From the Archives: How Winter Boots Have Changed Over the Years

The boot is a perennial wardrobe staple, especially as temperatures drop. And now, as record-breaking cold temperatures hit the U.S., women all around the country are digging their warmest winter boots out of their closet.

But wintry women’s boots are nothing new. In the 1970s, the thigh-high boot — a trend that’s reemerged in recent years — was a popular style on the runway and on the street. Fashionable women styled their thigh-highs with oversized fur coats, while Issey Miyake sent a model out on the runway in a bodysuit and thigh-highs during its fall ’72 show.

Issey Miyake fall '72 runway, winter boots
A model wears thigh-high boots with a bodysuit at the Issey Miyake fall ’72 show.
CREDIT: Peter Simins

In the 1980s, thick-soled workboots were all the rage. The comfortable style surged in popularity, and women fell in love with the casual, lace-up style.

winter boots, model ralph lauren
A model in the Ralph Lauren fall ’83 show wears a military-inspired jacket with baggy pants and lace-up work boots.
CREDIT: Tony Palmieri

In the 1990s, winter boots got their couture take, courtesy of Alexander McQueen. The designer’s fall ’97 show featured models in spotted pony skin over-the-knee boots and chic mid-calf leopard print boots. For a high-fashion twist, the boots were styled with tiny miniskirts and semisheer stockings.

alexander mcqueen, winter boots
A model in the Alexander McQueen fall ’97 show wears a leopard print blazer and matching boots.
CREDIT: Giovanni Giannoni

The dawn of the new decade brought with it the rise of the Yeti boot. In 2000, Alexander McQueen again helped redefine fashion when the designer sent oversized, fluffy boots in bold colors down the Givenchy runway.

givenchy, alexander mcqueen, yeti boots
A look from Alexander McQueen’s fall 2000 collection for Givenchy.
CREDIT: Stephane Feugere

And the furry boot style was duplicated by women off the runway, as women in the 2000s frequently sported shearling lined Ugg boots when the temperatures began to dip down.

In the current decade, stylish suede boots have been a popular choice for women. And the old adage of no white after Labor Day has no longer held true: Women frequently sport white boots throughout the winter.

Still, an old favorite — the Yeti boot — has made its resurgence in 2010s, appearing on the Saint Laurent runway for the spring ’18 season.

Saint Laurent spring 2018 ready to wear
Saint Laurent spring ’18.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Click through the gallery to see more winter boots through the decades.

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