When it comes to a new season of trends, the most exciting and can’t-wait-to-try ones are not necessarily those that reinvent the wheel. It’s more about subtle tweaks to existing ideas or designs that meld two unexpected concepts together that make for the most interesting results. This is evident in the Spring/Summer 2022 shoe trends that have rolled out on the runways over the past month or so — it’s all about refining the best of the best.
The latest footwear silhouettes are ones you may have seen before, but they take on a whole new life — and inspire new styling possibilities — through the lens of some of the world’s greatest creatives. For instance, the classic loafer and clog return for spring. They have a comfortable, sturdy silhouette for those who aren’t quite prepared to switch back to traditional heels. Meanwhile, Fall/Winter 2021’s cozy plush-slipper trend gets a seasonal equivalent in zhuzhed-up beach shoes — yes, there are comfy, sunny days ahead.
As for options with height, the runway showed classic pumps, often in stark white shades and chunky heels. Additionally, T-strap shapes provided a blast from the past but were styled in a way that translated far beyond the Roaring Twenties references. Unexpected footwear came by way of playful details: Think flashes of neon hues and lots of eye-catching textural elements used both subtly and significantly.
Collectively, the new shoe trends provide a balance to the Spring/Summer ready-to-wear options you’ve taken note of. Where collections championed the return of suiting, footwear followed with polished but modern silhouettes. For craft-inspired creations, shoes completed the picture with beautiful texture and color. Ahead, explore all 14 of the themes to know looking ahead to 2022.
Ankle Strap Heels
The delicate ankle detail made an appearance on heels in several Spring/Summer 2022 collections, including pump, peep-toe, and platform varieties at Coperni, Loewe, and Victoria Beckham. While the look is quite timeless, the ankle-cinched silhouette is made for pairing with a shorter hemline or, in the case of Coperni, patterned tights that create a camouflaged effect.
Heavy metals are a common recurring shoe trend, and chains were especially visible in the new collections. At Tom Ford, the designer placed heavy links across the foot and around the ankle, while Balmain’s straps resembled a linked watch bracelet. In true Chanel form, the fashion house’s signature woven chain-and-leather element acted as the strap on sweet ballet flats.
The forever iconic, versatile, and often gender-neutral loafer silhouette was a choice style at Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, and Ganni. While the beloved, minimal version is always a good choice, these brands amplified the look with oversized soles and heavy hardware details for a less traditional take on a classic.
Clogs are a somewhat divisive shoe silhouette, so consider Spring/Summer 2022 another season to love them or leave them. For those firmly in the former party, the runways of Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Rejina Pyo make strong cases for the chunky silhouette with both sleek, minimalist pairs in woven fabrics and ones embellished with floral prints and logoed buckles.
Beach Shoes 2.0
Gabriella Hearst, Coperni, and Proenza Schouler leaned into the summery side of the spring season with their elevated takes on flip flops and slides that feature bright colors, embellishments, and puffy platform soles. These designs may be perfect for next year’s trips to the shore, but also proved to be just as fitting for wearing with suiting separates and crochet evening gowns.
If you’re a low-maintenance sandal-wearer, keep scrolling. For all else, feast your eyes on the stunning look of extra-long laces that appeared in the collections for Christian Dior, Prabal Gurung, and Staud. These designs have all the impact of a knee-high boot but in a warm-weather-appropriate package that highlights the shape of your legs.
Flash of Orange
Bright colors were in no short supply in the season’s new shoe styles, but orange — a notably daring shade — seemed to shine through. In a literal sense, the sporty looks from Louis Vuitton, Prabal Gurung, and Mark Fast provided the runways with a glowing tangerine hue on laced- and buckled-up silhouettes.
If you’re looking for a shoe option that offers much more coverage, the dominant boot style of the new season is of the heavy-soled, flatform variety. In varying shaft heights, this heavy boot style appeared in collections for Givenchy, Schiaparelli, and Vivienne Westwood. It’s a look that will speak to the person who’s not afraid of a little extra height and bold attitude.
A recurring theme was evident in the collections of Saint Laurent, Versace, and Acne Studios: tiny straps that climbed up the leg in neat and tidy three- or four-batch bundles. The look is playful but still errs on the side of subtle due to the tiny strap size of the multiple-buckle shoes.
The Modern T-Strap
Roaring Twenties references aside, the T-strap sandal (often associated with 1920s style) had a strong presence on the runways for spring. At Acne Studios, the silhouette included ankle-wrapping ties, at Miu Miu, metallic styles popped against tall socks, and at Burberry, the T-shaped strap ran like a thong sandal, next to the big toe.
Tempted To Touch
It can be quite difficult to appreciate the beauty of a footwear design through a screen, and even more so when it features textures that beg to be appreciated up-close. There were several brands that turned the volume up on their designs, including Fendi’s fuzzy, multi-colored mules, Altuzarra’s fluffy soles, and Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s straw-like fringe that gave a beach-party vibe to its heeled sandals.
The Quirky White Pump
Classic white shoes may have an inherently bridal feel, but that’s not necessarily the case with the quirkier options in the spring collections. This includes Bevza’s low-vamp design, Khaite’s flared-heel style, and Nina Ricci’s two-tone heels.
The Pointed-Toe Mule
The mule is another timeless footwear option that returns for spring, specifically in an elongated, pointed-toe shape that’s bound to work with mini skirts, jeans, and printed tights alike. What’s more, the stand-out mules appear in signature springtime hues of yellow, green, and floral prints, at Jason Wu, Prada, and Marine Serre, respectively.
From Rachel Comey’s woven patterns, to Max Mara’s metallics, and Hermès’s ankle strap flatform silhouettes, the common thread through spring’s most wearable sandal trend is the thick, substantial straps that enclose the foot. This look leaves ‘90s tiny-strapped minimalism in the past and signals the popularity of modern, practical footwear options.