It's always exciting when the new fashion trends of the season roll in. But one of my favorite things to look out for is the changing shoe trends of the year. That's why I'm stoked to uncover all the new shoe trends for 2016 while dissecting how they differ from last year's "it" styles.
Sure, I love a good dress and get stoked to dabble in a new silhouette. However, a good shoe can just do so much for an ensemble. It can help you elevate a cute look to a creative one by juxtaposing different styles (looking at you, motorcycle boots and boho dresses). It can add a pop of wild color or an interesting texture (snakeskin booties or fur-lined mules, anyone?), and it can help you experiment with something wild and unexpected, but on a smaller scale. For example, maybe you're not comfortable decking yourself out head to toe in a wild print or a bold theme like the '70s trend, but you might be able to handle trying it in small doses in the form of a flatform.
As compared to last year, we can observe a tweak or two in the styles and shapes of current shoes. But it's also cool to see how such a small change can completely alter the feel of a trend. Below are 14 shoe trends that changed from 2015 to 2016.
2015 Shoe Trends
These were a cult favorite last year because they added so much oomph to an outfit. They almost acted like a layer — adding weight to short dresses, an interesting detail to culottes, and anchoring down midi or mini skirts, dragging the eye downward. They were powerhouses, for sure.
I love a good flat, but the ankle strap variation added a little something extra to your look. With just the addition of a thin strap, an outfit could feel a little more anchored down because there was more going on in the shoe department than just a simple ballet flat. That, and these gave off some serious French woman vibes.
Talk about juxtaposing heaven! Whether you wanted to give your best normcore a shot, channel your urban street-style self, or wanted an interesting shoe to contrast against your sweeter, formal dresses, and skirts, the white sneaker was the go-to in 2015.
4. Tassel Shoes
In 2015, we enjoyed a surge of androgyny and the option to take part in a more masculine style. That included a plethora of old-timer-like shoes, ranging from smoking slippers, preppy-like golf ones, and tassel loafers.
From bluchers to sandals, from block heels to Oxford shoes, metallics were a huge trend last year. They looked super interesting when paired with anything that hinted at the '70s trend, and added a kick to everyday outfits. Whether you went with a pure silver or copper, or were more of a translucent type of gal, this was most definitely a playful trend to try out.
Booties are always a fall and winter must-have, but in 2015 the height at which the boot hit the ankle went a little higher than usual. Rather than hitting right above the ankle like a normal Chelsea, designers raised it to about a quarter of a shin, channeling '90s sophistication.
With the minimalist trend raging on, mules became a go-to for any person who wanted to put their best foot forward with normcore. They're simple but stylish, and contribute clean lines without being forgettable.
2016 Shoe Trends & How They Changed
We're still enjoying flats with ankle straps, but those ankle straps have become a bit more intense. Whether you opt for a block heel sandal with thick straps like this one or go for a traditional look, it's all about catching the attention of passerby with a bold strap this year.
Don't worry: Sneakers are still very much in, but 2016 is experiencing an interesting variation on the sporty look. Sandals and bluchers are being toyed with, evolving into sporty territories with the addition of Spice Girls-approved platforms and exaggerated clunky proportions. Just imagine one of these paired with a summer mini or a suit with shorts — très fun!
4. Tassel Shoes
Loafers are feeling a little more feminine this time around, becoming pointier and less clunky in order to create a softer, more elegant silhouette than before.
Last year, it seemed like you couldn't turn around without running into a metallic shoe. This year, the fashion industry is focusing on silver, specifically on silver heels. I keep imagining how one of these would look with a patterned jumpsuit or two-piece set, and I'm nearly drooling while doing it.
Booties will always be in vogue, but in 2016 the focus is on bringing Spaghetti Westerns back. Boots are enjoying cowboy-like detailing, making many of us want to break free in the frontier (or the city streets. Whichever).
Mules took an interesting turn this year, deviating from the sandal-like look and taking over flats, bluchers, and Oxford shoes. They can add a fun and quirky pop to a look while remaining pretty classic. Think of the styling possibilities with a contrast like that.
As you can see, the shoe trends of 2016 haven't changed too drastically since last year. But we have a lot of tweaks and new details to play with, as well as a second chance to hop on a trend if we were too nervous or unsure to dabble with it in 2015. So the question is: Which one will you be trying out this season?
Want more fashion and beauty tips? Check out the playlist below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle's YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: Courtesy Brands