Who among us doesn’t have a soft spot for footwear? For all that fashion month is—and it is many, many things—it’s both the best and worst occasion for anyone with a shoe habit. The spring/summer 2023 showings have been no exception, and the outlook for the season’s shoe trends is a beautiful one indeed. What lies ahead is equal parts whimsical and rustic, nostalgic and futuristic. Models all around the world, from New York and London to Paris and Milan, have spent the last few weeks romping on catwalks and making us all believe that rent will have to somehow pay itself, because I might die without those mules. Below, read up on the spring 2023 shoe trends you’re bound to see everywhere come springtime. Who knows, you just might find something to add to your cart ahead of time.
Far and away, the biggest shoe trend of note right now is ballet flats. Something of a dark horse, too, no? If you thought you had seen the last of these with Blair Waldorf, you thought wrong. Between New York and Copenhagen fashion weeks, flats were everywhere. They provided the foundation for looks at Remain, Foo and Foo, Coach, Dauphinette, and Victor Glemaud. Obviously, no Tory Burch show is complete without the designer’s iconic slippers. Even Sandy Liang got in on the flat action. After spending the winter months in boots and wool socks, a simple pair of slip-ons might be just what you need.
These are not your father’s Merrells, nor are they your standard Birkenstocks or Crocs—although we love those, too. Perhaps one of the more polarizing styles, allow the enviable variety shown by Simon Miller or the funky renditions Fendi offered up this month to convince you that clogs absolutely deserve a moment in the spotlight. The crossroads of comfort, orthotic support, and high fashion? That’s where I’ll be living this spring.
Elevated Cowboy Boots
Paging captain obvious: If you left the house at all in 2022, you probably witnessed this trend in the wild at least a time or two. I’m here to tell you that the western boot trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Even if you don’t consider yourself a down-home broad, this style is admittedly fun for all. It can be executed in subtle ways, too, so don’t worry about being mistaken for a rancher. Just look at the spin Ganni took. (When it’s on a Ganni runway, you know it’s cool.) Get on board with cowgirl couture, y’all.
Remember the knee-high wrap-up gladiator sandals of yesteryear? Well, a shocking number of shows this season gave the style a chic upgrade. We saw traditional sandals, platforms fit for the discotheque, and pumps like those at Prabal Gurung. They might take a little more effort to fasten than a single ankle strap or slip-on loafer, but the look? She pays off.
From winter fashion to spring bag trends, the current landscape is all about standing out. We’re here, we’re boosted, and we’re ready to be seen. Sneakers are great for the airport and neutrals are perfect for wall paint, but when it comes to the shoes you step out in? It’s time to make a statement. Per Khaite, LaQuan Smith, and Victor Glemaud, a statement that shines is the only one worth making.
Rounded toes? Been there, done that. Square? Eh. Your style is sharp, and your toebox should be, too. Take this spring’s other shoe trends, such as Tory Burch flats, western boots, or lace-up styles, and narrow it down further (literally) to pointed-toe options for footwear that is truly on-point. Okay, I’ll stop, but seriously, Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung, and Victor Glemaud are all among the labels making a case for pointed toes this season.
Meg Donohue is the Associate Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Her passions include spicy foods, sustainability, and the Y2K remake of Charlie’s Angels. She will never stop hoping for a One Direction reunion tour.