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Now that the cowboy boot is riding high again, FRANCESCA HORNAK adjusts it to size

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Years ago I made peace with the fact that I am not a cowboy boot. By that I mean the kind of intrepid, hedonistic soul who still has the pair of busted “ropers” they wore in their twenties — on California road trips, Ibiza nights and Glastonbury sunrises. Nor am I the other type of cowboy boot – the mythical, indifferent Parisian who casually adds her Isabel Marant Duertos to an evening dress.

I once bought cowboy boots. I was 26, alone in Manhattan for two days, writing for a newspaper about the first Sex and the City movie. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before, and the whole situation was so exciting that I lost all judgment. For an afternoon I believed I was Carrie Bradshaw and bought a pair of vintage navy blue and gold cowboy boots in SoHo.

At home, I looked like I’d dressed up as Captain Marvel, but only from the knee. The height of the middle of the calf was also very unflattering. I actually bought a pair of blue booties, to use an apt term from the 1990s.

Rodeo boots, £375, russellandbromley.co.uk. Cowboy boots are now predicted to be the biggest trend of the fall of 2022

Speaking of which, the last time most of us interacted with cowboy boots was the best-forgotten boho period of the 1990s. But here we are, 20 years later, and they’re going to be the biggest trend of the fall of 2022. And for all of the above about not being a cowboy boot, I also know that the thing that isn’t quite ‘you’ – in the beginning – often becomes the thing in your wardrobe that you adore. So I’m cautiously reconsidering.

This time there are three ways to do the trend. First, what I’d call the sheriff’s boot. Actually Woody from Toy Story, this follows the classic western formula of knee-high brown leather, low heel and swirly stitching. M&S’s version (left) will work well with flowy or slinky dresses (aren’t the best dress combinations counterintuitive?), but if you want to cut down on the 2006 boho factor, there are plenty of monochromatic pairs.

Sand, £69.99, zara.com

Sand, £69.99, zara.com

Left: Sand, £69.99, zara.com. Right: Sand, £69.99, zara.com

Second, you have what I would call the Vegas: a striking boot in metallic leather, cowhide, or lurid python, possibly with fringes. The likely sale is Russell & Bromley’s Rodeo (opposite). See also Urban Outfitters, Free People, Reformation, or rhinestone-era Elvis for inspiration. If you’re a true Carrie Bradshaw then a pair like this could be just the thing to brighten up the November four o’clock darkness.

Western, £185, ariat.com

Black and Blue, £475, aeyde.com

Left: Western, £185, ariat.com. Right: Black and Blue, £475, aeyde.com

Taupe, £125, marksandspencer.com.  We last had contact with them 20 years ago, in the boho period of the 90s Joanne Toolan chooses the shoe styles for the new season that the fashion influencers wear

Taupe, £125, marksandspencer.com. We last had contact with them 20 years ago, in the boho period of the 90s Joanne Toolan chooses the shoe styles for the new season that the fashion influencers wear

Third, the Mini. An ankle-high, discreet cowboy boot, it works just as well with jeans and dresses as it does with more structured workwear and jackets. Ba&sh’s pixie-eque Casey boot (above) is the holy grail, but Zara has a seductive sand-colored pair (left) that’s more or less a Chelsea boot with subtle embroidery.

To break myself in, this is the one I’m going to try. I hope that I can finally become the mythical Parisian, who effortlessly combines spurs and silk. The reality is more likely Compeed blister plasters and the school pickup. Jeez, anyway.

THE LOAFER

THE LOAFER: Cool, comfy and often chunky, it's the fall standby no foot should be without

THE LOAFER: Cool, comfy and often chunky, it’s the fall standby no foot should be without

Cool, comfortable and often chunky, it’s the fall standby that no feet should miss.

Tan, £169, kurtgeiger.com

Blue, £69, whitestuff.com

Left: Tan, £169, kurtgeiger.com. Right: Blue, £69, whitestuff.com

Khaki, £20, Tues, sainsburys.co.uk

White, £130, boden.co.uk

Left: Khaki, £20, Di, sainsburys.co.uk. Right: White, £130, boden.co.uk

Blue, £259, lkbennett.com.  These pumps are a great alternative to an ankle boot or classic court this fall/winter

Blue, £259, lkbennett.com. These pumps are a great alternative to an ankle boot or classic court this fall/winter

THE SPRAYED PUMP

THE BUCKLED PUMP: From fabulous flats to dramatic heels, the Mary Jane gets a makeover

THE BUCKLED PUMP: From fabulous flats to dramatic heels, the Mary Jane gets a makeover

From fabulous flats to dramatic heels, the Mary Jane gets a makeover.

Black, £45, johnlewis.co.uk

Burgundy, £69, charleskeith.co.uk

Left: Black, £45, johnlewis.co.uk. Right: Burgundy, £69, charleskeith.co.uk

Triple buckle, £259, lkbennett.com

Angled heel, £325, russellandbromley.co.uk

Left: Triple buckle, £259, lkbennett.com. Right: Angled heel, £325, russellandbromley.co.uk

Anklet, £119, massimodutti.com.  These high heeled sandals are made of leather and have a square toe

Anklet, £119, massimodutti.com. These high heeled sandals are made of leather and have a square toe

THE MULE CLOG

THE MULE CLOG: It's back to backless with the hottest hybrid of the new season.  Just watch out for pee

THE MULE CLOG: It’s back to backless with the hottest hybrid of the new season. Just watch out for pee

It’s back to backless with the hottest hybrid of the new season. Just watch out for peeing.

Khaki, £65, fitflop.com

Rust, £650, tods.com

Left: Khaki, £65, fitflop.com. Right: Rust, £650, tods.com

Black, £135, arket.com

Shearling, £100, stories.com

Left: Black, £135, arket.com. Right: Shearling, £100, stories.com

Black buckle, £149, whistles.com.  These mule slippers are a great way to take your loungewear to the next level

Black buckle, £149, whistles.com. These mule slippers are a great way to take your loungewear to the next level

THE SKATER SNEAKER

THE SKATER SNEAKER: Channel your inner teen (or borrow theirs) for the ultimate comfort that's too cool for school

THE SKATER SNEAKER: Channel your inner teen (or borrow theirs) for the ultimate comfort that’s too cool for school

Channel your inner teen (or borrow theirs) for the ultimate in comfort that’s too cool for school.

Block color, £90, boden.co.uk

Green and animal print, £49.50, marksandspencer.com

Left: Block color, £90, boden.co.uk. Right: green and animal print, £49.50, marksandspencer.com

Orange stripe sole, £69.99, zara.com

Suede, £100, clarks.co.uk

Left: Orange stripe sole, £69.99, zara.com. Right: Suede, £100, clarks.co.uk

Brown, £22.99, stdivarius.com.  These lace-up sneakers with multi-part details and a perforated toe box are available in different colours

Brown, £22.99, stdivarius.com. These lace-up sneakers with multi-part details and a perforated toe box are available in different colours

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