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Style Advice

Four essential footwear styles for autumn

Four essential footwear styles for autumn

In transitional seasons, the wrong footwear choice can ruin not just your outfit, it can also put a dampen on your day. Stepping out in suede sneakers amidst many a soggy puddle, donning chunky leather boots on an unexpectedly muggy day – there are plenty of ways to put the wrong foot forward amidst the unpredictable weather of autumn. 

But that doesn’t mean there is no perfect shoe for the season. In fact, we’d argue there’s four. From hard-wearing boots to relaxed trainers to smart derbies, these are the essential shoes you’ll want to keep in regular rotation this autumn.

1. Hard-wearing workwear boots

Photographed: Danner Bull Run Boot (£199)

Why they're great for autumn

Autumn is all about chunky boots, and you probably already own a lace-up leather pair that double up for work and weekend wear. But as we move further into the colder end of the year, a pair of hardy boots that feel authentically workwear-inspired, like the Danner Bull Run Boot, can become a true staple of your daily dressing, whatever the occasion. Not only do they blend in perfectly with the frosty ground and leaf-covered pavements, they'll keep you sturdy and sure-footed as you face the elements.

What to look for 

High laces, a solid sole, and thick leather uppers that are built to last, giving your feet and ankles full coverage and protection against mud and puddles, whether you’re on a country hike or an urban commute.

How to wear them

Chunky boots look great with other workwear styles, like selvedge denim and heavy-waled cord. For a perfect frosty day outfit, pair your Danner boots with a pea coat, a chunky knitted rollneck, and dark denim jeans.

2. White trainers with a twist

Photographed: Nike Zoom Blazer Low GT (£45)

Why they're great for autumn

Trainers aren’t just for warm weather. They’re a casual classic that you’re probably already sold on. But if you tend to pack yours away when summer’s over, think again. The SB Zoom Blazer by Nike is a timeless style that feels sporty yet sleek and minimal for smart casual occasions. They bring colour and a hint of vintage flair, but are still super wearable all year round.

What to look for 

Go for a low-key flash of colour that helps keep the shoe versatile, yet more interesting than other minimal trainers. You can even find autumnal earth tones that will set them apart from your favourite summer styles and fit easily with the rest of your seasonal wardrobe.

How to wear them

Whether you use your minimal white trainers to tone down more statement-making looks or to smarten up your casual outfits, reach for these where you’d usually turn to your Stan Smiths or Common Projects. They look great with anything from light denim jeans to navy twill trousers.

3. Timeless black derbies

Why they're great for autumn

When you need to dress smarter, chunky shoes like Dr Martens derbies can pick up where your summer suede shoes left off. The bulkier shape and hard-wearing leather is not only on-trend, but it’s practical for wet weather, lending protection to your feet and trousers that will carry you through to brighter days.

What to look for 

Keep it plain and simple. This classic shoe has a modern twist that speaks for itself, but too much technical detail will draw attention from its simplicity and make it harder to style, especially with smarter work looks.

How to wear them

The beauty of plain derbies is that they go with almost anything, whatever your style. If you’re going for a workwear-inspired look, pair them with dark denim and a check shirt. For something smarter, switch your check for a classic Oxford and finish the look with a pair of wool trousers.

4. Retro running trainers

Photographed: Mr P. Colour-Block Suede Sneakers (£195)

Why they're great for autumn

Suede trainers can absolutely still have their place in your autumn wardrobe. Save them for the dryer days and invest in some protection spray, but don’t relegate them to storage as soon as the weather turns. This practical colour-block trainer by Mr P. has a cleated rubber sole that offers grip against slippery pavements and will keep your toes warm when the temperature drops.

What to look for 

Suede is great for bringing texture to your look, as it makes colourful footwear feel more wearable. Pick a colour that’s versatile for the rest of your wardrobe, and go for a classic runner shape that’s in this season.

How to wear them

Dress them up for a smart casual look with some formal trousers and a fine-knit jumper and unstructured blazer, or dress them down with a good pair of sweatpants and a hoodie with a classic wool overcoat for an unbeatable autumnal off-duty look.


Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing