Clothing / Fashion / Style

Boots for the Ages, Inspired by the 1970s

Woman in boots lying down

The summer heat has melted away into the sublime softness of autumn. This is a beautiful time of year when you can settle down under a plush throw, indulge in a cup of hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows), and savor the scents of cinnamon and pine needles. It’s also the season to bask in your individuality, and no fashion decade lets you do that better than the 1970s. Shoes are a great way to show your bohemian side, and fall is the season for boots. So go ahead and join in the craze for ‘70s fashion. It’s Dy-No-Mite!

Principles of 1970s Fashion

The decade of the 1970s was tumultuous, with many of the social movements that began in the previous decade continuing. Fashion was no exception to this turbulent, free-thinking time. Many object to style in the 1970s because it had no hard-and-fast fashion rules, but that very freedom is the beauty of this decade. Everyone was free to express individuality and indulge their creativity to create their own style. Boho-chic, gypsy, folk, ethnic, classic, disco, safari, military, sporty-chic, punk, glam, and—yes—hippie styles all shared the spotlight to create the most vibrant and diverse fashion decade in our history.

Translating ‘70s Style into Fashionable Modern Shoes

Designers return again and again to the 1970s for inspiration because it is such fun to work with the various styles that blossomed in that colorful decade. Shoes were just as colorful and fun as the clothing, so feel free and indulge your imagination when choosing fall boots. Wood was an important part of shoes in the 1970s, and designers are bringing that lovely warm detail back into various boot styles for the fall and winter. Now it’s time to know your sole.

Platform Heels

Ankle boots are a fashion staple this fall and winter, and those with platform soles are a great way to bring a ‘70s vibe to any outfit while keeping your feet and ankles warm and dry. In the 1970s, wood was a favored material for shoe soles, as was cork. These materials looked great and kept the shoes light. Cork is not as common now, but look for boots with wood platforms, or at least wood details. Platform boots are a great way for you to add height and drama without having to worry about teetering around on stiletto heels.


Wedges were another favorite heel style in the 1970s, and, like platforms, they give you gorgeous height as well as stability. This is a striking style for boots. Suede was a favored material in the 1970s for everything from clothes to bags to shoes, so look for wedge boots this season in plush suede, preferably in rich earthy tones.

Chunky Heels

Chunky heels look dramatic on fall and winter boots, yet they are comfortable to wear. They give you stability paired with attractiveness. Designers have gone wild with chunky heels for this season, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect boots for you. If you want a more classic look that still has a 1970s vibe, look for chunky-heeled boots in muted colors, perhaps in suede.

Low Heels and Square Noses

Another favorite style for boots in the 1970s featured low heels with square noses. Think Nancy Sinatra: “These boots are made for walking….” This style works great on taller boots, and though it looks practical, it does not lose any fashion edge. Pair this style with a blouse neatly tucked into a midi skirt, don some oversized sunglasses, and you are set to go.

Wilder Interpretations

Designers have gone over the top this year, presenting boots in bright and wild designs, with peep-toes and cut-out ankles, and some even have fur details. While this may not be an everyday work look, the message is clear: Do your own thing. Nothing could sum up the 1970s better. Individuality reigned and was honored. Go ahead and make your look your own. Don’t be afraid to wear shoes that nobody else wears. It’s fine to stand out from the crowd. While an entire 1970s wardrobe might not be your preference, 1970s-inspired boots can add spice to your winter outfits.

The Bottom Line on Fashion

Fashion is not the same as style. Fashion is fun and current, but your style is part of how you express yourself. Ultimately, your style should be comfortable for you. A striking pair of boots adds flair to any outfit, and boots are the perfect shoes for fall and winter. People in the 1970s prized personal expression, and this is a principle that should never go out of style.

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