Raise your hand if you can't remember the last time you wore something other than flat boots, sneakers, or slippers. If you were in a room full of people, you'd likely see lots of hands flying in the air (no judgement!). But at this point, you're probably yearning for some exciting, more elevated options to throw into the mix. With a new year and a fresh start, the spring 2021 shoe trends offer up just that.
"After so much time on the couch this year, it’s hard to get back on heels, so 2021 is going to be all about comfort and ease," Valentina Ignatova, CMO and co-founder of BY FAR, tells TZR. "Slip-on sandals and heeled mules will be the must-haves to slide into summer with style. Dressing up doesn’t have to require much effort or thought, after all." As for Laura Villasenin, Miista's founder and designer, "reflective textiles and volume interpreted delicately and playfully," is what she hopes to see.
And if you're still keen on the chunky silhouette, you're in luck, because Lauren Bucquet, founder of Labucq, anticipates it'll be sticking around next year. "In fall it was big chunky boots, and this spring I believe people are going to want that same volume in their sandals," the designer says. From sleek loafers to funky sneakers and boots, you have a slew of iterations to select from.
What other styles will be everywhere in 2021? Keep scrolling to find designers' predictions.
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Spring 2021 Shoe Trend: Strappy Sandals
Strappy sandals inspired by the' 90s made a remarkable return in 2019, and are still gaining momentum. "Barely-there and strappy sandals aren’t going anywhere at least for 2021, but their designs are getting a bit more complicated focusing on the toes," Ignatova says. For instance, the brand's Louise heel features a strap in the front to keep the foot from sliding. If you're lusting for a glitzy strappy style, opt for Staud's Gita Sandal. And for a silhouette that will pair with everything, Amina Muaddi's cult-favorite Naima Leather Sandals are a must.
Spring 2021 Shoe Trend: Pretty Pastels
Elza Wandler, founder and creative director of Wandler, says that 2020 has been challenging for everyone, but has also made us more creative than ever. "Comfort will still be very important in design, but we also need more color in our lives to channel positivity and start 2021 bright!" Choose a pretty pastel heel with Wander's x Lizzie Mandler Mia Mule Gold Anklet or a boot you can carry into summer like Stella McCartney's Square-Toe Platform Mid-Calf Boots.
Spring 2021 Shoe Trend: Cool Loafers
"I think loafers are going to continue to be on trend, and will be the main shoe option in summer for those that are not fond of sandals," Bucquet says. Spolier: Laqucq has a new flatform loafer mule for spring 2021 that Bucquet is really excited about for the upcoming season (keep your eyes peeled for its arrival). For now, bring your at-home shoe game to the next level with the brand's Kitty block heel loafers. For those trendy shoe lovers out there, snag Bimba y Lola's snakeskin Ochre Leather Loafer. And if you're looking to invest in a timeless silhouette, Brother Vellies' Troubadour Loafer is worth every cent.
Spring 2021 Shoe Trend: Stretch Fabrics
Like the comfy sweats you've adopted for your upper half, Villasenin predicts shoes with stretch fabrics and volume will stay popular in 2021. "From 2020, we will bring into 2021 Frostine, a leather mule made with lycra," the designer notes. "With this construction we wanted to create volume, not only with foams, as we have done in past collections, but this time experimenting with stretch textiles in a different way." In addition to Miista's cool interpretation, try a stretch fabric shoe from brands like Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga.
Spring 2021 Shoe Trend: Thong Style
"I definitely think thong styles will continue to proliferate during the spring and summer months," Nicole Saldaña, founder of her New York-based label Nicole Saldaña, tells TZR. She believes there will be a few prominent types: platforms, heeled, flat, versions with kitten heels. "I think the thong trend cycle is ripe for the picking because it’s essentially been 20 years since they were super popular back in the aughts," the designer adds.