As a general trend, trendy footwear is becoming more refined. The writing was on the wall when this started happening on runway shows a few seasons ago, and the silhouettes are now filtering down to mainstream retailers. Note that every style of shoe has its “more refined version”. It’s important to understand the concept because refined footwear does NOT boil down to a pair of stiletto pumps. We’re talking about a style sensibility that is less chunky, coarse and clunky overall, especially in the heel shape. The visual effect is more elegant and tailored. Although it sounds counterintuitive, even shoes like sneakers, boots, shooties, booties and oxfords can have a more refined interpretation.

More specifically, here are the top 20 shoe trends for Spring and Summer 2013. Interestingly, the Fall 2013 shows across fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan all suggest to me that most of these trends also apply to Fall. 

  1. Pointy Toes: We’re talking pointy toes on ALL types of shoes. Ballet flats, booties, shooties, heels, oxfords, closed toe sandals — you name it. This is one of the trends in footwear. 
  2. Peep Toe Booties: Booties and shooties with peep toes and closed heels are very strong.  
  3. Caged Sandals: We’ve seen this type of “covered” sandal at retail for a while. The style can also be thought of as a less covered peep toe bootie or sandal bootie with lots of straps. Your heels are usually exposed.
  4. Booties: It’s amazing how the bootie has become completely seasonless. These days it can be worn with just about anything. 
  5. Shooties: Just like the bootie, shooties are seasonless. High in the vamp but with less coverage than a bootie. 
  6. Ankle Straps: Think both broad and narrow ankle straps on shoes like pointy toe pumps, flats, sandals and shooties. 
  7. Low Heels: Dainty kitten heels, low block heels, and low wedge heels. 
  8. Wedge sandals: Hectically high platforms, which were “the fashion shoe of the season” are on their way out, making room for lower platforms and wedges with no platform at all.  
  9. Flat Oxfords: There are many versions as the trend becomes stronger and the assortment keeps on growing. 
  10. Slipper Flats: These are the new loafer or high vamped ballet flat. 
  11. Classic Loafers: Think Gucci-esque loafers and penny loafers.
  12. Lucite Trim: Lucite is the transparent material found in the heels, straps or vamp of a shoe. 
  13. Metal Toe Caps: Either in silver, pewter or gold on footwear styles like booties, shooties, slipper flats, oxfords and pumps. 
  14. Patterns: Think floral and animal prints. 
  15. Pastels: Pastel and mid-tone clothing is extremely on trend and this applies to footwear too. 
  16. White: White, in all its shades from optical white to stone, in all styles of footwear. 
  17. Sci-Fi: It’s about a very particular metallic shine that resembles a mirror in order to create that space-age vibe. It’s shinier than the metallic footwear that has been around for years. 
  18. Stilettos: Both in high and low heels, and especially in the form of a pointy toe. 
  19. High-Tops: Low wedges, high wedges, flat, bulky, tailored, studded, suede, patterned, distressed, crisp. Think sporty sneaker fun. 
  20. Flatforms or “Creepers”: Flatform sandals, oxfords, sneakers, loafers or booties are very in. No arch but lots of heel height. 

You can cover a handful of trends with one shoe. For example, a mint pointy toed stiletto with a metal toe cap covers four trends. A floral slipper flat covers two.

Round toes are still in style so please don’t think that you have to stop wearing them! I’ll certainly continue to wear mine. Casual corked wedge sandals sans the high platform, gladiators, boat shoes, espadrilles and ballet flats are mainstream classics and absolutely in style. Chunky moto boots, although not as fashion forward as they used to be, have also become a mainstream basic that is always in style. And although ultra high platforms are on their way out, retailers will continue to sell them to a smaller market so they won’t disappear overnight. 

The styles below are just single examples of some of the trends. There are thousands of versions so don’t think that this is the only representation. As always, if you like a trend, you have to find the versions that work for you.

So which footwear trends grab you and which don’t? Are there any that you wish you could wear but you feet flatly refuse to co-operate?

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