The 11 Best Pairs of Knee-High Boots to Wear With Everything

Really going back to my horse-girl roots this season.

 A guest wearing a black skirt, black sheer top, black leather jacket, black Hermes bag, and long shoes outside Herskind during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024 on August 7, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark
(Image credit: Alexander McQueen; Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images; Ganni )

I have, let’s say, an extensive boot collection. So extensive, in fact, that I was told off by both of my parents for bringing home more boots when I was in college. But now that I’m an adult, I need to take stock of everything I own and access any gaps in my collection. And if there's any single type of boot that I need to pick up this season, it’s a pair of knee-high boots.

Luckily for me (and unfortunately for my bank account), knee-high boots were everywhere on the runways for the Fall/Winter 2023 season. Some designers, like Acne Studios and Dion Lee, showed slender stiletto heels. Others, including Proenza Schouler, A.W.A.K.E Mode, and Celine sent slouchier versions down their runways. Finally, SIMKHAI, Christian Dior, and Chloé all showed flat and lug-sole and combat boots. And while I do love a heeled option from time to time, I am partial to a flat ankle boot that I can wear all season without risking my feet getting cold and without my feet aching by noon. And unlike over-the-knee boots, a classic knee-high pair works well for a multitude of occasions, from the office to a night out. 

Chloe; Proenza Schouler; Christian Dior

(Image credit: Chloe; Proenza Schouler; Christian Dior)

As with a great pair of loafers and the perfect pair of ballet flats, knee-high boots top my list of shoes I need to invest in this autumn. I consider them to be one of the building blocks of my forever wardrobe. And while my horse-girl roots are drawing me towards a classic flat riding boot, I have been inexplicably drawn to a boot not commonly found in my wardrobe—Western and cowboy-inspired styles are all over my Instagram saved folder. 

No matter which iteration you're personally shopping this season, keep scrolling. All of these come editor-recommended—and we shop for a living. 

How to Style Knee-High Boots

Like the rest of the basics in your shoe wardrobe, there are nearly endless ways to style knee-high boots. But, I turned to trend forecaster and founder of JMR Trend + Creative Jessica Richards for insight on how to make them feel fresh for the new season ahead. "As a huge fan of the "no-pants" look, wearing knee-high or over-the-knee boots this fall creates the illusion of coverage—and maybe even a little extra warmth in later fall—while still allowing for the look of bareness," she says, alluding to the fact that micro shorts and mini skirts have continued their reign over the fashion set in 2023. "This styling trend has been around, but it continues to work because of the role it has in 2023's love of silhouette play of layering extremes: an oversized blazer or oxford shirt over an exposed bralette, a mini skirt or short with an oversized belt, and a chic pair of knee-high boots."

Meet The Expert

Jessica Richards
Jessica Richards

Jessica Richards is a trend forecaster, style storyteller, and founder of JMR Trend + Creative, whose synergistic focus inspires what is now and next. With an extensive background in forecasting, concepts, and design for major North American retailers, she brings a forward-thinking yet commercial and brand-right viability to projects across the fashion and wellness

Julia Marzovilla
E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers everything from the latest beauty and fashion launches and sales to celebrity outfits and news. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and STYLECASTER. In her spare time, Julia can be found creating shopping guides for all of her friends, spending too much money on yet another pair of black boots, and cooking in her far-too-small kitchen.