With so many designers referencing the ‘90s these days, it was only a matter of time before the square-toe shoe trend made its return to the modern fashion zeitgeist. As far back as last summer, you may have seen squared-off ends on kitten-heel slides and strappy mules from brands like By Far, Rejina Pyo, and Neous, followed by a wave of stub-toe boots that took over that fall and winter. But this year the trend has gone into hyperdrive — with Bottega Veneta in the driver’s seat.
Under the creative vision of Daniel Lee, the first collection from “New Bottega” was a veritable hit parade of accessories. Front and center were the square-iest of square-toed shoes — blocky and sharp-cornered — that made your average boxy toe look round in comparison. And suddenly square was all anyone wanted to wear. From the mesh pumps adorned with a gold anklet, to the sleek leather mules, and the heeled thong sandals, one style after another started flying out of stock (and straight onto the Instagram feeds of your favorite influencers).
Now as you approach autumn, the trend has taken hold as the fashion girl's shape of choice across virtually every category of footwear, from pumps, to sandals, to boots — even flats. It’s never been so hip to be square. Keep scrolling to see all the ways to get onboard with the trend, and shop some of the stubbiest, sharpest styles this season has to offer.
The Bottega Effect
Bottega’s mesh pump didn’t start the square-toe trend, but it definitely pushed the look to the forefront of the fashion scene. Every insider and influencer was obsessed, but it was only the first of several boxy Bottega styles that reached cult status over the summer.
Between Bottega’s mule and Wandler’s Isa heel, colorful heels are everywhere right now. The Bottega style came in several hues, plus a quilted version, but was arguably most popular in the bright turquoise blue (good luck finding it though), while Wandler’s hot release was most loved in the apple green and bubblegum pink colorways.
All About The Thong
If you were iffy on the whole heeled thong thing, this particular pair might sway you in favor of the trend. Bottega’s third hit in the square shoe category takes the heeled thong sandal to new heights, and adds several extra straps. This updated rendition is the kind of status symbol shoe that fashion girls can’t stop wearing.
Give 'Em The Boot
Boots are on the brain as you make your way into fall. Take yours with a sharp toe box and Victorian details, like a flared heel or lace-up front, for a vampy vibe. Alternatively, you can go an edgier route and choose a pair with thick soles, slick leather, and all-around tough appeal. Balenciaga has a chunky, utilitarian boot with razor-sharp edges this fall that is undeniably cool.
The square influence has even made its way down to the ever-modest ballet flat. A boxy toe gives this style an elegant pointe-shoe look, plus it’s arguably the most comfortable way to wear the trend.
A Nod To The '90s
For a truly ‘90s throwback look, it’s all about the low-heel slide. Try a kitten heel or small wedge with a broad, square toe and a simple upper construction. You can play with textures like shiny patent and croc-embossed leather, but it never fails to lean into the ‘90s minimalism theme with a clean, simple style in classic black or white.
Pump It Up
Get pumped in a pair of close-toed, high-vamp heels. This style is more conservative and understated than some of the other square-toe shoes out there right now, but the unique silhouette and arch coverage feels uncommon and fresh.
The fashion crowd isn’t done with the barely there sandal trend just yet. Many brands have put out updated versions of the super-popular flossy sandal with a nice, angular toe. It’s a delicate, strappy option that feels best suited for warmer weather, so get your wear in soon before they season out.
School's In Session
What is it about autumn that makes full-grown adults want to start dressing like they’re headed back to school? This time of year practically demands a preppy outfit or two, just be sure you're accessorizing your schoolgirl-inspired uniform with a pair of clunky, box-toed loafers.