Effortless Guide: How to Wear Combat Boots in 2021

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What to Wear with Combat Boots

Last Updated on April 14, 2021

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Combat boots are a fashion girl’s staple if you want a more edgier and cool look.

These chunky, edgy boots were originally used and still are by the military.

Modern interpretations are designed to suit both men and women and create an unmissable style aesthetic. They are the perfect gift all year round.

Browse this guide to see how you can adapt these boots and personalize to your taste and wardrobe, in accordance to style, clothing, season, colors, and looks.

By Style

Combat boots are iconic pieces that can immediately change the perception of any garment or outfit. They can vary between stylistic deviations, but over all represent a sense of rebelliousness within all of us.

Ankle Combat Boots

Ankle combat boots end just above the ankle, and are among the most common of combat boot styles. Ideal for streetstyle looks. These are praised for their versatility; ideal and adaptable from spring, summer, fall and winter.

These are a great place to start if you are thinking of purchasing a pair of combat boots. Combine with cuffed distressed hem jeans for a rocker vibe, or a short babydoll dress for a more feminine appeal.

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Sale
Dr. Martens 1460 W Black Nappa Leather UK 3 (US Women's 5)
  • Original Dr. Martens boot, built for a woman
  • Made with all the classic Doc's DNA, including grooved sides, heel-loop and yellow stitching
  • Built on the iconic Dr. Martens air-cushioned, with good abrasion and slip resistance
  • Airwairs original signature leather: a firm, finished leather with a smooth, semi bright appearance.

Cuffed Combat Boots

Cuffed combat boots feature a cuff detail on the top rim of the boot. These are ideal for the fall and winter, since a furry cuff can make a big difference in regards to both warmth and comfort.

We recommend tucking a pair of black skinny jeans into the boots, and wear with thick socks for extra protection. Black on black always looks best, but feel free to include other colored denims depending on your personal preference.

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High Heel Combat Boots

High heeled shoes are always an option to look extra posh and elegant; combat boots are no exception. These tend to be more comfortable than most high heeled shoes, since the tight laces and structure hugs the feet, providing extra support and comfort.

You can wear these with just about anything, but they look great with a flowy top and skirt duo or a tight pair of black jeggings.

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Dr. Martens Women's Kendra Fashion Boot, Black Sendal, 5
  • Made with Sendal, a soft, semi-analine leather with a smooth full-grain finish
  • Built on the iconic, rebelliously comfortable Dr. Martens Airwair air-cushioned sole
  • Sole is slip-resistant with superior abrasion, and is oil and fat resistant, too
  • Classic Docs DNA is in full effect, with visible stitching, grooved sides and a scripted heel-loop
  • Heel height is 4" and platform is 1"

Knee High Combat Boots

Knee high combat boots make more of an impression; if your personal style is described as unique and lavish, these are the best option for you. They end just before the knee, and are a very cool piece to add to your wardrobe.

The best way to style these is with a pair of printed tights, preferably black. Finish the look with a skirt or dress on top, so that the boots and tights are clearly visible. Another option is to wear them with a pair of knee-high socks underneath.

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Wild Diva Womens Timberly-65 Lace Up Knee High Boots Black 5.5 B(M) US
  • Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Shaft measures approximately 16" from arch
  • Heel measures approximately 1.25 inches"
  • Manmade Sole

Read: How to Wear Knee High Boots the Tasteful Way

By Clothing

Combat boots add a sense of toughness to any style and clothing they are paired with. They are an easy and quick way to swap the overall view of a style aesthetic, making it far more forward and edgier.

With Dresses

If you love wearing dresses, combat boots are the perfect addition to your next look. There are no limitations here; all dresses look good with combat boots, excluding evening wear dresses but including cocktail dresses.

Our top picks are:

  • Mini dresses for summer
  • Maxi dresses for spring
  • Thicker dresses for fall
  • Long sleeved dresses for winter

Consider blazer dresses, sleeveless, puffy sleeved, and even turtleneck collared dresses. Simply adapt the dress in accordance to the season.

You can never go wrong with black on black, and black combat boots look best when worn with black clothing. For options on mini dresses, choose one with an open collar and pair with a statement colorful bag.

If you prefer a longer alterative, a midi length number with a slit and quarter inch sleeve is also a cool option to consider.

With Jeans

When worn with jeans, combat boots give off a grunge vibe. For a more casual appearance, choose an oversized, ripped, acid wash jeans. For a more polished appearance, choose a dark wash pair of straight cigarette length jeans. Mom jeans are also another great alternative.

With Shorts

While it may sound strange to pair shorts with combat boots, these two actually go very well together. For warmer weather, pair your favorite denim shorts with ankle length combat boots. For colder weather, consider black leather shorts, black tights, and any length of combat boots.

Top with an oversized blazer for a unified look that is sure to make an impression. Another cool outfit alternative is to combine sport with grunge; choose a neon color of biker shorts, wear with an oversized graphic tee, and finish off with a flashy pair of combat boots.

With Sweater Tops

Sweaters worn as tops have taken over fashion this past season, in both runway capsule collections and in stores. Specifically, sweater vests have become all the rage, and it’s no wonder they pair perfectly with chunky combat boots.

Whether worn by themselves, or on top of a unicolored button up blouse, sweater tops are the perfect combination to combat boots. A real beauty, a feminine outfit that is balanced out; the perfect ying and yang, styling that is effortlessly cool. Consider cardigans as another great option and alternative.

With Skirts

Give your combat boots a twist by pairing them with a statement mini skirt; choose from printed, flared, layered, or ruffled variations— the possibilities are endless.

Depending on the time of year and your personal style aesthetic, you can choose from all the variations. However, you can never go wrong with a pleated black mini skirt and ankle length combat boots.

Read:

Feminine Sophistication: What to Wear a Pleated Skirt

Closet Essentials: Versatile Ways to Wear a Black Skirt

Skater Skirt Outfits: Ideas for Season, Color and Pairings

With Tights

Tights are the combat boot go-to pairing when you want to avoid wearing pants. Especially during the fall and winter months, when the temperature has dropped, tights will save you and your looks.

They are a classy and polished way to wear skirts, shorts, and dresses during the cold season without compromising style. While classic black is the easiest to style, you can have fun with printed versions, fishnet alternatives, and nude variations.

With Leg Warmers

Wearing a pair of leg warmers beneath your favorite combat boots is an easy and discreet way to add another layer of warmth, without compromising style. If anything, allow an inch or two of the hems of your leg warmers to show above the top of the boot.

This will once again keep your calves warm and add an extra pop of fabric, color, and texture to any outfit you are wearing. It is also an easy way to restyle your combat boots and make them seem a bit different, so you can repeat them endlessly, over and over again.

With Socks

Socks can be the correct extra touch to any outfit idea when paired with combat boots. Avoid any bright colors and prints, and stick to neutral shades like black, white, cream, and gray. If you want to add any additions, small details such as socks with lace hems can look very nice and polished.

With Suits

Suits have made a huge comeback as a style, primarily among womenswear. Blazers are a must have in every modern woman’s wardrobe, and it comes as no surprise that they look incredibly stylish when paired with chunky combat boots. A simple pair of black pants, blouse, and printed blazer are an easy to style combination to wear with black combat boots.

With Leather Jackets

Since combat boots are representative of the grunge aesthetic, there is no better match than a rustic leather jacket. Ideal for colder days, especially during the fall time, combat boots and leather jackets go hand in hand. There is something so special about this pairing; almost as if they were meant to be worn together, always.

With Cargo Pants

Cargo pants and combat boots get a characteristic sense of rebelliousness that takes the boots back to their original inspiration and meaning; the military and the people who fight in actual combat.

While combat boots in the field of battle are a very real thing, this style idea is a mild interpretation of the original, and made to follow contemporary fashions.

Choose a pair of slouchy, fitted at the waist, cargo pants in any neutral shade and tuck the hems into your favorite pair of lace up combat boots.

Recommended: How to Style Cargo Pants the Cool Way

With Cuffed Jeans

Cuffed jeans are highly understated. Similar in terms of length to cigarette jeans, these denim pants reach the length of your ankle as around 1 or 2 inches of fabric are rolled back.

Combat boots match very well with these style of denim pants, as they also reach the ankle length and aesthetically look very form fitting and pleasing.

If you prefer dark wash or light wash jeans, it’s up to you—just remember to keep a small gap between the hem of the pants and the boots for a cooler effect.

With Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are praised for their style and comfort; as are combat boots. When worn together, this makes for a highly comfortable style idea that is a non-seasonal style combination; it can be worn all year around. Choose a pair of skin tight skinny jeans, pair with an oversized sweater, and a flashy pair of sunglasses.

By Season

One of the key elements of combat boots are their effortless finesse and wearability under any style occasion, and any season of the year. See below for our top picks.

Spring

Spring is the best time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather with your favorite loose dresses. An above the knee unicolored dress, featuring a statement collar such as the peter pan style, a top handle handbag, and ankle length combat boots, is the perfect way to style these shoes during this season.

If you prefer a longer dress, choose a colorful alternative featuring a unique spring print, such as a flowy long sleeved maxi dress, cinched at the waist with a black leather belt.

Summer

While some may refrain from wearing boots during the hottest months of the year, you can still rock your favorite combat boots, even during the endless summer months. A loose dress is always a good idea to stay fresh, and opt for a sleeveless, lightweight fabric option featuring a high slit.

Another option, which is a bit more casual, is to simply pair a white tee with a maxi skirt, and a pair of white combat boots with black laces.

Fall

An interesting and unique style idea for wearing combat boots in the fall is with a short pair of overalls; choose ones that feature dark colors and a minimalistic print such as a faded plaid.

Wear a thick chunky turtleneck sweater underneath to stay warm, and wear a pair of classic black tights to complete the look. Finish everything off with your chunky black combat boots.

Winter

Combat boots are best during the winter, since apart from looking super stylish, they are also great to keep your feet cozy and warm.

Wear your favorite pair of combat boots with a stylish pair of black leather pants, an oversized turtle neck knit, a neutral toned coat, and a statement handbag. Choose a pair of boots that are higher than ankle length, such as the midcalf variety for an extended portion of protection.

By Color of Combat Boots

The different colors of combat boots appeal towards different style aesthetics.

Black

The most popular combat boots are black Martens. They withstand from getting dirty, many times are permeable, and match with almost anything. However, not everyone is drawn to the idea of chunky black boots.

There are many other alternatives that can be considered. If you are going to invest in a pair of combat boots, we suggest you buy your first pair in black, and go from there.

Shop the look

Sale
Dr. Martens 1460 W Black Nappa Leather UK 3 (US Women's 5)
  • Original Dr. Martens boot, built for a woman
  • Made with all the classic Doc's DNA, including grooved sides, heel-loop and yellow stitching
  • Built on the iconic Dr. Martens air-cushioned, with good abrasion and slip resistance
  • Airwairs original signature leather: a firm, finished leather with a smooth, semi bright appearance.

Brown

Brown combat boots are perfect if your style is more casual, hipster chic, and bohemian. These brown boots look great new and polished, but also well used and slightly faded.

These are the perfect addition to your closet if you live in a place that goes through the fall and winter season, as they are a nice change from the black boots that almost everyone else will have.

Green

Apart from black and brown, any other color variations are highly personal. A moss green color is a great option if you want something very different, that will stand out, but that will still match and be able to be styled many times over.

They go best with a pair of black skinny jeans tucked inside, and fall or winter accessories in neutral shades to finish off the look.

Taupe

Taupe combat boots have a softness to them that is ideal for anyone who wants to adapt this style trend, but who’s style is far from grunge-y and harsh. They are optimal for the everyday, will match with more informal looks, and will become your new wardrobe staple.

There are many versions of the beige combat boot, but we suggest a lighter variation with a tone similar to off white.

Floral

Floral combat boots are perfect for you if your style is more outgoing, vintage-esque, and girly. Go for a print that features a classic black boot with red or pink floral designs on top, and hints of green.

Go for an ankle length, classic lace up variation. Choose boots that feature smaller prints, that are both subtle and effortlessly cool.

Shop the look

Sale
Dr. Martens womens 1914 Vonda Combat Boot, Black Softy T, 5 US
  • Air-cushioned, synthetic sole
  • 14-eye boot
  • Slip resistant
  • Classic doc dna

By Look

As mentioned before, combat boots are highly versatile wardrobe pieces that can be adapted to all style trends and differentiations.

Chic

To be chic is to be elegant and stylish, all while appearing to have effortlessly done so. Combat boots are ideal for this style aesthetic, as you can casually throw them on and make it look like it took you hours to get ready; when in reality it only took five minutes.

A chunky cropped beige knit, faux black leather leggings, and a pair of combat boots are easy, cool, relaxed, and very chic.

Classy

While combat boots seem very contemporary, they are a classic staple. Once you invest in a high-quality pair, you will be wearing them for many years to come.

Shop for a classic go to, and opt for a pair of ankle length, lace up, black leather combat boots. Pair with your favorite winter blazer.

Cute

Combat boots can also be cute. To achieve this style, pair them with a mini dress, skirt, or even a maxi skirt that reaches your ankles; just make sure to show some leg, so it should feature a wide slit.

Combat boots will make your legs seem slimmer, so make sure you show them off!

Read Next: Doc Martens: Off-Duty-Model Look Style Guide for Women

Let us know what your favorite combat boot look is in the comments below!