from the past season's mint shades, mid-tone to darker turquoises and teals are also especially hot right now.

While those shades may not seem quite as exciting to you as this past spring's coral or summer's mint, you're likely to swoon when you see them with a glossy finish, or in a luxurious suede fabric.

But, if the color-lover in you is still not impressed, I've seen a healthy dose of styles in dark pink and fuchsias, as well as a smattering of heels and flats in emerald and deep greens that might turn your head.

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