Get rid of those sandals and hide your sneakers, because the fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends are here! The fall 2019 runway shoes and boots have been a refreshing change – the shoe trends are moving away from ridiculous unpractical footwear to items that are as comfortable as can be but with some unique elements that justify the high fashion prices.
In practice, we can see a slight shift away from skinny stilettos and a distinct preference to blockier heels. We also saw a lot more flat footwear options this season, along with platforms and thick rubber soles. Despite this, sneakers have been less common than in previous seasons – designers found a different way to show off their active side.
#1. Platform Heels
There is no better shoe to pair with your flared jeans and long, fur-lined coat than a pair of platform heels. It’s the only way to truly complete the ‘70s-inspired ensemble that is so chic for fall and winter. It’s exactly because of the ‘70s vibe we saw on the runways that the fall 2019 shoe trends include platform heels.
Snakeskin platform sandals at Michael Kors worked well with the overall ‘70s look of the collection, and were also a chance to showcase one of the fall 2019 print trends. For a snakeskin boot option with a serious platform, we spotted a red pair at Longchamp. Rubber shoes with thick platform soles at Dries Van Noten had a retro-futurist effect that we absolutely adored combined with the dark romantic collection.
For an all-vegetarian on-trend option check out the platform heeled boots at Stella McCartney. They come in a variety of colors from blue to hazel to black, with a textured rubber platform.
#2. Punk Platforms
While heel platforms were steeped in ‘70s vibes, flat platforms gave us a punk rock feel that hearkened back to the ‘80s and ‘90s, and that we liked just as much. The platform Doc Martens at R13 were as ‘90s punk as can be, even when they were decorated with more feminine elements like the seasonal favorite, floral print. They worked well with the overall grunge look of the collection.
British punk was the inspiration at the Alexander McQueen show, but with a modern twist. Models wore big, shiny black punk boots with thick platform rubber soles appropriate for an active lifestyle. Punk boots were surprisingly just as hardcore at Prada, where the soles had extra tread and in some cases were even outfitted with some pockets.
At Gabriela Hearst, thick platforms were made in a brown color, to give earthy contrast to the heavy punk boots showcased.
#3. Rain Boots
A pair of chic rain boots is a must if you live in a damp climate, so as far as the fall/ winter 2019 shoe trends are concerned, they make perfect sense. For the true brand slave, Balenciaga rain boots are a must. Made of black leather, they’re as classic as it gets, but the added value comes from golden Balenciaga logo hardware right above the vamp.
Acne Studios presented rain boots-cum-waders in brown, gray, or blue, to suit any proclivity. These high boots are perfect for arduously rainy weather, and are a great way to give a casual vibe to a more dressed-up look. We also saw traditionally shaped rain boots at Stella McCartney and Christian Dior.
#4. The New Rubber Sole
We’ve mentioned rubber soles quite a bit when talking about all the fall 2019 shoes with platforms, for example when talking about the rubber-soled punk boots at Alexander McQueen. However, it wasn’t always a platform design that made rubber soles stand out on the runways. Instead, it was the way they gave a sporty or utilitarian feel to shoes and boots with a totally different style.
For example, a thin but sporty rubber sole on boots at Marine Serre was part of an overall avant-garde look where the boot shafts were fairly tight against the leg and seemed to go all the way up. More standard were thick rubber soles on hiking boots at Miu Miu, which did not seem even a little out of place, while a pair of Mary Janes with a thick rubber sole was extremely unique.
Both at Tibi and Burberry, boots slightly reminiscent of classic Blundstones were outfitted with a textured rubber sole that reminded us of running shoes, interestingly combining the outdoorsy design with a sporty-urban element. We also saw interesting uses of rubber soles at Louis Vuitton, J.W. Anderson, and Ralph Lauren.
#5. Victorian Lace-Ups
A spot of lace running up the front of a boot is rarely a practical need these days, but it was a lovely aesthetic addition to the fall 2019 boots. It makes any pair of boots, no matter how wildly designed, just a little bit classier.
Take for instance the extra high boots at Dion Lee. They looked like white superhero (or go-go girl) boots, but made a little more special with the addition of lace that ran from the foot to just below the knee.
At Brock Collection, shorter boots in tweed were further complemented by thin white lace, which also worked well with the ultra-skinny heel. For a real combination of trends, there was a pair of black wedge boots at Ann Demeulemeester. The boots had a zipper on the front, flanked by a row of laces on each side.
#6. Mary Janes
Mary Jane fall 2019 shoes are no child’s play. These grown-up Mary Janes have a hint of whimsy, but they’re as mature as can be, whether made for street style or evening wear.
The fall 2019 shoes at Anna Sui were nearly all Mary Janes! Printed and colorful, both flats and heels, with all manner of embellishments or maybe covered in glitter… needless to say, if you have a taste for this girlish show style, then Anna Sui had something to offer.
Hermés is a fashion house known for making wearable classics, and their Mary Jane pumps certainly qualify. They are elegant pumps with an extremely flattering shape and a comfy block heel, with a thin black strap across the instep.
#7. Calf-Hugging Boots
One of the stand-out fall 2019 shoe trends is a new take on the shaft of the boot. This year, shoe designers have chosen to make boot shafts (i.e. the part that goes over the calf) out of stretchy materials, so they can hug the calves tightly. It leads to a unique silhouette, although not necessarily a comfortable one.
At 3.1 Phillip Lim, we saw one of the simple interpretations of this style – black boots that reached mid-calf, with an elegant pointed toe, and a calf-hugging effect at the shaft. The same technique was utilized at Stella McCartney for the gorgeous platform boots, but it was particularly dramatic since those boots were almost all knee-highs.
At Hugo Boss, we saw an ultra-sleek take on the calf-hugging, knee-high shaft in deep red leather. Lastly, there were the boots-cum-stockings at Nanushka. These were knee-high boots made entirely of a stretchy purple material, which lent them the appearance of knee-high socks or stockings.
#8. Furry Boots & Shoes
It is undeniable that fur is a key part of all the fall 2019 fashion trends this season, including the fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends. In particular, many designers showcased boots covered in fur or shearling that we are sure that those living in extra cold climates will appreciate the most.
Courreges gave us boots wholly covered in lush white fuzz, perfect for anyone wanting to blend in with a snowy landscape. At Chanel, the models walked through an indoor Alpine village covered in fake snow, wearing heavy snow boots that were covered at the calf and top of the foot with fur. Purple furry boots at Area also deserve a mention for their sheer conspicuousness, especially when paired with short purple dresses.
#9. Winter Wedges
Another option for heels for winter 2019-2020 boots were those fitted with wedges instead of old school stilettos. They are as high and as glamorous as boots can be, but with a wedge that gives you a bit more stability.
Bulky snow boots at Chanel were given a touch of glamour with the addition of white wedge heels. At Michael Kors, wedge heel boots had a timeless feel, as they were made of gray and brown suede and fit in well with the retro theme of the collection.
We loved the trend combo at Miu Miu, where a rubber platform wedge gave extreme height to a pair of camouflage boots. For fans of that ‘70s horse-riding look, Celine offered over-the-knee leather boots with that very aesthetic and a solid wedge heel.
#10. Shearling Shoes
If you like a more down-to-earth option for your snug shoes, you will surely appreciate all the fall 2019 runway shearling shoes. First, we had the unique collaboration of Eckhaus Latta x Ugg. As a result of this fascinating match the models at Eckhaus Latta stomped down the runways in shearling-covered mules with solid high heels, as well as more traditional Ugg boots and slip-ons.
A pair of shearling-covered flats with a leather tie around the ankle stood out to almost all fashion writers in attendance at the 3.1 Phillip Lim show. At Nanushka, closed-toe shearling mules, both heeled and flat, were on display, in various colors. Even brighter were green shearling sandal heels at Ashley Williams.
#11. Flared Blocky Heel
Skinny stilettos are out, while comfy block heels are in, especially if they have an architectural touch. In particular, we happened to see a lot of shoes and boots outfitted with flared heels for the fall/ winter 2019 shoe trends.
This was a particularly refreshing heel style on leopard-print pumps and snakeskin boots at Maryam Nassir Zadeh. The flared heels were especially dramatic at Area, where they showed up on bright silver heels with a blingy strap and extra pointed toe box.
We can thank Hermés for proving that boots and pumps with a flared blocky heel can be elegant as long as the rest of the design is kept simple and classic. We also saw flared blocky heels on the runways of Chloé and Adeam.
#12. Square Toe
While the days of the elongated pointed toe are not yet over, there is a new contender that’s been showing up on many of the fall 2019 runway shoes. The contender of the new ultimate toe style is the square toe-box, which at the moment feels a little masculine – perhaps not a bad thing considering the gender-bending theme of the fall runways.
The most architectural take on square-toed shoes was at Proenza Schouler, where a prominent square sole stuck out a bit from under the square-toe box, and the heels happened to be particularly blocky as well.
We also saw a square sole sticking out at Acne Studios, but there the overall look was quite playful: gold pointed pumps totally transformed by a golden square sole. We also saw square toes take the lead at Bottega Veneta, Nina Ricci, and Chloé.
#13. Blinged-Out Shoes
The shinier fall 2019 shoes were clearly intended for evening galas and red carpets. We saw all manner of pumps that managed to drip with jewels while still looking elegant and sophisticated.
These included red mules at Hellessy, where both the strap and the pointed toe-box were embellished with leaf-patterned white jewels. From Sies Marjan a pair of dark blue heels really drew our eyes. The chain around the calf was actually a crystal-encrusted belt, while chains of jewels were draped over the rest of the foot.
For more blingy shoes look no further than Brock Collection, Cushnie, and Tom Ford.
Buckles are a very versatile decorative element that can be cute, edgy, or elegant depending on the proclivities of the designer. Suede and leather boots at Altuzarra were decorated with buckles over the instep and shaft, which added a bit of texture to their look.
There was a similar effect on the suede boots at Jonathan Simkhai, which were actually designed for the collection by Manolo Blahnik. Buckles were also strictly decorative at Lela Rose, as they surrounded the opening of slip-on flats and pumps, giving a slightly edgy effect to otherwise very delicate and classy shoes.
The most extreme was a series of 14 small tan buckles over the instep and front of the shaft of black suede boots at Giambattista Valli. Copious buckles also showed up on fall 2019 shoes at Moschino, Etro, and more.
#15. Cowboy Boots
Need some Western vibes in your life? The fall 2019 boots also included cowboy boots, so you can connect with your wilder side without actually having to get on a horse. Yee-haw!
We saw all manner of shoes at Tibi, this season, with some of the boots having a particular cowboy vibe. Made of snakeskin leather, they had that classic slouchy silhouette we love.
The gorgeous high-heeled boots at Tory Burch perfectly showcase the most beautiful elements of cowboy boots while still looking super chic and modern. The boots were made of autumnal leather patchwork in shades of green, red, yellow, and white with a slouchy shaft, pointed toes, and a blocky cowboy boot-style heel.
Cowboy boots at Philipp Plein brought all of the drama. There were two distinct options: stark white cowboy boots decorated with attention-grabbing fringe, or shiny black boots decorated with neon green butterflies. Junya Watanabe and Haider Ackermann both also presented some fun takes on the traditional cowboy boots.
#16. Animal Print Shoes
If you’re looking through all the different fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends trying to decide which of these trends you’ll adopt for a new pair of statement shoes, you certainly can’t go wrong with animal prints. Animal prints were all over the runways, and they often extended to the shoes the models wore. From leopard to cow to tiger patterns, you’ve got a ton of options here.
The classy pumps at Brandon Maxwell appeared like simple leopard print at first glance, but a closer look revealed that some of the leopard spots were stylized B’s. Ulla Johnson was another designer to make ubiquitous use of animal prints, so boots covered in leopard and cheetah prints worked well with the other items in the collection.
The fairly restrained Victoria Beckham collection presented a surprisingly wild twist in the form of leopard-printed, open-toed calf-hugging boots.
#17. Snakeskin Footwear
Snakeskin was one of the key autumn prints, so of course we saw plenty of snakeskin leather fall 2019 runway shoes and boots. We’ve already mentioned snakeskin shoes and boots from Sally LaPointe, Michael Kors, and Longchamp, but there are a few more worth bringing up.
Slouchy boots with a pointed toe at Rejina Pyo fit in well with the rest of the collection, especially because of their autumnal brown color. For a more glamorous option, we really loved the snakeskin sandal heels at Givenchy.
#18. Fall Florals
Much like animal print, florals are another common print that found its way on to the fall 2019 shoes and boots. Earthy shades or dark backgrounds helped keep the floral prints we saw on the runway shoes autumnal.
There was a lot of ‘70s glam factor to the floral boots at Staud. The boots were black, an appropriately dark background for the brighter yellow, blue, and orange tones of the flowers.
At Zimmermann, a golden rose floral print helped to soften the overt sexiness of thigh-high boots. We also saw some pretty floral shoes at Michael Kors and Brock Collection.
#19. Dark Green Shoes
Forget about ruby slippers, it’s all about the Emerald City for the fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends. Eden and Forest Biome were the key green tones on the runways this season, and shoes were just as likely to show up in these fall 2019 colors as other items.
If you like a gleam, your favorites will surely be the shiny scaled pumps from Brandon Maxwell. For a more girlish touch, Mary Janes at Anna Sui might be more up your alley. We also loved a pair of flat green croc-embossed loafers from Loewe.
There was a masculine touch in many of the fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends, though it was usually a dark and heavy one, courtesy of heavy boots and punk sensibilities. One of the more “bourgeoise” ways of rocking gender-neutral shoe styles this fall and winter comes from loafers.
We loved the way that pointed-toe flat Manolo Blahnik loafers at Carolina Herrera were paired with ultra-voluminous and brightly colored outfits, although we were also drooling over the high-heeled loafers that were presented. Leather loafers at Oscar de la Renta were paired with more gender-neutral looks with flowy trousers and long trench coats.
For a simple yet slightly more feminine take on loafers, check out the low-heeled leather loafers at Burberry. They came in earthy tones and were fitted with an extra strap around the ankle.
While they are mostly on their way out, some folks still need a pair of sneakers for their gym sessions, and if that person has to work out in a particularly fancy gym, well, it’s better that the sneakers they choose be from the fall 2019 shoes.
The French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C presented a variety of classically comfy-looking sneakers with suede detailing. For those who like their high-end items to have a memorable look, Collina Strada presented loud tie-dye and spray-painted sneakers.
For a true combination of high fashion wackiness and a sneaker design, we can turn to Christopher Kane. Sneakers were elevated with a bit of a heel that was made up of three rubber balls in decreasing sizes.
#22. Slouchy Boots
Standing in direct contrast to the calf-hugging fall 2019 boots we have boots with a slouchy shaft, perfect for pairing with tights or a pair of skinny jeans. Glamorous high-heeled boots at Saint Laurent had just enough slouch for the effect to be striking but not over the top. Paired with the more streamlined main part of the shoes, the effect was interesting and flattering.
The slouchy boots at Isabel Marant ranged in height from mid-calf to thigh-highs, showing how versatile this effect could be. The higher the shaft, the more impressive the slouchy boots were, especially since the effect extended to the instep.
Lastly, we had the white boots that closed off the show at Lanvin. They were cozily slouchy all the way through which worked well with the thick, fluffy coat they were paired with.
#23. Sock Shoes
Like an extreme variation on the calf-hugging boots, we have fall 2019 runway shoes where the shaft is made of a stretchy fabric, looking like a sock. It’s an odd trend that started last season and is still going strong.
With the exception of the sole, the entirety of a low-heeled shoe at Comme des Garcons was made to look like a low black sock, even emblazoned with the brand logo in white the way a plain black sock would be.
While the bulk of the shoes at Chloé did look like proper boots, the shaft itself was made of a stretchy knit fabric that perfectly mimicked warm winter socks. The effect was similar at Dries van Noten, albeit in a sleeker way with a smoother fabric used for the shaft.
#24. Purple Shoes
Pantone dubbed “Grapeade” the main purple of the autumn season, while we also identified “Tyrian purple” as extremely popular. Both shades made an appearance on the runways as some of the fall 2019 boots and shoes.
For a gorgeous example of Tyrian purple, we loved a pair of lace-up flats at Sies Marjan, although we also spotted a fetching pair of purple cross-strap Mary Janes. From Sally LaPointe we saw some truly fierce snakeskin pumps in Grapeade purple, paired with snakeskin trousers.
#25. Tied Around the Ankle
The need for reinforcement around the ankle is a legitimate one – ankle straps can absolutely help protect the foot, especially in heels. While ankle straps are a mainstay, though, for the fall 2019 shoe trends we saw lots of ribbons or cords wrapped around the ankle for a more robust take on the look.
Pumps at Zimmermann were fitted with little bits of a matching ribbon that was tight around the ankle, for a touch of femininity as well as security. Ankle ties at Off-White were as whimsical as can be. They were constructed to look like luggage tags, while the bulk of the shoes looked like packing tape.
At J.W. Anderson, a big black ribbon tied around the ankle on strappy heels was especially impressive as it trailed behind the model.
#26. Croc Skin Leather
Croc skin fall 2019 boots and shoes are as opulent as can be without being particularly gendered. They exude style and uniqueness, and fit well with most of this season’s styles.
From Brock Collection came a croc-embossed twist on the Blunnie-style shoes, in a reddish brown tone and an elegant low heel. If you want to feel extra powerful in your croc-embossed boots, then we think a pair of Jimmy Choos might be the only option. The brand revealed wide-shaft boots embossed with a gorgeous croc pattern in either brown or green.
A series of colorful knee-high, croc-embossed boots at Max Mara were powerfully matched to monochrome suits in the set of looks that opened up the runway. We even saw some more croc leather boots at Tibi and Longchamp.
#27. In-Step V
This odd new shape on the fall 2019 runway shoes was subtle, but once we noticed it we saw it in quite a few different places. It was a type of open V that decorated the top of the shoe, and seemed to work well particularly for slip-ons.
Pink and burgundy kitten heels at Prabal Gurung showcased this opening well. At Gucci, that in-step V shape on brightly colored boots was formed because of open zippers that went from the beginning of the in-step all the way to the top of the shaft.
The V shape was surprisingly fetching and flattering on the pumps at Mary Katrantzou, as they showed that this opening shape was great for elongating the feet.
#28. Open-Toed Mule
For the most part fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends were on the heavy-duty side, but there was one big exception. When in doubt, models were dressed up in slip-on, open-toed mules (both high-heeled and flat) that were subtle and understated – perfect for keeping attention on the actual outfit.
Such was the case with the black leather mules at Balenciaga, which had a strap that protected the foot wonderfully and kept things simple. Open-toed mules at No. 21 were also a simple contrast to more complex shoes, in a beige shade that complemented lighter outfits.
#29. Bows on the Shoes
Is there a cuter shoe embellishment than a little bow? For the fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends, bows were one of the few ultra-feminine twists, and they happened to come from less conventional designers.
The styling of bow-embellished pumps at Versace was totally conceptual, with strappy black pumps decorated with super blingy ribbon-shaped hardware worn over sexy lace hose or, for a girlish effect, over white woolen socks. The other Italian house to give us bejeweled bows was Dolce & Gabbana (to no one’s surprise), especially over the toe-box of lovely pumps.
While most of the shoes at No. 21 were restrained mules, a couple of stilettos totally covered in tiny, embellished ribbons stood out as a truly unique way of using this little detail.
#30. Sharp and Pointy Toes
Why not trade your sharp stilettos for a sharp pointed toe-box? What about rocking both? While the breakout toe-box shape was the boxy one, there were plenty of pointy fall 2019 shoes to choose from as well.
At Christian Dior, black patent flats were quite elegant, with a buckled panel over the in-step adding a Victorian touch, and pointed toes elongating the foot and adding some drama. The flat shoes were surprisingly similar at Sacai, in patent black and with the same dramatic vibe.
At Balmain, the extra pointed toes on the shoes were matched by pointy spikes and silvery heels. The shoes were intimidating as could be, but also super glamorous in a witchy sort of way.
#31. Kitten Heels
We love a good kitten heel; sexy and comfy, as feminine as can be. We saw a ton of different takes of kitten heels in the fall 2019 shoe trends, so it was hard to pick our favorites!
Let’s start with Erdem, where the kitten heels presented were shamelessly girlish. Our favorite pair was bright pink, with a bit of shiny hardware.
There were many different takes on kitten heels at Christian Dior, with plaid kitten heel boots and slingbacks being perfect for opening the show. For something office-appropriate, we think Bottega Veneta presented the best shoes: a variety of loafer kitten heels in different colors to suit a professional environment.
#32. Brogue Inspo
One of the big autumnal shifts is that we can suddenly describe women’s fashion as “dapper” with the fall 2019 shoe trends included in that category. Brogues, historically a men’s shoe, are laced shoes with a low heel, kind of similar to Oxfords but with a bit more ornamentation.
Christian Dior gave us a feminine take on black and white brogues, fashioning them into lovely kitten heels with a white body decorated with eyelets and a black toe-box. Black and white were also the colors of choice at Thom Browne, where pumps followed the brogue design closely with laces and the same eyelet decoration.
#33. Wacky Heels
A better word to describe this trend might be “architectural” but we’d rather keep it simple. With so many different takes on heels for the fall/ winter 2019-2020 shoe trends, we wanted to let this one stand out as the oddest. Wacky, architectural heels were everywhere, making us give shoes a second look and really think.
Many of the boots at Loewe had a unique anvil-shaped heel that also fit into the trend towards blocky, flared heels this season. The unique heel shape at Balmain was a type of helix loop or perhaps a chain link that was made of a silver metal to echo the chain embellishments on the shoes.
At Lanvin, wedge heels were comprised primarily of negative space, in a sporty yet architectural style.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly