Yes, we know. You spent the last year in your shearling-lined Birkenstocks and, even though you’re slowly emerging from your loungewear chrysalis, you’re not about to pull on some thigh-high metallic boots any time soon, crazy Vogue lady. Want the good news, fashion-interested reader who has clicked on this gallery presumably with a desire to be informed of the key autumn/winter 2021 shoe trends? Cosy, cuddly, shearling-lined shoes are still very much a look for fall.

But it wasn’t all sourdough and Scrabble on the autumn catwalks. There were also some exciting autumn/winter 2021 shoe trends to coax you – well, if not into metallic, skin-tight, Gucci monogrammed boots, then at least into some of the house’s super chic equestrian styles, or perhaps a pair of reissued Tom Ford-era slingbacks. Platforms, Noughties court shoes and sleek knee-high boots proliferated, as designers dared to dream of a lifestyle that might allow one to eat at a snazzy restaurant every now and again. And if that doesn’t come to pass? Rubberised boots, hiking shoes, motorcycle styles and snow shoes will ensure you keep up your daily step count.

Here, the biggest autumn/winter 2021 shoe trends to know now, and where to shop the trendiest styles.

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IRON MAIDEN

What’s the rush? Moving slowly is the post-Covid way – we’re all about taking things serenely these days. Furthermore, a slower pace is all the more conducive to showing off your metallic boots, polished to a shine courtesy of Prada, Victoria Beckham, Jil Sander and Gucci. And the ultimate prize for autumn’s leaden-footed ladies? Enter: Balenciaga’s armoured boots, made to Demna Gvasalia’s exact specification in a traditional medieval armoury in the south of France.

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INTO THE WILD

Riding, running, hiking, biking – after a year of international lockdowns where respite was inevitably found in the natural world, designers tapped into the great outdoors for autumn with a series of designs that boast all-terrain appeal. From sturdy English walking boots at Max Mara to elegant reworkings of classic equestrian boots at Gucci, rubberised wellington shoes at Givenchy to snow boots via a collaboration with Moon Boot at Chloé, adventure is guaranteed with purchase.

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KNEE DEEP

If you haven’t yet invested in a pair of sleek, knee-high leather boots – well, this could be your year. The podiatric equivalent to an AeroPress coffee (if you know, you know), grown-up, high-heeled exemplars in classic black and dark brown lent louche elegance to looks at Hermès, Fendi, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton. And if you’d rather stick to flats, set your style compass to The Row, Etro and Valentino.

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USE YOUR PLATFORM

2020 was a year of protesting and platforming. See where we’re going here? Forgive the glib politicisation of a catwalk trend that is essentially about boosting your height (sometimes it’s hard to think of puns in a pandemic), and embrace the extra inches. From chunky Mary-Janes in jewel-bright satins at Versace to pearl-studded turbo brogues at Loewe and Simone Rocha, these are shoes guaranteed to make you stand tall.

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LEADING LADY

The #Girlboss trope may have left the building after a long overdue moment of reckoning. But it seems her shoes haven’t. Noughties-tinged, pointed power pumps made their presence felt at Valentino and Michael Kors; ’90s-style sling-backs made a triumphal return at Gucci (expect to see those Tom Ford-era reissues everywhere come autumn); and prim, cone-heeled styles popped up at Balmain, Dries Van Noten and Moschino.