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In honor of the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends, I would just like to remind you that your favorite Internet classic, Shoes, is 11 years old. Feeling old? This season was certainly filled with all kinds of unique shoe ideas, and I’m happy to say most of them ruled.
We saw all kinds shoes to satisfy any style preferences, with a lot of practical flats and sports shoes as well as all manner of high heels running the gamut from elegant and classy to wild and dramatic. If you deal with rainy weather, be happy knowing you have a ton of boot styles to choose from with both modern and retro designs, while the summer 2018 shoe trends for the hot season offer a variety of sandals both hearty and delicate.
#1. Heels Hitting the Right Cord
When I say cordy, I truly mean shoes with a heel, a sole, and lots and lots of what were basically thin leather cords. These kinds of shoes for spring 2018 are quite flimsy, and best suited for the occasional event when you need to look classy, breezy, and don’t have to walk too far.
At Y/Project, the straps on these heels climbed all the way up the calf like a vine – an idea reinforced by the red flowers with which the straps were decorated. Delicate black numbers were on display at the Saint Laurent runway, as well.
Lastly, at Altuzarra, leather cord was threaded through a center panel, and wrapped around the ankle and calf, similarly to Y/ Project but with a darker edge.
#2. Strap ‘Em On
Much more reasonably than their thinner cousins, we saw many straight-up strappy shoes as part of the spring 2018 shoe trends, especially with straps that go up past the ankle and up to the calf, gladiator style. Straps are a classic shoe design element that can be both casual or more upscale.
Models pounded the Altuzarra catwalk with one of the clearest examples of this summer 2018 footwear trend. Safe for a front panel connecting all of the everything, the shoes were made up entirely of flat leather straps (with a variety of color options) going all the way up to mid-calf.
At Alberta Ferretti, we saw strappy heels with a key twist around the ankle, made of more traditional leather and looking very classy.
#3. Wrapped Around the Ankle
Straps were all over the runway, but this specific take on strappy shoe designs was prominent enough that it deserves its own category. As part of the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends we saw a lot of designers opt to wrap straps or ribbons specifically above the ankle, to better secure the heel but also to add a stylish element that makes shoes more interesting but still appropriate for any occasion.
My favorite take on this trend used rope or fabric to give a zany feel to otherwise elegant shoes with metallic elements on the Sacai catwalk. At Stella McCartney, we saw delicate low kitten heels with an extra ribbon decoration around the ankle.
A few designers implemented this trend simply, with a buckled strap around the ankles. Those fashion labels that went ahead with this design included Nina Ricci, and Dries Van Noten (along with gorgeous ‘60s inspired boots).
#4. Strappy Flats
If you love the strappy look but are simply not prepared to trudge the streets in a pair of high heels that are only kept together by a few straps, then you’ll be thrilled to know that strappy sandals and flats were also a key part of the spring 2018 shoe trends.
Models at Tory Burch walked a grassy runway, so high heels were a no-go. Instead we saw colorful open-toe flats made up of closely placed straps in different colors, for a spring-time rainbow effect.
Even breezier were the brightly colored slip-on sandals at Cushnie et Ochs, and Creatures of Comfort, made of carefully arranged straps of suede for a rustic looks.
#5. Socks and Sandals
It’s basically mandatory every season for at least a few designers to break the most basic of shoe rules, and pair socks with sandals in a variety of ways – none of which being your garden variety leather sandal and white sock combo you might remember your uncle wearing. Instead, we saw models wearing fashionable high heeled sandals with all manners of socks, as well as some flat sandals.
At Miu Miu, we saw low strappy heels worn over bright neon socks, as well as flat sandals styled in a similar fashion. The socks were often knee-high, contributing to a school-girlish effect that was cheeky and youthful.
Colorful mid-calf socks were paired with heels on the MSGM, and Burberry runways, while dark socks made of a panty-hose material were paired with all kinds of sandals and opened toed heels at both Erdem and Missoni.
Lastly, we saw socks worn with the chunky, sporty spring 2018 sandals at Marc Jacobs, in the style that might appeal the most to your less fashionable friends.
#6. A Platform to Stand On
Platforms are the best way to cheat when you want to look like you’re wearing really high shoes, but can’t handle the incline of a regular heel. The platforms on the runways this season ranged from blocky numbers without any incline to more traditional high heels.
At Gabriel Hearst, paired with the strappy heel trend, we saw truly unique platform heels. The incline was quite small, and most of the height came from the three tiered, architectural platforms.
Flat platforms were also on display, with some gorgeous oxfords from Jil Sanders propped up on a modern looking black platform with some negative space elements. At Marni, there were similar unheeled platforms elevating bright red rain boots.
High heeled platforms with a more serious incline came to us courtesy of labels like Adam Selman, and Alice + Olivia. From the former we saw bright, solid colors and lots of straps, while the latter combined the platform style with a busy floral print that was perfect for the spring 2018 shoe trends.
An honorable mention goes to Mary Katrantzou, for ridiculous platforms decorated with the designer’s name.
#7. Cat’s Meow Heels
Wanna feel adorable in the spring/ summer season? One of the cutest of the summer 2018 shoe trends was the kitten heel. Kitten heels are a great way to get just a hint of elevation, and they have the sexy effect of any other pair of pumps, but they’re great for anyone who finds it hard to balance, is already tall, or simply loves the retro look.
At Miu Miu, embellished kitten heels were worn with colorful socks, and had Mary-Jane style straps to up the cuteness quotient. At Balenciaga, and Prada, kitten heels were a bit more mature thanks to a pointed toe, but still whimsical with bright colors and fun details.
#8. Walk on Bling
A season without sparkle is a fashion season where it’s better to go barefoot. All kinds of blinged out shoes made sure that glitter and jewels make it to the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends.
Dolce & Gabbana can always be trusted to make classically feminine designs with an opulent twist. There were many bejeweled accessories in the D&G show, and the variety of colorful heels were no exception.
At Etro, delicate sandals in a silver shade were decorated with small clusters of jewels in a very tasteful and wearable style.
Lastly, guaranteeing that touches of jewels truly make a home run as one of the spring 2018 shoe trends, was Sandra Choi designing the Jimmy Choo collection. All manner of suede and leather heels and flats were touched by clusters of colorful yet delicate jewels, either at the straps, or even at the heel.
#9. Glitter and Shine
Another way to amp up the shine is with glitter-covered leather. It is the shoe equivalent of a sequin dress, shimmering and catching the light in a fun way that doesn’t feel as expensive or dangerous as having a shoe covered in jewels. It is a perfect party option for the spring 2018 shoe trends.
At Victoria Beckham, the shine came from an abundance of glitter on pointed-toe pumps, and it worked really nicely with the more subdued pastel-colored suits we saw on the runway. An abundance of glitter was also used in decorating the ankle-high boots with a thick wooden heel at Coach.
At Anna Sui, the designs were all about Narnia magic, with glittery shoes paired with socks for a unique and youthful effect. At Libertine, comma heels were made even more attention grabbing with the addition of glittery fabric in a patchwork style. We also saw some glitter shoes on the catwalk of Balenciaga.
#10. Shoes with Punk Embellishments
If you’re part of an old school alternative crowd, you’ll be happy to know that there were some really cool punk options as part of the summer 2018 shoe trends, both in high heels and in boots.
For example, at Prada, black shoes were adorned with classic punk spikes. At Moschino, it was all about rocker boots, covered with studded leather straps that reminded us of those popular belts from the early 2000s.
If you really want to get extreme, look no further than the extreme spikes on pumps at Balenciaga. Some of the cowboy boots at the Fausto Puglisi show had a decidedly punk feel, and while we don’t want to think about what country punk music sounds like, that combination was pretty cool in a shoe.
#11. Fur-tastic Taste
Despite these being the warmer seasons, the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends included furry shoes and boots. I guess fur on the outside isn’t necessarily the stifling mess it’d be on the inside of the shoes, and there is no need to be concerned about snow destroying it. I grudgingly accept this trend, and anyone who chooses to follow it.
The most iconic take on the fur shoe trend was spotted on the Saint Laurent runway, where high boots were yeti-chic, covered in bright and colorful feathers from ankle to knee.
The Marco de Vincenzo shoe collection was equally iconic for the summer season, with models wearing what would have been colorful and strappy high heeled sandals, except for the addition of texture in the way of fur covering some of those straps. Other labels to utilize fur elements in their shoe collections included Marni, Roberto Cavalli, and more.
#12. Sneakers & Sports Shoes
Gym addicts and avid joggers, the summer 2018 shoe trends have you totally covered, with a ton of awesome options that will keep you looking stylish when you exercise.
Contrary to the name of the label, models on the Off-White catwalk sported stark white Nikes. We saw proper running shoes at Versus Versace, and Louis Vuitton.
Both at the shows of Emporio Armani and Valentino, we saw exercise shoes that were distinctively not sneakers – while their soles were sporty and solid, and the colors were the neons appropriate for any runner, they had a solid top part made of a breathable material, with no seams or laces.
Loewe gets an honorable mention for sneakers that seemed to have a solid construction, with just one element that we’re not sure is all that practical – pointed toes that curved upwards, perfect for the sporty elf.
A pair of sleek oxfords is one of my favorite shoes to wear, so I was thrilled to see them in the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends. Oxfords are stylish in an androgynous, dapper style that is totally perfect for the deconstruction of the gender binary that is on the precipice of becoming totally commonplace.
White oxfords with a brown sole were super classy on the Thom Browne runway, while tan oxfords had a similar effect at Bottega Veneta.
#14. Dangerous Snakeskin Shoes
What better way to exude danger and fierceness than with a pair of shoes made of the skin of a venomous creature? In my personal opinion, it’s doing it with a faux version to avoid the animal cruelty. Regardless, no matter what kind of snakeskin you choose, you will be in line with the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends.
At Chloe, we saw all manner of boots and shoes made of snakeskin in different colors and prints, including a particularly beautiful colorful pair. There were snakeskin elements at the toe cap and behind the heel on the cowboy boots at Givenchy, while at Elie Saab we saw ultra-strappy snakeskin heels.
On the Salvatore Ferragamo catwalk, snakeskin thigh highs made a big impression, thanks to a retro vibe that was at once ridiculous but sexy.
#15. Boots with Front Laces
Adding laces to the front of a boot is a great design element – even if the laces are purely decorational. The laces soften the boots and make them feel more classic. It was lovely to see many different kinds of boots sporting laces in the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends.
At Chloe, this design was applied to a shoe made of snakeskin – a unique combination that we’d be happy to see show up elsewhere. Fun modern takes on these laced boots came from Emporio Armani, where we saw pointed toe boots with a colorful geometric print, and from David Koma where sleek nude and white boots were the height of sophistication.
Other labels to create boots with front laces included Acne Studios, Celine, Ermanno Scervino, and Antonio Berardi.
#16. Buckled In
Kind of like laces, buckles are also a shoe design element with a long history that can be used for a retro effect, or simply in a classic shoe design. It can also be used in more avant-garde designs, of course, so in the end… it can work for anyone, and is easy to incorporate into your wardrobe as one of the summer 2018 shoe trends.
In addition to the abundance of buckle elements we saw on all of the different retro-inspired shoes at shows like Miu Miu and Anna Sui, we also saw lots of modern designs with buckles. White flats were double buckled at the John Galliano show, while at Creatures of Comfort it was all about comfy looking slip ons with a Mary Jane style buckle.
On the Michael Kors runway, models sported a darker heel with lots of buckled straps over the foot, as well as the opposite in comfy looking white sandals covered in buckles. There were some cool buckles that really reminded us of belts at Monse, and Blumarine, although the effect was achieved in totally different ways.
#17. Cowboy Boots
I’ve discovered a new affinity for all things country, so I was quick to appreciate all of the cowboy boots I saw gracing the runway for the spring/ summer season. Cowboy boots will be fantastic for the spring 2018 shoe trends, because they are versatile, unique, and perfect for any kind of weather. We saw a few more unique takes on the cowboy boot, as well as boots that used a few cowboy boot elements but were otherwise not totally country.
The designers that followed cowboy boot design conventions more closely, keeping a low heel, included Calvin Klein, albeit in bright colors, R13, and Fausto Puglisi. Versus, Marques’Almeida, and Giorgio Armani simply used cowboy boot elements like the unique straps at the top, while keeping the rest of the design more traditional or modern.
Other fashion labels to incorporate cowboy boot elements into their spring collections included Givenchy, Undercover, Maison Margiela, and more.
#18. Spool Heels
Spool heels have a distinctive charm – they are an exaggeration of Victorian heels, perfect for fantasy designs, with a flared base that is ultra comfortable. If you prefer a more retro style, especially for springtime soirees, then this heel trend from the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends will be perfect for you.
At Fendi, it was certainly an unexpected twist on the sporty heels we saw in their collection. The more casual design paired with the spool heel was a fascinating anachronistic combination of old and new.
At Sies Marjan, there was a more explicit Victorian inspiration, as squarish spool heels were attached to Victorian-inspired boots with front laces and an open toe. We also saw spool heels paired with cowboy designs that were also a seasonal shoe trend on the runways of Anna Sui, and Thom Browne.
#19. See-Through Boots
Plastic and sheer materials were two key spring/ summer 2018 fashion trends, so it was no surprise to see see-through boots of both plastic and other materials become part of the spring 2018 shoe trends.
At the helm of this trend were the boots at Chanel, which have all the fashion magazines writing. The see-through boots at Chanel came in all kinds of lengths from mid-thigh to mid-calf, with chunky low heels perfect for a rainy spring day.
At Off-White, what would have been on their own a lovely pair of strappy, pointed-toe heels actually became a type of waterproof booties thanks to the addition of white, see-through plastic. At Balmain, we saw chunky plastic boots made of a blend of clear and black plastic.
#20. See-Through Shoes
Along with all the clear, see-through boots we saw this season, there were also more standard high heels and high-heeled sandals with see-through elements, perfect for a beachy vacation.
At Oscar de La Renta, clear PVC heels were the height of sophistication, thanks to a classic design and a pointed toe with a black cap.
Models on the Alexander Wang runway wore low-heeled PVC sandals and flip-flop heels paired with fishnet and mesh hose. We saw similar designs, but without the clever styling, at A Detacher, and Chromat.
#21. Shoes with Mesh Elements
In keeping in line with a theme of see-through, another of the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends we saw used frequently was all types of mesh and net.
At Christian Dior, we saw black mesh boots gracing the runway. The net itself was quite thick and sturdy, making sure that this unusual style can be totally wearable.
The fun shoes at Miu Miu were very memorable for following many 2018 shoe trends, one of which was using mesh elements right above the low heel. We also saw some mesh elements on the shoes gracing the Emporio Armani catwalk.
#22. Sporty Heels
I need to be honest with y’all – this is probably my least favorite of the summer 2018 shoe trends. No hate if you love sporty high heels, but I don’t think I will ever understand why one would want sporty elements on a shoe that is decidedly terrible for any kind of physical activity.
At Fendi, we saw all kinds of sporty motifs paired with both stiletto heels and Victorian spool heels, for an anachronistic effect. At Fenty X Puma, the iconic puma logo was embedded on impossibly high stilettos designed to look like spongy beach flip flops.
At Monse, MSGM, and Phillip Lim, the sporty elements came from thick, woolen sport sock-style leg warmers attached to the shoes.
#23. Thigh-High Boots
Few things are as sexy as a pair of thigh-high boots. This specific shoe design is closely associated with sensual power – think dominatrixes and female superheros. If you want to embody sexual empowerment, then jump unto these kinds of boots from the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends.
At Versace, blinged out black boots were 1 part edgy and 2 parts fun, as they were adorned with a shiny gold and crystal pattern that is very true to the brand.
At The Blonds, the types of thigh-high boots we saw were a little looser, especially above the knee, and made of blue suede for a glam feel reminiscent of the ‘70s. Other brands to make thigh-high boots one of the best spring 2018 shoe trends included Chanel, Moschino, Marques’Almeida, and Marc Jacobs.
#24. Sporty Sandals
When we say sporty sandals were one of spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends, we’re not just talking about sporty designs and motifs, we’re also talking about practicality. Designers created sandals with thicker soles, giving real support to the foot. These were sandals that could be worn on days when you’ll be on your feet for long, even through rough terrains.
On the Marc Jacobs runway, we saw the most practical of options – sandals with very thick soles and clear exercise motifs. We can easily imagine hikers choosing these gorgeous sandals for a day hike, to keep them cool and supported.
At Rick Owens, sandals were made of a thick, white material, calling to mind a more architectural and better constructed take on crocs. We also saw yellow sporty sandals at Christopher Kane, and oddly enough, they followed one of the totally contradictory spring 2018 shoe trends – they were covered in jewels!
#25. Fringe on the Shoes
Fringe was big on the runway this season, and it went beyond clothing, to become one of the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends.
Colorful slippers with a short heel were adorned with a shiny fringe along the front, for a playful effect that was shamelessly childish and very fantastical. At the Proenza Schouler runway, the fringe was a little out of hand (a little out of foot?), with lovely little kitten heels absolutely bursting with the colorful embellishment.
#26. Pink Shoes
Bright colors were a key part of the summer 2018 shoe trends, and one of those star colors was pink. This color made sense, seeing as this season played with femininity, and it also fits well with florals – a key spring 2018 print trend.
This sweet shade was used in crafting simpler shoe designs, like pink leather espadrilles at Noon by Noor. We also saw it used in Victorian-style Calvin Klein boots, and unique Prabal Gurung high-heeled sandals.
#27. Yellow Shoes
The second color starring in the spring/ summer 2018 shoe trends is the bright and lively yellow, which was also signature in many a fashion collection, as it’s one of the top spring/ summer 2018 color trends, too.
At Christian Louboutin x Novis show, open toed mules really stood out thanks to this bright shade. At Derek Lam, yellow took on a more muted hue, thanks to the suede material from which all kinds of sandals and slip-ons had been created.
#28. Comma Heels
For some reason comma heels make me think of fantasy designs – the kind of thing you would see in the Hunger Games or in an early Lady Gaga music video.
At the Libertine show, comma heels made sense as part of the whimsical shoe designs covered in different colors and lots of glitter. On the Valentino runway, the comma heel design was subtler (and likely more comfortable as well), in combination with a white shoe.
#29. High Tongues
Do you like tongue? No, not like that! We mean, as one of the summer 2018 shoe trends. Normally we would expect to see tongues only on shoes with laces, but they also made an appearance on heels.
At Christian Siriano, golden slip-on shoes had a high tongue as a simple design element, while at Adeam, the tongue was part of a purple suede shoe with some secure straps around the ankle. Shoes at Chiara Boni La Petite Robe were soft and summery in pastel blue, with a flower right below the tongue of the shoe.
#30. Lucite Heels
See-through elements are all over the runways, and if you don’t want your feet exposed you might fall for a pair of shoes with lucite heels, yet another of the summer 2018 shoe trends.
At Prabal Gurung, colorful lucite heels in a square shape provided a nice contrast to the minimalist body of the shoe that was otherwise very soft and rounded. In a combination of trends at the Marcel Ostertag runway, glittery boots were raised with a light blue lucite heel.
Lucite heels at Fenty x Puma by Rihanna also stood out, particularly because of the literal Puma logo adorning the yellow heel.
Few things are as easy as slipping on a pair of mules, and with the spring 2018 shoe trends, you have many trendy and unique mules to choose from. This backless design feels wonderfully mod, and it always seems fashionable no matter how you style it.
Mule shoes that really stood out this season include a white pair at Tibi, with two graphic black stripes towards where the leg begins, and skinny, tiny heel. At Claudia Li, it was all about bright and happy mule flats – the shoes were white and splatted in a yellow pattern.
#32. Strapped-In Toe
Quite a few designers decided to add a new element to open toed creations for the summer 2018 shoe trends. They added a thicker strap over the toe, in a way that reminded us of some old-school flip flop designs.
This design was implemented to white, low heels from Tracy Reese, along with a wider strap over the center of the foot. There was a similar look at Prabal Gurung, albeit paired with the season’s signature thick lucite heel, and in brighter colors.
At Tibi, the toe strap was added to a pair of flats where most of the structure’s security came from straps wrapped around the ankle.
#33. Metallic Shoes
From sandals to heeled shoes to boots, metallic sheen is everywhere on the spring/ summer 2018 shoes, whether it’s a silver, gold or a rose gold accent. This is just another way to make your feet shine, and we are already ready to embrace this trend right away.
Tom Ford decided to match the classic metallic silver pumps with the total silver look to amp up the futuristic theme of the look, while Isabel Marant added subtle metallic accents to her sporty-chic collection using strappy metallic heeled sandals.
Missoni featured both metallic gold and silver shoes matched with socks, and we also saw metallic pink accents at Dior.
Photos via Livingly, Vogue