A shoe is an important investment with a big impact, which is why we are so excited for the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends. The spring 2020 shoes were heavily influenced by the ’70s, especially when it comes to soles and silhouettes. Still, there were also the modern touches of fashion that we’ve been enjoying the few seasons previous.
What really stood out to us with the spring/ summer 2020 footwear trends was a shift towards comfortable summer sandals, which, to be fair, maybe we should have expected considering how the world is heating up. We should probably do a lot more walking to minimize our carbon footprint, and comfortable summer sandals are by far the best footwear for the job.
At the same time, boots have had a massive showing as well amongst the spring 2020 shoes. We could take this to mean designers expect wet, rainy spring seasons, though, in many instances, it was just a throwback to the ’70s, with psychedelic prints and knee-high silhouettes.
Another big trend was a shift from chunky to chunkier, in the form of thick heels and different kinds of platforms, further cementing the ’70s as the fashion world’s current nostalgic obsession.
#1. Platform Heels
We know the ’70s are the It decade because platforms came into the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends with a vengeance. The disco-era heels will add some serious inches to your stature, as well as a touch of high-drama flare.
The platforms at Tibi were genuinely magnificent, in the minimalistic form of slingbacks and ankle boots with a massive platform but just a small incline at the heel. There was a wide variety of footwear on the Miu Miu runway, which included some silvery Oxfords with a wood platform heel.
Platform shoes totally free of the typical high heel incline also had a respectable showing as part of the spring 2020 footwear trends, giving a comfortable shoe option that doesn’t strain the calf but still offers a ton of height.
The platforms at Giambattista Valli were quite unique and even had a delicate touch. They were mostly strappy, bejeweled sandals for 2020 with a thick platform sole but without a heel, often paired with floral embroidered tights.
At Gypsy Sport, the spring 2020 platform sandals felt like an extreme extension of the chunky sandal trend we’ve been seeing in previous seasons, with hefty but soft-looking white platforms and thick straps. We loved the unique, earthy, and modern platform heels at Chloé, which featured a tread platform at the front and rich brown leather strap design.
#3. Smart Knee-High Boots
We’ve already seen Amal Clooney rocking these types of boots – plain leather and not overly embellished, and going just as high as the knee. We think these smart boots will become one of the favorite spring 2020 shoe trends for sensible women, especially if they live in rainy climates.
Smart knee-high boots in beige and white at Givenchy looked like the perfect choice for a rainy summer day, with geometric toe boxes that added a unique touch. The ’70s French Girl look at Celine was cemented by the addition of knee-high leather boots in earth tones to outfits consisting of calf-length skirts and culottes.
#4. Thigh-Highs and Over-the-Knee Boots
Whereas knee-high boots are an elegant yet casual choice that we think is great for professionals, boots that go over the knee are all about the danger and sex appeal. Pair the hottest summer 2020 shoes with short shorts or a miniskirt for a wild night out.
At Altuzarra, over-the-knee boots with tight shafts came in bright colors that we think avant-garde fashionistas will embrace with glee, like bright red and baby blue. The thigh-highs at Loewe came in cheerful yellows and pure whites, and they were paired with everything from sheer, flowy dresses to all-black ensembles.
#5. Witchy Spring Boots
If your style is a little more alternative, you can give it a spring twist with a pair of witchy booties in light colors and whimsical designs, which were a fun part of the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends.
On the Anna Sui runway, pink metallic boot ankle boots were decorated with a curved rose-gold colored heel and baby pink ribbon laces – the perfect combination of a witchy silhouette with very feminine colors.
Witch-chic boots at Self-Portrait had pointed toes and Victorian-style laces in the same shade as the boots. White and black made for mundane options, so we were fawning over the baby blue ones.
#6. Boots with Slouchy Shafts
A boot silhouette that stood out all on its own in the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends featured a slouchy shaft, a design that is unique and noticeable, though not too over the top.
The look at Etro, as it is every year, had elements of boho chic, with light leather boots with a Robin Hood-style folded-over shaft that was super slouchy, lending a debonair feel to the runway.
For Roksanda, Malone Souliers designed slouchy leather boots in a variety of colors, including restrained burgundy and lively pink, with a unique paper-bag style closure at the top that made them extra appealing. There were many more slouchy boots for 2020 to be had, especially on the runways of Blumarine, and Sies Marjan.
#7. Shiny Boots
Sick of boots yet? We’re not, because we think shiny boots are probably one of the most ostentatious and fun spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends!
Jeremy Scott always presents an outrageous runway, and this season was no different. Models in brightly colored wigs wore boots to match, in a variety of shiny shades, including purple, pink, green, and silver. Their spring 2020 boots also came in a wide range of silhouettes, like knee-highs, ankle boots, heels, flats, and more.
Most of the boots at Saint Laurent were understated knee-high options, which are also going to be very trendy. Still, the highlight for us was the slouchy-shaft boot in gold, a silhouette that feels casual even though the color is anything but.
Finally, the Paco Rabanne collection, which celebrated everything psychedelic about the ’70s, included blinding silvery boots covered in a flower child print.
#8. Chunky Triangle Heel
A triangle heel is always an eye-catching detail, and it was undoubtedly such as part of the spring 2020 footwear trends, where it was usually chunky and part of geometric shoe designs. We’re all too used to a traditional tapered heel that goes from thick at the top to thin where it touches the floor, but we think we can get used to the reversed version of it very quickly!
We loved the extra low and thick triangular heels at Fendi, which helped support super chic slingback loafers, only further cementing the loafer craze. We also saw more of these chunky triangle heels at J.W. Anderson, and Zadig & Voltaire.
#9. Colorful Sneakers
While white sneakers haven’t totally left the runways, the new sneaker of choice for the summer 2020 shoe trends is the one made up of loud and sometimes even clashing colors.
The best example of these loudly colored sneakers was at Rokh, where chunky sneakers in white and gray were covered in loudly colored elastic cords in shades like red, orange, and green.
Sporty, flat-style sneakers at Kate Spade New York looked like a comfy choice you could literally slip on to go for a run, with panels of purple, yellow, espresso, and tan making for a gorgeous color palette. We also enjoyed the colorful, heavy-soled sneakers on the Pyer Moss runway, which looked like they could do serious damage with a kick if necessary.
#10. Sock Sneakers
Sock sneakers are still going strong, and we’re ambivalent about reporting that they’re also part of the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends. This was never our favorite trend, but it clearly has its fans, especially in the athletic street style crowd.
From Longchamp, sock sneakers had a very sporty feel with longer shafts decorated with panels of color. The spring 2020 sock sneakers at Zimmermann, on the other hand, will appeal to minimalists, with thin white soles and a black upper.
#11. Knitted Shoes
Crochet was a very major spring 2020 fashion trend on the runways this season, so no surprise crochet and knits also made it on to the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends.
Knitted shoes contributed to a very creative yet cozy collection at Marco de Vincenzo, where crocheted flats and heels were worn with knitted garments, and occasionally even blended into them, making it hard to tell where the shoes ended and tights or socks began.
Knitted shoes at Emporio Armani felt totally futuristic, on the other hand, since they were made of a shiny material and knitted tightly to cover and protect the foot.
#12. Knots and Cords
There was just a hint of boho-chic on the spring runways – nothing compared to previous seasons, but knotted rope or cord sandals for summer 2020 were definitely a small part of that category.
The breakout heels at Victoria Beckham were red, black, or white high heeled sandals with leather knotted at the center above the toes, in a sort of starburst effect. At J.W. Anderson, the rope upper had a complement in the form of the sole, since knotted summer 2020 sandals all came in the form of espadrilles.
If you’d like to go as far as possible with this trend, look no further than the Eckhaus Latta runway, where models wore wooden-soled summer sandals with a single piece of lace (as in shoelace) carefully woven and knotted serving as the upper. We also saw some amazing rope and knot elements on strappy heels at Isabel Marant, which were also beaded for a touch of color.
#13. Gladiator Sandals
Sandals were a must-have for the summer 2020 shoes, but in the form of gladiators, they gave the foot a bit more hold and increased our nostalgia for hippie fashion. With some of the 2020 gladiator sandals we saw on the runway, you can be a real eco-warrior.
Versace delivered a sexy take on gladiator sandals, with both heels and flats fitted with thin, black straps wrapped around the calves, and worn with shorts, miniskirts, and even a pencil skirt for an exciting blend.
We found the styling at Chalayan the most memorable, with biblical leather gladiator sandals worn over white knee-high socks, creating the most grandfatherly pairing. We also saw spring 2020 gladiator sandals at Etro, Missoni, and Longchamp.
#14. Studs & Spikes
Feeling dangerous? Then pick up a pair of studded spring 2020 shoes, which had an edgy vibe many alternative types will appreciate.
Marques’Almeida presented a dark collection with fashion punk vibes that included strappy heeled sandals with straps covered with extra spiky studs.
The Rockstud shoes from Valentino are timeless and iconic, so for this season, they were given a twist and turned into strappy sandals totally covered in monochrome studs.
#15. Ankle Chains
One of the more blingy spring 2020 shoe trends was the anklet embellishments that replaced typical ankle straps on many summer shoes and sandals this season. It wasn’t over the top or ostentatious – just a small touch of luxury.
At Proenza Schouler, small, gold chains around the ankle were a little detail that added some softness to fairly intense shoe designs with square toes that were paired with dark pantyhose.
Amongst all the espadrilles on the J.W. Anderson runway, a delicate pair of golden shoes with a bejeweled chain around the ankle really stood out as extra luxurious and feminine. Finally, at Zimmermann, the anklet element took on a dramatic flair, with extra thick gold chain links and a sharp tooth pendant.
#16. Square Toe Shoes
The square toe mania started with Bottega Veneta, but for the spring 2020 shoes, other designers chose to follow suit. We don’t know if we’re willing to give up our fierce pointed toe heels and cute rounded flats, but we know many runway fans will be more than ready to do so.
Speaking of, the square toe shoes presented at Balenciaga this season included a lot of patent leather boots paired with intense professional garments, exuding a dominant style.
The A.W.A.K.E. Mode runway also showcased square toe shoes and sandals for 2020, which were particularly memorable because they were also slightly elongated. There were square-toed slip-on flats, strappy sandals, and even some flip-flops.
At Bottega Veneta, a pair of silver sequin heels was truly spectacular, giving a very wild and joyous twist to the severe square toe design.
#17. Heeled Loafer
While a flat loafer has been the go-to professional shoe for women, who love the comfort of a regular flat but find it a little too casual, we think heeled loafers might get the high-heel addicts also intrigued. Most of the loafers to show up as part of the summer 2020 shoes had blocky heels, to be fair, so they will probably appeal more to a sensible crowd, but there were some exceptions.
The heeled loafers at Prada will definitely have many fans. They were made mainly of snakeskin-embossed leather, with both higher and lower block heels and with some slingback options as well. It was all about combining trends at Louis Vuitton, with platform loafers that gave strong disco prep vibes.
At Vera Wang, stiletto loafers deserve a prominent mention. The heels were much higher than we’re used to seeing on high-heel loafers, with a bit of texture on the platform adding a sense of danger.
#18. Mule Loafer
Mules and slides, in general, were a big part of the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends, guaranteeing we won’t have to waste too much time trying to work our feet into tight shoes. Loafers have been big in fashion for a few seasons now, and the mule loafer seems like the perfect new choice for summer.
At Lanvin, the mule loafers were extra professional, made out of dark leather with sophisticated silver plaques. Loewe also presented a variety of loafers on the runway, including croc-embossed mules with chunky heels.
#19. Heeled Mary Janes
Especially in comparison to heeled loafers, Mary Jane high-heels are a very feminine and delicate shoe choice that we think will remain a staple for a long time after the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends are gone and forgotten.
The Mary Janes at Maison Margiela were a little fiercer, despite their pastel shades, thanks to sharp pointed toes and high stiletto heels. We saw similar silhouettes on the Carolina Herrera runway, albeit in different shades – hot pink especially caught our eye, but white and black Mary Janes might appeal to the conservative crowd.
#20. Ugly Sandals
Wearing a pair of ugly sandals is one way to make a real fashion statement during the hot seasons. The ugly sandals that were part of the summer 2020 shoe trends went above and beyond, with chunky soles and big straps, and we know fans of man repellant fashion will be all over them.
The chunky, ugly sandals for 2020 at Christopher Kane consisted of oversized black soles and colorful, amoeba-shaped plastic straps shaped to match the plastic elements and cutouts in the garments. It was all about the grandpa-chic at 3.1 Phillip Lim, with black slip-ons with extra-wide soles and thick buckled straps.
We saw some more hideously chic summer 2020 sandals on the runways of Carolina Herrera, and Margaret Howell. The winning runway for most extreme ugly sandals is probably Sacai, where models wore super chunky sandals with tread soles and fitted with thick canvas straps.
#21. Geometric Shoes
Call it minimalist (we wouldn’t) or architectural if you like, but unique geometric shapes were definitely part of the summer 2020 shoe trends. These kinds of summer 2020 shoes will surely end up on the feet of the serious fashion folks who would like to make a statement.
We loved the summer shoes we saw at Givenchy, which included clean and classy leather mules with hexagonal toe boxes. We also saw some unique shapes on flip-flop sandals at Rejina Pyo, which combined straight lines and rounded negative space in the thick strap that covered the foot.
The geometric aspects were concentrated around the heel at Alexander McQueen, where it looked as though a sharp angle was cut into the wooden heel – there was a similar design at Olivier Theyskens, as well.
#22. Summery Espadrilles
The official shoes of Mediterranean city breaks and preppy holidays have had a showing in the summer 2020 shoe trends. We are talking, of course, about espadrilles – a Spanish design originally meant for sailors, where the sole is made of rope.
There were a few raw elements to the spring 2020 shoes at J.W. Anderson, including knotted up sandal espadrilles with some unique panels adding support to the foot but leaving it bare.
The vibe at Christian Dior was very seasonal, with garments inspired by trees and nature, so espadrilles were a fitting footwear choice. The espadrilles on the Dior runway were straw-colored, with either slip-on or knotted rope uppers.
Lastly, at Simone Rocha, we saw platform espadrilles that really deserve a mention for blending footwear trends. The espadrille sole was multi-layered, making for a fancy platform made all the more special by the bejeweled upper.
#23. Wooden Soles
Natural materials were one of the more significant spring 2020 shoe trends, and wooden soles were part of that. This material is perfect for wedges and platforms, and it instantly gives a bit of a bohemian feel to any outfit it is paired with.
It was all about the natural materials at Eckhaus Latta, where lacey sandals, as well as mule heels, were boosted to new heights with solid wooden soles. We also saw some wooden platform heels give a natural touch to the ultra-cutesy Anna Sui collection.
There were plenty other wood soles going around, including at the Miu Miu, and Alexander McQueen shows.
We could see clogs as fitting in under the subcategory of the platform spring 2020 shoe trends, but because they have such a particular brand of chunkiness, we decided they deserved their own special mention.
The only word we could think of after seeing the Anna Sui collection was “party clogs,” which were color-matched to sequined garments, although, to be fair, the clogs themselves will be wearable on most occasions since their upper was made of lovely light blue suede.
The clogs at Margaret Howell didn’t have an overly chunky platform, which might be nice for those sick of all that added height on the runways. They still had the traditional rounded, slip-on silhouette, and were a perfect fit with the utilitarian collection.
#25. Double Strap Slip-on Sandals
It’s always exciting to get a new sandal silhouette for the summer 2020 shoe trends, and the double strap slip-on sandals are especially nice if you’d like easy-breezy footwear. Because of the double strap, they do a better job of holding the foot despite only taking seconds to put on.
We felt like “cool college girl” was the look at Rag & Bone, which featured low-heeled leather sandals worn with outfits that felt traditional – to us, ideal looks for the end of summer or the very beginning of spring.
We loved the itty-bitty take on double straps at Rejina Pyo, where slip-on sandals looked super secure on the foot despite how slinky and slim the colorful straps were. For more takes on double strap sandals for 2020, we appreciate offerings from Staud, and Alexander McQueen.
#26. Polka Dot Shoes
Polka dots were a spring 2020 print trend on the runways, so it also found its way on the spring 2020 shoes. Polka dots are a print that feels quaint and cute, so we think anyone who opts for a hyper-feminine style in the warm seasons will gravitate towards these shoes.
If you like to take on a more retro look for a few of your spring looks, Tory Burch delivered with polka dot kitten heels in black and white that really channeled the ’50s. At Coach 1941, black, gray, and white dots were printed over yellow boots, in a design that was whimsical but not childish.
#27. Put a Bow on It
Shoes with bows on them were one of those spring 2020 shoe trends that were all about the cute factor, sitting in the same category as Mary Janes.
On the Tory Burch runway, monochrome bows added a feminine touch to sophisticated pointed-toe heels, making for a fun twist on a great professional shoe. At Halpern, we saw chunky heels decorated with a big floral pattern and with a big bow over the strap, adding a little more drama. Cynthia Rowley added a bow to the black summer mules for a cutesy factor.
#28. Kitten Heels
If you haven’t fallen for all the retro-inspired platforms of the spring 2020 footwear trends, but do long for something nostalgic, then perhaps kitten heels worthy of a glamorous starlet from the ’30s or ’40s will be more up your alley.
Kitten heels provided a feminine contrast to the Rochas collection, which consisted of neon-colored contemporary garments. Next to these outfits, satiny kitten heels for 2020 embellished with pearls and jewels felt extra romantic.
The kitten heels at Coach 1941 were hard to resist, made of white patent leather, and decorated with tiny cutouts just below the ankle.
Feather dresses were everywhere on the runways, so no wonder that a few designers also presented feathered summer 2020 shoes as part of the spring 2020 footwear trends!
Instead of spikes, certain shoes at Marques’Almeida were decorated with feathers instead. They were mostly brightly colored party shoes with pointed toes, with feathers attached in a fan shape.
Black feathers added contrast to gold-colored platform sandals at Dries Van Noten, making for a shoe that felt dramatic but also a little severe. Feathers on footwear at Staud were totally fun, adding fluffy texture to colorful strappy sandals.
#30. Psychedelic Prints
Psychedelic prints were big on the runways, giving the nod to the whimsy and color of the early ’70s, so go-go boots covered in the big floral print were a welcome part of the summer 2020 footwear trends.
The entire Paco Rabanne collection was designed to look like a trip-induced celebration of the disco era, with knee-high leather boots decorated with fun, colorful floral prints. The boots at Dries Van Noten were just as joyful, but also imbued with something a little more fantastical, thanks to the slightly more realistic floral print.
#31. New Flip-Flops & Thong Sandals
We don’t usually think of flip-flops as high-fashion footwear, but the thong sandals that showed up as part of the summer 2020 shoes may have helped change our minds!
Take, for instance, the tasseled blue flip-flops at Prabal Gurung, which had an ankle strap providing some support, but were still fitted with the traditional toe-strap as well as a strap over the other four toes. A toe ring-style strap at Tibi was even fitted with some jewels, making for a very memorable pair of thong high heels.
#32. T-Strap Shoes
There was no lack of strappy options amongst the spring 2020 shoes, but we think T-strap heels deserve a special mention for their exceptional elegance.
The T-strap heels at Chanel were exquisite, of course, with both low and high heel options decorated with the brand’s iconic logo as well as lots of bling. On the Jil Sander runway, T-strap sandals were extra unique, with part of the shoe going in between the toes like a flip-flop, and with a circular heel that set our hearts aflutter.
There were a few other T-strap designs that drew our eye, especially on the runways of Helmut Lang, and Roksanda.
#33. Clear Shoes
It’s clear that clear shoes and sandals are favorite summer footwear options, and the spring/ summer 2020 shoe trends have just confirmed this. Whether used as small details, such as lucite heels or decorating only a tiny part of the shoe or using plastic as the primary material of the entire shoe, clear elements were spotted at many a designer show for summer.
Salvatore Ferragamo launched clear shoes for summer 2020 both in colorful options and as comfier strappy sandals that were totally transparent and ethereal. Simone Rocha combined lucite heels and some princess-y decorations with clear sandals, delivering the perfect special occasion shoes.
At Emporio Armani, clear elements were combined with metallic silver leather and rhinestones for a pair of pointy-toe flats that could smoothly go from day to night. Balmain used clear elements in different colors for their absolutely sick summer sandals and mules.
#34. Heeled Summer Sandals & Mules
Summer is all about going as “barefoot” as possible, even when you are attending a special event or party. Designers made sure you have beautiful summer sandal options for special occasions, bringing in a variety of slides and mules, as well as strappy sandals for 2020 in a myriad of designs and shades.
We fell head over heels in love with the colorful and creative summer 2020 sandals presented at Prabal Gurung, where you could see both towering heels with fringe details and architectural elements, and comfy kitten-heel options in pastel shades.
Versace also targeted both worlds by presenting more day-to-day low-heeled mule sandals, as well as stiletto sandals with floral decorations. We also loved the golden strappy mules at Marc Jacobs that were worn with thicker tights for a cute retro-style appearance.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly