As we head into 2022, we want to be well-heeled and as stylish as possible, and the spring/summer 2022 shoe trends offer diverse designs for this. After all, it was Edith Head who said it best with the quote, “you can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” So, if you happen to be looking to step up your wardrobe, shoes are the perfect territory to tread into first.
Since the accessories market has been having a boom lately, many designers grew to feel more comfortable in adding strange and alluring details to their footwear. Jonathan Anderson of Loewe clearly felt the most comfortable, considering the statement pieces his shoes became. Of course, the rise of Mylo leather at Stella McCartney and 3D printing at Givenchy could also be cited as part of the chaotic trend, quite like the easy and comfortable plush shoes that were spotted at Balenciaga.
Many throwback looks also were reincarnated, with T-straps from the 1920s, thong slides from the 2000s, and gladiator shoes from the Roman Empire (and 2010s). This ease of combining different footwear looks allowed for the spring/summer 2022 shoe trends to have many aesthetics. So whatever look entices you most, one of the 16 shoe trends below will surely fulfill your need to step up your wardrobe in the new year.
#1. To the Sky!
Last season, we were just starting to see the glory of platform shoes, with the street style trend of Doc Martens and the designer rise of the Versace pumps. This spring and summer, the trend has only evolved further, with sky-high heels, sandals, and boots all becoming incredibly popular. If you’re in the mood to relearn how to walk in ultra-high shoes, then head to Chanel, Peter Do, Stella McCartney, Sportmax, Versace, or Lanvin for some glorious options.
#2. Thigh-Highs in Spring?!
This fashion trend is similar to the print trend of plaid in winter – we’re all curious how it found its way out of season but couldn’t be more excited that it did. Perhaps the birth of this shoe trend in spring came from the hope of traveling to more cold-weather climates, but either way, thigh-high boots were seen on many models for different runways. So, if you’re interested in embracing this trend, head to Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, or Maison Margiela for some truly transitional footwear.
#3. Ode to the Gladiator
The later 2000s might have been the most popular time for the gladiator sandal since the Roman Empire, but this year, there will be a resurgence in the ancient world-approved footwear. The summer shoe trend came in many different styles: think the rockstud design at Valentino or the knee-high look at Alberta Ferretti. If you want a more simplistic take on the classical summer shoe, Altuzarra, Paco Rabanne, Staud, Christian Dior, and Prabal Gurung all created their own versions.
#4. Chunky Sporty Sandals
Is there a better way to get back to nature than with comfy, cushy sandals? We don’t think so. Something about being under lockdown led many designers to connect with nature, and they wanted us to do the same. These sandals will help!
That was exactly the vibe at Hermes, Max Mara, and Rachel Comey, where we saw comfy and easy fisherman sandals. Many more labels sent their models out on the runway in these slightly chunky sandals that made utility fashionable, including Chloe and Proenza Schouler.
#5. Very Mary
Mary Janes are a classic style of footwear that has made its way in and out of style over the years, but it happens to be a quintessential part of any shoe lover’s collection. Many classically elegant brands reached for this style of shoe on their runways. So, while Dior and Chanel made them popular this season, Miu Miu also has many retro options.
#6. Stubborn as a Mule
Mules can come in many forms – heel or flat, pointed or round-toed – but this year, the most popular form was a kitten heel with a long, narrow toe. This elongated shape is great for making legs appear slimmer and, therefore, naturally perfect for skirts and dresses. Sporadically placed across the runway, floral-hued mules showed up at Jason Wu, Marine Serre, and Prada, while Fendi went for an eclectic, fuzzy, and multicolored take.
#7. Glorified Flip-Flops
This beach-ready shoe will always make a comeback in the summer, but often it doesn’t reach the runways. However, this year, different takes on the flip-flop proved to be intensely popular among designers. In some instances, the shoe trend was mixed with another, allowing The Row to give birth to gladiator-esque thong sandals.
Not to be outdone, the ever-competitive fashion industry also added embellishments, foam material, and T-straps to some of the glorified flip-flop looks. Chief among the designers who created a stylish alternative to the flip-flop were Jil Sander, Burberry, and Jacquemus.
#8. Loafing Around
Starting off as a menswear look and making its foray into women’s fashion, with Greta Garbo often wearing them in the ‘30s, this shoe has garnered support for many who adore its gender-neutral appeal and repressed sexuality. Designers clearly appreciated the shoe to the max this year, with both male and female models donning the 2022 shoe trend for the catwalk. Proenza Schouler, Ganni, Christopher Kane, and Chanel all created their own takes on the shoe. The only common theme? Chunky and enlarged heels.
#9. A Bog of Clogs
Often considered the loafer’s ugly cousin or the shoe that all but the daring fashion girls try, this divisive shoe has regained popularity once more. Prominently spotted on runways for the likes of Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rejina Pyo, and Balenciaga, the clog was often clunky and heavily buckled. Whether you choose to wear them or not, clogs are here for spring and summer as the ultimate comfortable shoe.
#10. A Day at the Ballet
If you, like me, grew up with dreams of becoming a ballet dancer only to find you had no rhythm, then this spring 2022 shoe trend is perfect for you. While ballet flats won’t allow you to be as graceful as Misty Copeland, they will allow you to find the softer side of life. Ulla Johnson created many softly detailed ballet flats with elegant lace-up straps, while Tory Burch and Khaite went for a subtle ballet flat for their collections. In any event, throwing on a pair of ballet flats of any style will never hurt you.
#11. Plush Rush
From Fendi to Balmain to Altuzarra to Maryam Nassir Zadeh, plushy and fuzzy footwear reigned. This step up from slippers created a new type of outdoor shoe with faux fur mixed in. Of course, Fendi’s fuzzy sandals might be easier to wear with your regular wardrobe, but as far as statement pieces go, Altuzarra’s furry heels will be the talk of any party. Let the plush rush begin!
#12. Absurd Heels
Similar to the fashion trends of sequins and feathers, this extra detail on shoes proves we’re already in for a fun new year. Primarily shown at Loewe, where the heels were created from different household products (think broken eggs, nail polish bottles, and bars of soap) to create a whimsical effect, this look had other brands flirting with new styles as well.
At Prada, a sliver of the heel was cut out, Dries Van Noten embellished their heels with fruits, and Isabel Marant carved out the interior portion of her platforms. Statement pieces might normally be the bags slung over our shoulders, but the 2022 shoes (and heels in particular) are vying for attention.
#13. Soft Soles
Soft and squishy shoes were a strange look that pranced their way down the runway. While it might feel like walking on a cloud, the hefty shoes aren’t for the faint of fashion heart. Both Demna of Balenciaga and Matthew Williams of Givenchy started the trend with Kanye West as an early adapter. Now, it seems that Balmain has decided to adopt the look with puffy ties across the top of the brand’s shoes. Either way, this is a fascinating and fun shoe trend for next season.
#14. All Tied up
Often paired with ballet flats, ankle straps were popular on the runway, with several delicate ties holding in an ankle or two. Whether in the form of a pump or platform or a simplistic flat, the soft detail was a recurring trend on many runways such as Loewe, Coperni, Saint Laurent, Versace, Victoria Beckham, and Acne Studios. Perhaps it’ll make tying your shoes up in the morning a bit more difficult, but the effect should be worth the wait.
#15. Twists on the T-Strap
This summer 2022 shoe trend was roaring in the twenties, and the fashion world is revving to have it become popular again. Sophisticated, classic, and extremely retro, the T-strap is a type of Mary Jane detail that many designers worked into their collections this year.
Acne Studios and Burberry stuck with the simplistic look, but Miu Miu couldn’t help but modernize the style a bit. This allowed Miu Miu to become the perfect brand for anyone who was in the mood for metallic shoes after New Year’s Eve. So, pull on those sparkling shoes and contrasting socks if you want some extra flair.
#16. Metal Additions
Metal details have become somewhat popular lately. Last year, it was the army boot of Balenciaga’s that was forged in the South of France, and this year, it seems the metal chains have taken the heat. Designers from Tom Ford, Balmain to Chanel added the rougher take on an ankle strap to many of their shoes to create an extra addition to simplistic designs.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly