Get ready for lots of exotic leathers and prints, a little glitz and glam, and plenty of crossover appeal.

Our team recently made our annual pilgrimage to Denver’s WESA market to check out what's new in Western fashion. My favorite part of the trip, by far, was meeting with bootmakers and getting up close and personal with their latest creations. I can not resist an awesome pair of boots (or heels), and there were plenty of eye-catching kicks to choose from!

Trends to take note of in footwear this year: 1. Exotics. Everyone is stepping up their game when it comes to animal prints and exotic skins. Expect a lot of elephant and alligator (Durango has even come out with leathers embossed to look like these skins),  and, of course, cheetah prints and hair-on-hides will be abundant. 2. Retro Throwbacks. Retro has been a growing theme in apparel, and bootmakers have taken note. 3. Metallics. And not just metallic accents. You’ll see boots dipped in silver and gold from top to toe! 4. Crossover styles. Even traditional boot brands are rolling out athleisure and dress shoe collections, as well as contemporary boot-shoe hybrids. 5. Bling. From conchos to crystals to embroidery, footwear is being decked out with gusto.

Some of the standouts from my trip:

Old Gringo

One of my all-time favorite bootmakers, Old Gringo always impresses with its edgy, often over-the-top designs. My top pick for fall, though, is from its new collaborative line by Double D Ranch: a velvet high-heeled bootie trimmed in conchos.

Corral

There’s so much to say about Corral. The brand has partnered with champion roper Tyson Durfey to introduce its first men’s performance collection, expanded its clothing line with some killer leather jackets, and rounded out Circle G with the likes of leather tennies and mules. But its new glittery cowgirl boot that changes colors in sunlight really stole the show.

Liberty Black

Liberty Black is known for distressed leathers, fringe booties, and cheetah prints in every color. But the brand is mixing things up in 2018, bringing classic Liberty Boot Co. designs back into the line and focusing more on smooth leather finishes. There’s a new pair of booties with patent leather overlays that I have my eye on!

Miss Macie

A newer line, introduced as part of the Anderson Bean family, Miss Macie has found instant success in its crossover appeal. You’ll see everything from lace-up booties and strappy sandals to tall top croc and over-the-knee suede boots.

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