combat boot close up

Since their military beginnings in the 1940s, combat boots have evolved into a fashion staple. In the 1970s, these lace-up shoes became a symbol of the counterculture movement — most specifically, the growing punk scene. They were beloved by bands like The Sex Pistols and The Clash, who wore them with lots of leather, waist chains, and spiked hair. The shoe also became a staple in the LGBTQIA+ community, used by queer women to signify identity. By the 1990s, the grunge aesthetic was trending, and combat boots were accompanied by plaid and ripped jeans — given the recent resurgence of ’90s fashion, not much has changed in the 2020s. As market editor Angela Koh explains to The New York Times, "A simple, black ankle boot, free from any excess designs or trinkets," will pretty much always be in style.

Best of all, combat boots are adaptable for any season (or occasion, for that matter). Wear them to work, to an apple orchard, or to an outdoor summer concert. Even pair them with a formal gown like "Squid Game" star HoYeon Jung. Given their versatility, combat boots are one of those shoes we just can’t live without. If you’re searching for ways to repurpose your favorite thick-soled stompers winter through fall, look no further.

oversized plaid blazer
leather bomber jacket
tan trench coat
denim maxi
leggings and mini skirt
striped summer set