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The Four Essential Boot Styles to Lock Down For Fall

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Illustrations by <a href="http://ariellaelovic.com/">Ariella Elovic</a> for Racked
Illustrations by Ariella Elovic for Racked

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Get those sandals the heck out of here: It's boot season, baby.

This year's key pieces are refined updates on familiar silhouettes, breaking down to four buys that should see you though fall, winter, and even early spring. The updated '60s mod boot is your go-to tall option, the date night stiletto bootie is refreshed with a taller shaft, Western-inspired styles are stripped of decorative stitch work and given a stacked block heel, and the enduring Chelsea boot gets a slick pointed toe. How to wear them—and where to shop each—below.

Mod

Blame Gucci for this one: Designer Frida Giannini's vision for fall came straight from the mod '60s, inclusive of knee-skimming boots finished with a slightly square toe and a chunky (read: walkable) heel. Think of these as the confident, mellow, art history-educated cousin to the over-the-knee boots of the last few seasons. Pair 'em with short shift dresses or miniskirts and shrunken jackets in line with the boots' mid-century roots.

You can drop $1,595 on those Gucci runway stunners via Net-a-Porter, or try Stuart Weitzman's low-heeled, patent leather take on the style for $650. Faith has a style for $245 with a subtle, croc-embossed back panel. For a similar look that isn't as tall, Prada did a great suede ankle boot that'll run ya $750, as did Asos for $143. Keeping the mod spirit in mind but with an overtly sexy spin, try Topshop's $130 nude heeled booties on for size.

Ladylike

For occasions when serious leg elongating is required, enter the season's go-to sexy boot. The eternally flattering combo of thin heel and almond-shaped toe are updated with a shaft that extends above the ankle bone, perfectly suited for ultra-skinny jeans paired with a slim blazer.

Charlotte Olympia makes the lovely pair we've illustrated above, but they'll run you $1,795 (of course Christian Louboutin has a perfectly-executed take as well—those are $1,095). Joie's simple suede booties look great in merlot for $355, while Schutz does an equally streamlined version in black for $320. For something with a little more glitz, try Diane von Furstenberg's gold chain booties for $475.

Clean Cowboy

Western-inspired boots get a minimalistic makeover with a substantial stacked heel and little adornment outside of pull tabs. Think of this as a pared-down reaction to seasons and seasons of Rag & Bone's Harrow bootie on every downtown girl. Go thematic with jeans and a blouse in large-scale plaid, or pair with a flouncy skirt, oversized knit, and a wide-brimmed hat.

French brand Laurence Dacade owns this style, and you can too, at the tune of $990. Marc by Marc Jacobs does a cute black leather pair for $450, and Joie has a flecked gray fabric style for $280; Jeffrey Campbell's take has super sexy, graphically-striking side slits for $208, while Sam Edelman's have a back vent and go for $160. Last but not least, give Chinese Laundry's pair a look—they're $130 and come in a rich cognac as well as black.

Pointed Chelsea Boot

Meet your all-day-every-day (or at least every weekend day), running-around-town shoe. The pull-on Chelsea, characterized by its elastic gore panel and low heel, is freshened up for this fall with a sleek, pointed toe. Give a special dress a bit of edge by pairing them with these low-maintenance boots.

Topshop has a modern-looking pair in optic white for $125, and ASOS has a similar style in classic chocolate brown for $72. Ball out with Acne's gorgeous Jensen boot for $550 or Saint Laurent's $1,042 Wyatt style in black suede.

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