One of the best things about fashion is that it’s cyclical, meaning it always comes back around. So, in essence, if there was a trend that you loved so much at one point that you hope will come back, chances are, it will. There are also always a bevy of new trends that catch our eye. This year, when it comes to shoe trends, we’re seeing a bit of both—a healthy mix of old relics returning and new styles in the making.
“Comfort is officially key, and a lot of shoe manufacturers are actually adding in comfort technology to their designs, while still paying attention to cosmetic details,” says Joey Clark, fashion stylist and owner of Philadelphia-based boutique, Kin. “There is no need for ugly commuting sneakers anymore, as there are plenty of options for women to save their feet some trauma, while still looking chic.”
While past shoe trends had an emphasis on logos and embellishments, footwear of today has adapted more to our needs—and this is especially true during the winter months. Boots tend to reign supreme, not only from a fashion-standpoint, but also from a practicality standpoint for those living in colder climates. “For winter, a thicker sole is always in; something with tread so that you are less of a fall risk when walking down the street,” he says. “Currently a platform tread is very in, as well as contrasting colors on the sole.”
If you’re on the hunt for on-trend shoes to take you through the coldest months of the year, you’re in luck. We’re sharing some stylist-approved shoe trends for winter 2021-2022.
“The 90s are back, but this time around designers have taken the trend in a fun new direction with chunkier, more unique soles, and interesting details like bold hardware,” says Lauren Messiah, personal stylist, entrepreneur and author of Style Therapy: 30 Days to Your Signature Style. We love the round toe and chunky sole for everything from a walk around the block to a night out on the town. Dress this trend up or down and one thing remains: comfort.
The Chelsea boot
According to Clark, you can never go wrong owning a pair of Chelsea boots. “Chelsea boots are like the Cadillac of shoes, they work with everything and are just oh so classic,” she says. Not only are they effortless, but if you want to add a little drama for the season, she suggests going with one that has a chunky sole and a more rounded toe like this pair from J.Crew Factory. The same can be said for a good pair of rain boots, which these also double as. “Rain boots like this too are functional and cute in both pops of colors or a simple classic black.”
If there’s one overall trend that we hope will stay long after the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror, it’s the preference for elevated comfort. We’re talking about the acceptability of wearing slippers in or outside your home. The shearling trend makes this happen with a myriad of different looks all featuring that comfortable, yet chic, shearling style. “They give shoes a pop of texture and keep you warm and stylish,” notes Clark.
Combat lace up boots with chunky lug threaded leather soles and mixed material, leather and suede combined or leather and shearling are the way to go for winter 2021-2022, according to fashion designer, Brad Conrad. “What I like about this trend is the versatility, that it can be worn with skinny jeans or the new wide leg jeans as well as midi or short woven and knit dresses,” he says. “The look is modern casual.”
Clark is a huge fan of this comfortable trend that never seems to go out of style—and is shaping up to be a staple for wardrobes in 2022 and beyond. “I love that you can wear a chunkier sock with them and not worry about issues when tying the laces,” he says. “They are very ‘gym teacher in the 90s’ and I am here for it.”
Platform ankle booties
Booties have been around for decades now and, luckily for us, it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. We especially love this pair from Lulus, which is a go-to for everything from a casual day at the office to a dressed-up holiday party. Whether you pair these booties with a pair of mom jeans or a cocktail dress, this is going to become a staple in your wardrobe for winters to come.
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