Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

Would You Wear… Combat Boots?


The combat boots trend worn on a J Crew model, Nicki Hilton, and a college fashionista
J Crew catalog shot, Nicky Hilton, and a college fashionista [Credits: 1, 2, 3]

Let’s get real: It’d be tough to find a College Fashion reader that doesn’t love boot shopping. It is definitely my favorite part of fall and it’s hard to imagine any college girl who doesn’t love integrating a brand new pair of boots into their closet.

With this in mind, writing about the revival of combat boots made sense. These shoes are not reserved for actual warfare or grunge looks anymore – they’ve officially hit the mainstream. In fact, on campus here at FIDM, they are hugely popular and they seem to be everywhere when you go shopping.

Aren’t sure how to wear combat boots? Fear not! These boots are surprisingly easy to integrate into your wardrobe! You can expand on their funky vibe like the J. Crew model, or tone down their roughness with some feminine elements, like Nicki Hilton (both pictured above). Still unsure? Here are two ways I would rock the look:

Doll them up…

Combat boots outfit
Product Information: Shirt – Modcloth, Jeans – Debenhams, Boots – Amazon, Purse – Bag Borrow or Steal, Earrings – Charm or Chain, Bracelet – Nordstrom

Dress them down…

How to wear combat boots
Product Information: Poncho – Monsoon, Boots – Piperlime, Tights – Old Navy, Socks – Debemhams, Bag – Topshop, Bracelet – Topshop

Would you wear combat boots?

Now for the most important part of this post – I want to know your thoughts on this trend! Do you think combat boots are cute? Would you wear them with feminine accessories or rock them as an edgy look? Do you think combat boots will be in style for a long time or go “out” soon? Make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts!

Posted on on October 12, 2010 / Filed Under: Would You Wear? / Tags: , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

71 Responses to “Would You Wear… Combat Boots?”

  1. 1
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:03 am


  2. 2
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Yes yes yes! I found a really nice looking pair of *actual* combat boots (from my time in the military) in my closet this weekend. I was going to donate them to charity but held on to them for sentimental reasons…Good thing! I’ve been looking for some inspiration to incorporate them into the season. Loving the 1st outfit.

  3. 3
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    love! make one on how to wear riding boots!

  4. 4
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    For sure! I love combat boots and Docs.

  5. 5
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    my FAVORITE boots are my combat boots :)

  6. 6
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:14 am


  7. 7
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    i bought a pair a month ago! they were super cheap; $ 24. yay! i love them!

  8. 8
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    i bought them a month ago and i am still in love :) they were super cheap; $24. yay

  9. 9
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Yes please do one on riding boots! Loved this article!

  10. 10
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Hm, I don’t think I can pull them off, but I love how Nicky Hilton wears them!
    Probably worth a try.

  11. 11
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    haha..i see that i wrote my comment twice! but i have a question, do any of you guys know if the website is safe? cause i really like the scarf that you posted some days ago! :) thanks.

  12. 12
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I have, for six years now, still do, and probably always will.
    I am such a rabid boot junkie. My Doc Martens are my babies. <3

  13. 13
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I love this! I especially like how the first outfit is extremely feminine besides the combat boots, and the boots give it such an edge. I’m in love!

  14. 14
    October 12th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    IMO, it’s quite difficult to pull these boots off, but then done right, it’s quite a laid-back and cool look. The way Nicky Hilton wears them is awesome!

    But um…where are the top and pants in the second outfit?
    Ponchos are not dresses :/

  15. 15
    October 12th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Hell yes I would!!

  16. 16
    October 12th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I’m not a fan of them due to the fact it’s a type of style that not a lot of ppl could pull off the while idea to me is a no to this fashion style

  17. 17
    October 12th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    oh yes, I agree with Vanessa. A riding boots article would be nice also!

  18. 18
    October 12th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I love them, too, and own a beautiful gray pair. Trying to figure out how to wear them with my 5 foot frame without looking cut off, though.

  19. 19
    October 12th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Great post! Especially since I’ve been going back on forth on whether or not to try these. I really like the look, but I’m unsure if it’ll look good on me (proportion-wise and everything). I’m thinking of purchasing a relatively inexpensive pair first (Forever 21 maybe? Has anyone tried any of theirs?)

  20. 20
    October 12th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Awesome! Ok..question though. Way back in like…’05 I bought these blue ones, like dark navy kind of blue. How can i rock those without going back to my lame punk/goth kid days???

  21. 21
    October 12th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Seriously, I’m obsessed with the combat boot trend thanks to Jessica Alba. I just don’t know where I want to buy them from yet, gotta find the perfect price. There is an army surplus shop a few blocks from me, so I was thinking of checking that out. Wonder if there’s some there?

    Also, does anyone notice how certain trends really only last one season, and are difficult to find when they actually are in season, and then the following year they’re everywhere (too late) and therefore annoying? If this isn’t just my imagination, do you guys see that being the case with combat boots?

  22. 22
    October 12th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    i really want to get a pair love the styling on the first model.

  23. 23
    October 12th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I love combat boots! i have been wanting a pair since I was 13 (am 22 now). I finally found the perfect pair a few months ago at JCPenny’s, of all places! They are black, mid-calf, with lots of buckles and can be folded down.

    My favorite look so far is pairing them with my 90’s floral dress. It’s kind of a dated look, so I plan on trying something more modern soon.

  24. 24
    October 12th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Love the combat boots look! Just got myself a pair this weekend, so excited!

  25. 25
    October 12th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Loved this post! I have been wearing combat boots since last fall. I have 3 pairs of docs and 2 other brand pairs. I’m a bit obsessed lol. I wear mine with jeans, leggings, and usually girly tops or v-neck t-shirts. They’re also stylish rain and concert boots!

  26. 26
    October 12th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Yes! I’ve been wearing my combat boots for about 3 years now and they’re the comfiest most versatile thing ever! I love them, and will love them even if they’re not “trendy” AND they totally work in the Great White North ;)

  27. 27
    October 12th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I love the combat boot look. My best friend is obsessed with them (she owns like 5 pairs now!) but I was really picky and held out until I found the perfect pair. They are so comfortable, can be worn tied up or not (for a more grungy look). Now I just need a pair or lighter summer boots (in Australia, we have just gotten into Spring) and I’ll be set.

  28. 28
    October 12th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Looking for a cute cheap pair now!

  29. 29
    October 12th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    to britney: yesstyle is safe. i bought two items from there (a sweater and a bookbag) and i’m ordering sequin shorts for my halloween costume right now! takes a while to deliver and they charge you and international shipping fee, but if you look around for promo codes, you can knock off a few bucks. :)

  30. 30
    October 12th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    thanx :)

  31. 31
    October 12th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    After wearing them for two years at the army I think I’ll pass.

  32. 32
    October 12th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Of course! I have a pair I love to pieces, and I always get compliments on them when I wear ‘em.

  33. 33
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of combat boots since summer! I want them to look tough and bad-ass but still girly and not clunky. Which seems to be a very hard thing to find. Thanks for the suggestions though, these are great!

  34. 34
    October 13th, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I LOVE this trend. I adore them because they add an edgeiness and a certain toughness and grunge look to any outfit with out overdoing it. They’re also very practical.. :) xx

  35. 35
    October 13th, 2010 at 1:25 am

    LOVE the first look. Where can I get the pics for the rest of that lookbook?

  36. 36
    October 13th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I just bought a pair and I absolutely love them. You can pair them with a feminine dress to make it an outfit edgier or just pull ‘em on with leggings or skinny jeans–so versatile!

  37. 37
    October 13th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I love these boots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been wearing them since July when I got a navy blue pair for $27 at , they’re wonderful!!! I don’t even think they’re hard to pull off, I’ve worn them with shorts, plaid or floral dresses, jeans, leggings, mini dresses with boyfriend cardigans, even with blazers!! think about chic contrasting combinations and you’ll find a thousand ways to wear them!

  38. 38
    October 13th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Funnily enough, I’m wearing my favorite combats right now. :) Gotta love being fashionable without realizing it.

  39. 39
    October 13th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I guess I’m in the minority; I hate combat boots. I hate how clunky they look. However, my style is very girly and feminine. To each her own.

  40. 40
    October 13th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I bought combat-style boots in a crazed moment of goth fashion in early high school. I didn’t expect to wear them ever, ever again (which was kind of sad) so I’m really glad they ended up being fashionable & I wore them just the other day.

  41. 41
    October 13th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I would never wear combat boots because they’re too masculine for me, but I so liked the casual, layered look of the boots in the JCrew lookbook and Nordstrom’s fall catalogue that I went searching for feminine lace-up boots, and ended up indulging a longstanding fashion fancy of mine. I bought a simple pair of Victorian lace-up boots from Shepler’s western store, in cognac brown, and they are definitely my current favorite fashion item. They have a similar visual proportion and appeal to combat boots, but with a very feminine and vintage, and slightly Old-West, edge as well. They are also quite comfortable, and have garnered me many compliments.

  42. 42
    October 14th, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I have a black pair and I LOVE THEM! At first, when I saw combat boots, I was hesitant in getting them because I thought that they would be hard match my wardrobe, but I’m glad that I caved in. They add an edgy element to your overall look if you know how to mix and match interesting outfits. I especially like to wear them with textured tights.

  43. 43
    October 14th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I will never wear combat boots. I don’t think they are feminine enough to fit my style.

  44. 44
    October 15th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I like to take it past combat boots that have never seen combat, I wear my old Paddock boots (short, a little bit above the ankle) from horse-back riding.

    I wear my Field Boot (tall riding boots) totally rock the whole”ridding boots” trend.

  45. 45
    October 16th, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I kind of like this look, but I feel like it has to be done very carefully to avoid looking strange. I’m definitely a fashion risk taker, so I might buy a pair of them eventually. I have really huge feet though, haha – that never stops me from buying any type of shoe, but since these shoes are already really clunky, I’d have to try them on in a store first rather than just buy them online, to see if they look ridiculous or not.

  46. 46
    October 23rd, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I bought a knock-off pair for $20…I’ve been wanting a pair for a really long time.
    I wore them with a bubble skirt. Got TONS of compliments from guys AND girls. (;

  47. 47
    November 3rd, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I personally hate them. I think they are so ugly and they definitely don’t fit my style. I think they’ll end up like the mullet, they’ll be in style for a time but when everyone looks back on it they’ll say “What was I thinking!!?” They’re just not cute.

  48. 48
    November 12th, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Not quite,Elle Spell…I mean seriously, if you actually think we’re going to look back on this trend saying “what was I thinking” then the trend wouldn’t be here now being as it’s been brought back twice already from both the 80’s punk AND 90’s grunge trends!

  49. 49
    November 16th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    They are no longer part of a trend(as in the 60’s,80’s,90’s). They are now classic and can enhance and add inte rest to an eclectic array of fashionable looks, for all ages. Just look towards Betsey Johnson and Madonna. I personally had no interest in them whenever they were associated with fads. I finally bought a pair last week in San Francisco now in my 40’s.

  50. 50
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Where can I find a pair like the first pic? I don’t want to have to ship out of the uk.

  51. 51
    December 12th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I TOTALLY want to wear them…but I’m really scared! my style is more classic, and i’m kind of afraid to step out of my comfort zone…?

  52. 52
    December 24th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I love combat boots, been wearing them for ages :D the only thing that annoys me is when people wear them with tracksuits. This girl I know does it all the time… it just doesn’t work.

  53. 53
    January 9th, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    yeah i just bought a pair of gray ones from burlington coat factory.n theyre all over

  54. 54
    January 19th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Its 33 too old to wear them?

  55. 55
    February 10th, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Love combat boots!!!! I usually rock an edger look w them!

  56. 56
    March 29th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    STILL so keen on this trend! It’s taken a while for the style to set in Aus, but still, je t’aime!! I got a pair from ZU and they are SO COMFORTABLE!! I can even wear them on hectic 9-6 uni days and still go out with friends afterwards! ~although not too sure about the distressed look…

  57. 57
    April 21st, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I own two pairs of combat boots: a pair of black ones and the Steve Madden Troopa Boots in Cognac. I love both of them and wear them with everything: skinnies, leggings and a tunic, floral dresses, flowy skirts.

  58. 58
    June 14th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    i would totally wear those!!! im a casual person so ill just wear a graphic tee, skinny jeans and combat boots

  59. 59
    July 23rd, 2011 at 6:28 am

    i bought some and dont know where i can get things that go with my combat boots-

    Do white skinny jeans go with combats?

  60. 60
    July 23rd, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Ella, combat boots go with everything! I wear them with skinnies and graphic tees, with skinnies and a flowy tunic, a dress and tights, floral skirts, jean shorts…the possibilities are endless. And yes, combat boots look awesome with white skinnies.

  61. 61
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    My mom just bought a pair for me & I’m planning on wearing them on the first day of school for 8th grade with this really cute floral shirt from jc penny & my school isn’t that fashionable so I’m really insecure about wearing them, but I know I shouldn’t care what others think but I’m really second guessing them now. anyone have any advice?

  62. 62
    August 16th, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Kiana, wear them anyway! I wear my boots with floral tops all the time. The edginess of the combat boots is muted a bit when worn with a girlie top and the contrast looks totally awesome! In fact, where I’m from, hardly anyone wears combat boots, so when I wore them with a floral top, people were calling me a “trendsetter”. I’m sure you’ll look great for the first day of school.

  63. 63
    November 1st, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    LOVE THIS TREND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw a pair for around $30 at H&M last week, wanted to get them soooo bad, but sadly didn’t have enuff money. Keep saving……. :)

  64. 64
    December 24th, 2011 at 1:41 am

    I have always always always LOVED combat boots…i would wear them with an edge,because that is my style in a nutshell. I don’t do girly or demure. :)

  65. 65
    October 24th, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I like combat boots because of the many options you can wear with them. But i have a question,. What is the difference between Combat boots and Military boots. I have failed to see a difference in these two boots

  66. 66
    July 15th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    mst definately

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.