Fall Shoe Trends: Head Over Heels

It’s been almost a decade since platforms took over the footwear industry, dominating shoe trends with sometimes-perilous feats of how-high-can-you-go designs. While the platform shows no signs of disappearing—and you wouldn’t want it to, given how it lessens the pitch created by a high heel, thereby increasing its comfort—for fall, shoe trends seem to be rooted in a something-for-everyone approach.

Get ready to indulge your love of shoes as we spotlight 10 hot styles for the season, starting with chic and affordable flats and progressing in height until we reach one of fall’s hottest (and priciest) skyscrapers.

1The Ballet Flat

Ever since Brigitte Bardot sported a pair of Repetto ballet flats in 1956’s “And God Created Woman,” this low, easy shoe has been considered the height of style. For fall, opt for a chic pointed toe and a key accent for the season: the bow.

Ivanka Trump Collie flats with a ½-inch heel, $130, Macy’s

MORE: 5 Must-Have Handbags for Fall

2The Tuxedo Slipper

Also known as the smoking flat (named for its pairing with the tuxedo suiting known in many fashion houses as le smoking), this chic slipper has quickly emerged as a hot style in recent seasons. With jeans, an A-line dress or, yes, a menswear-inspired suit, the tuxedo slipper is sure to make you feel instantly stylish.

Among Club Monaco’s just-launched shoe collection: the Mackenzie studded slipper with a ½-inch heel, $249

3The Kitten Heel

Is there any shoe more polarizing than the kitten heel? Some women love its sweet, diminutive styling, while others have nothing but disdain for the heel-that-almost-isn’t. With footwear trends exploring options beyond the platform, you may or may not be thrilled that the kitten is officially a hot trend for fall. Our take? If it was good enough for Audrey Hepburn, it’s good enough for us.

Nina Reagan d’Orsay pump with 1-inch kitten heel and oversize bow, $79

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4The Chunky Low Heel

If you’re seeking stability, comfort and a touch of polished style, opt for a round-toe pump with a low, chunky heel—an easy shoe that should take you through the day pain-free.

Isaac Mizrahi New York’s Mod-inspired Perry pump in red suede with chunky, 1-3/4-inch heel, $140

5The Metallic Mid-Heel

Metallics are a huge trend in fall accessories, so now’s the time to inject your wardrobe with a splash of bronze that looks equally good at the office or dinner, in a height that’s both stylish and highly wearable.

Sigerson Morrison Pacific pump with 2-inch heel, $395

MORE: How to Wear Metallic Makeup

6The Round-Toe Pump

For comfort and height, seek out a shoe that offers plenty of room in the toe box, such as an almond- or round-toe style and a chunkier, more stable heel. With its square, high-shine heel and basic black styling, this Vince Camuto pump will take you through fall with ease.

Vince Camuto Louise et Cie Jenny pump with 3-1/2-inch heel, $118

7The Strappy Platform

A 4-inch pump is ultra sexy—but you could use a little help to ensure your feet won’t despise you at the end of the day. Even a ½-inch platform alleviates both pitch and stress on the ball of your foot, while this strappy style is sure to add a bit of edge to your fall wardrobe.

Calvin Klein’s Varin platform sandal with 4-inch heel and a ½-inch platform, $109.95

MORE: Shop in Heels, Spend Less Money

8The Pointed-Toe Stiletto Pump

Popularized by Roger Vivier in the 1950s, the stiletto pump takes its name from the Italian word for a long, thin blade. Ultra-chic and always classic, the pointed-toe stiletto is perhaps the hottest shoe of the fall season—but how do you guarantee you’ll make it through the day? When trying on the style, make sure the point extends well beyond your toes so they’re not crammed together in the front of the shoe. Also, be sure to counterbalance that thin stiletto both by seeking out a shoe that offers support throughout the sole, and perhaps take a break from them in the middle of the day to give the balls of your feet and calves a rest.

Stuart Weitzman Noveau pump in Merlot Pearl Python with 4-inch heel and extended toe box, $385

9The Peep-Toe Ankle Boot

Covered up, and yet a hint of sex appeal—that’s the balance found in the peep-toe ankle boot, also often referred to as a “shootie,” which offers stylish coverage even as it allows you to show off that fall pedicure. A hidden ½-inch platform takes a bit of the pressure off that high, sexy heel.

Ann Taylor Cerie Exotic Leather Peep-Toe Shootie with 4-inch heel a 1-inch platform, $148

MORE: The Best Boots for Your Body Shape

10The Ankle-Strap Platform

What’s at the other end of the spectrum from the ballet flat? A sky-high platform, of course. Few shoes exude the power, confidence and sex appeal that these towering styles radiate. For maximum height that doesn’t stray from wearability, a 2-inch platform allows you to consider the otherwise-unthinkable notion of wearing a 6-inch heel—“It’s really just 4 inches!” is what you’ll tell yourself as you gaze upon its soaring beauty. Contemplating a monster heel? Opt for an ankle-strap style, which offers more support than a pump or slingback. After all, nothing says “not stylish” more than falling out of your shoes. And if you’re going to choose an aspirational height, why not continue daydreaming with these ultimate wish-list shoes?

Brian Atwood Rocyce ankle-strap Mary Jane peep-toe with 6-inch heel and 2-inch double platform adorned with metallic “armadillo” detailing, $1,995

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