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They come in various styles, making them perfect for a range of occasions from office meetings to weekend brunch. Traditional military-style combat boots are great for everyday wear, and may come with zippers, studs and thick platforms for an especially edgy look. (We’re partial to Dr. Martens’ takes.) If more modern, feminine versions are your speed, however, you can find those too — including combat boots with heels, elegant embellishments like pearls or crystals and that even come in lighter colors like taupe or pink.
How to Wear Combat Boots
It’s true, combat boots are a classic style that pairs nicely with pretty much anything you own. If you want to mix it up, follow these celeb styling pointers for the winter:
- Give your go-to jeans and sweater look a cool girl update simply by adding a pair of combat boots into the equation.
- Recreate Zendaya’s head-to-toe Valentino look by pairing your combat boots with an ankle-length statement coat layered over a revealing black leather bralette and biker shorts combo. (You can also try the look with a short LBD instead.)
- Balance out an ultra-flirty floral dress by pairing it with your boots. It’s the perfect balance of feminine and rugged.
- Take a cue from Camila Cabello and style your cozy dresses and oversized jackets with combat boots for a comfy but elevated everyday look that you can wear anywhere this season.
- Head-to-toe black always wins, just take a peek at Sofia Vergara. Mimic her look by teaming a curve-hugging midi dress with tights and combat boots for a sleek going-out look.
In terms of function, combat boots are ideal for cold weather because of their snug, lace-up design and rugged rubber soles — which, when made for walking on slick, icy terrain, make these great winter boots. Adding to their durability, most silhouettes are made with sturdy leather or suede and many include double-stitched details.
Not only that, they’re podiatrist-approved. “They’re great for people with chronic lateral ankle instability or for people that hike on uneven terrain,” explains Silicon Valley-based podiatrist Najwa Javed. But not all styles are created equal. According to Dr. Javed, “If the upper material is too stiff, like in an ice skating boot, you fall and it will cause a fracture because there is no give in the material.” On the other hand, “if the material is too soft, there is no support to control ankle motion,” she warns.
And if you have any of the following foot conditions, you should heed Dr. Javed’s advice:
- Bunions: “A wide and open toe box is the key,” she says. “Boots can be narrow in the toe box, and that can cause pinching, which can worsen the pain of an existing bunion. Find a pair with a stretchable upper like suede or soft leather.”
- Plantar Fasciitis: “Go for a raised heel,” she notes. “Having a heel counter or lift of at least one inch can significantly reduce heel pain. Wedged boots are also a great option.”
- Flat Feet: “Boots that are made with anti-pronation technology are the best option, as well as boots that can accept insoles/orthotics,” Dr. Javed explains. “Flat feet are generally a more unstable foot type so opt for a rigid sole, arch support and ankle length to help reduce the pronation that flat feet are known for.
- Wide Feet: “For women with wide feet, using a men’s shoe in their size is the best option, given that most women’s boots are built narrower.”
- High Arches: “Boots with lace-up designs can be better than those with a solid upper in accommodating higher arches or feet that swell,” she shares.
From classic to modern silhouettes, we present you with the 23 best combat boots for women this season. P.S. it’s a good thing Black Friday is right around the corner. While you’re at it, you might as well knock out a few gifts on your holiday shopping list.
Dr. Javed highly recommends these boots from Vionic. “They’re built with intrinsic orthotic support; these are your podiatrist-approved go-to,” says the pro. Aside from its cushy insole, the shoes have an inside zipper and rear pull tab for easy wear. Plus, they’re stylish enough to effortlessly pair with all your winter looks.
Vagabond Cosmo 2.0 High Chelsea Boot
If the traditional take feels too busy to you, opt for these minimalist boots. They’re sleeker without the added hardware but they still have the heavy sole and rugged feel you’re after. Try them out with a black maxi dress for a chic, modern aesthetic.
Dr. Martens Jadon Boot
These OG platform Dr. Martens have been in style for decades. You can pull them off with any outfit. We particularly like the shiny leather style worn with a floral dress and oversized coat for an ‘80s grunge cool-girl vibe.
Prada Monolith Leather & Nylon Lug-Sole Combat Boots
Anyone looking to splurge should check out these rugged soles from Prada. The lace-up round toe style is made in Italy. It features rois leather with nylon accents, including on the removable ankle pouch. Pair the cutting-edge style with your toughest looks, from leather pants to skin-tight jumpsuits.
Steve Madden Bettyy Combat Boot
For just under $100, Steve Madden’s Bettyy boots come in smooth or patent leather in black, burgundy or white. No matter which hue you choose, you can easily pair this forever-cool style with everyday autumn staples like henleys and sweaters.
BP Kora 2 Lug Chelsea Boot
These pearl-embellished shoes are the ultimate feminine combat boot. The rows of shiny beads perfectly balance out the weighty sole. They’ll work just as effortlessly with your mini skirts as they will with vintage denim.
Isabel Marant Campa Combat Boots
Think classic combat boot, but with a designer label. That’s what you get with these chic Isabel Marant lace-ups. They’re complete with a round toe silhouette, a rigid rubber sole and subtle gold hardware. Season after season you’ll be able to wear these with all your winter coats and beyond.
Dolce Vita Avena Combat Boot
Update your classic lace-ups for fall with this luxe suede option. Done in a rich camel color, this pair is the perfect day-to-night boot and will go with everything from an office-ready blazer to a leather jacket for after-work drinks.
Schutz Calista Leopard-Printed Leather Bootie
Go bold with a classic leopard print. Since these printed boots make such an impression, keep the rest of your ensemble neutral and pattern-free. They’ll look great with skinny jeans, trousers and your favorite LBD.
Ganni Leather Combat Boots
Add a little attitude to your look with these chunky Ganni boots. The thick sole and two-toned color palette are impossible not to notice. The body is made of polished black leather that contrasts with the khaki-hued rubbers. You can still treat these boots as a neutral; they’ll pair with basic black looks just as effortlessly as prints and bold colors.
Forever Link Combat Boots
For those on a budget, these highly-rated military boots are a great option. Have your pick of 10 colors ranging from black to pink suede. Reviews confirm the style is extra comfy, so you’ll be eager to pair them with leggings on repeat to complete your new fall uniform.
These lace-ups are outfitted with a chunky water-resistant sole that somehow still feels lightweight. The sole also has a cool, lifted design that gives the boot a style of its own. The extra-long laces are meant to wrap around the ankle for another unique twist. Wear them all season-long and let the compliments roll in.
Dr. Martens Devon Heart Platform Boot
With flirty heart-shaped buckles, these fuchsia-colored boots are super feminine. They still have a tough feel, though, thanks to their thick soles, yellow stitching and Dr. Martens’ signature pull loop for easy on and off. When styling these, keep the rest of your ensemble simple so the boots can take center stage.
Tory Burch Miller Combat Boots
In classic Tory Burch fashion, these lugged soles boots are stamped with the brand’s iconic logo. They’re delicately accented with white stitching along the platform edge. Pair the style with floral dresses or classic denim —either way, you can’t go wrong.
Steve Madden Beso
These sky-high combat boots will round out your date night ensemble just as well as any heeled sandal would. Bonus: Steve Madden heels are know to be comfy, so you’re in for a treat.
These designer combat boots will last you years. They’ve got classic details like a fully-treaded rubber sole, cap toe and lace-up front but include ultra-edgy add-ons like a utilitarian belt strap and wrap-around lacing. Plus, their snakeskin finish is a nice departure from basic black.
Dr. Martens 1460
A bright white boot feels brand new for winter and is great for balancing out bulky sweaters and outwear. Try this iconic model from Dr. Martens, featuring black contrast details and signature Dr. Martens yellow stitching for a standout effect.
It’s the cool white leather, three statement buckles and all-over studs for us. Somehow, this decorated pair makes the combat boot trend effortlessly elegant. We’re envisioning a maxi dress and leather jacket to complete the look.
Michael Michael Kors Jax Bootie
If the logo trend is up your alley, these Michael Michael Kors booties nail it. The MK design is subtle on either the white or camel colorway. They style with perfectly coordinate with any of your winter coats.
Looking for the most comfortable combat boots? Sock booties are always a great everyday option. This pair marries the cozy trend with the tough-girl combat boot. The green-khaki shade has a stealthy, utilitarian vibe and is a great companion to your denim pieces.
Jimmy Choo Cruz Embellished Leather Combat Boots
There’s something about the juxtaposition of black leather and shiny rhinestones that just feels right. Plus, the two-inch heel on these Jimmy Choo boots gives the already-fancy shoe a made-for-evening feel. Far from tacky, these feminine boots will dress up jeans and dresses alike.
Erocalli Platform Boots
Test out the punk platform craze with these under-$30 boots on Amazon. There’s actually quite a few ways you can style them; for example with colorful mini dresses or skin-tight leggings. They’re so fun, you can even whip them out for your next costume party.
Dream Pairs Combat Boots
This Amazon find brings a whole new meaning to military-chic. They’re available in an array of outdoorsy browns and blacks and even have a built-in pocket wallet for your cash and keys.