One of the easiest ways to update your wardrobe for the coming year is with your footwear. Even if you keep all other aspects of your look the same, a new pair of shoes will instantly transform your outfit and your wardrobe. And this year, designers debuted a ton of 2021 shoe trends that will truly wow.
With the exception of one or two, most of the 2021 shoe trends are blasts from the past. Retro styles from decades prior are back with a vengeance. Think everything from 'ugly' ‘70s clogs to shoes with ‘80s chain detail. In fact, you may be able to scour your mother's closet or a local thrift shop for a couple retro finds authentic to both eras.
This year's trends are also leaning toward the casual and the practical with wellies and fuzzy slippers reigning supreme. As for the classics that span the test of time, wardrobe staples like ballet flats and loafers show no signs of slowing down. But that doesn't mean statement shoes are out of the picture. You'll be happy to know floral shoes will be everywhere this year, from printed pumps to embroidered sneakers.
Ahead, find the top shoe trends for 2021 — and how to shop them right now at every budget.
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Fuzzy Slipper Slides
Perhaps one of the most head-turning trends of the year, furry slides are coming out of the bedroom and onto the streets, thanks to designers like Molly Goddard, Balenciaga, and Ralph & Russo.
This “ugly” footwear trend from the ‘70s has crept its way back and is now here to party. Without much altering from its original silhouette, these chunky, wood-soled flatforms are an easy slide-on-and-go with everything from a corduroy mini skirt to a pair of jeans. Draw the ultimate in classic inspiration from the likes of Hermès, Bally, and Stella McCartney.
Chunky Big Strap Sandals
Birkenstock-style sandals are continuing to grow in popularity, with designers like Valentino, Koche, and Boss now jumping on board. Shop everything from the OG style to high-fashion leather embellishments.
Whether you’re going for leather brogues, penny loafers, or smoking slippers, borrow from the boys this year when it comes to your flats. And hey, if it worked for designers like Chanel, Vien, and Louis Vuitton this past runway season, it works for everyone. Keep it classic with a pair you’ll make your personal style staple for years to come.
Go edgy this year with a little extra metal detailing. Brands like Victoria Beckham, Versace, Tom Ford, and Bottega Veneta added a little bit of hardware to everything from pumps to flats. It’s a great way to take a totally classic shoe silhouette and turn it on its head. And what’s more, it’s sure to amp up even the most subtle of looks you’re wearing.
It’s always a struggle to figure out what to wear when it’s raining but for 2021, designers have embraced the classic wellie boot. To-the-knee, pull-on, and totally made of rubber, this boot style was integrated into the collections of Celine, Koche, and Philosophy this past runway season. Be prepared to go for the classic British styles when it comes to your wet weather gear this year. Your feet will thank you.
Whether you’re going for bold embellishments or simply an allover floral pattern, every type of shoe is going full bloom for 2021. From Stella Jean to Valentino, Roger Vivier and more, designers are embracing whimsy for brighter days ahead.
Ballet-inspired flats will forever be a classic. Think: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Michelle Obama who all mastered the chic, understated shoe style. Wear them with party dresses, boyfriend jeans, and workwear alike this year. Just make sure you stock up on a few extra pairs.