6 Top Must-Have Footwear Trends of the Season

Take your loafers to the next level with tan chain-trimmed versions. These shoes fuse fashion and comfort for a style that will work from casual denim outfits to dressier pantsuits.

Give puffy-looking slide heels a break and opt for sleek slingback mules instead. Mary Janes have also made a wholesome return to footwear trends 2022, with knee-skimming iterations seen on the runway from designers like Paco Rabanne.

1. Loafers

If you want a shoe that can do it all, loafers are your go-to. They’re classic and timeless, but they also come in so many different styles that make them really stand out from the rest of your shoes. They’re a great option for any woman who wants to dress up her everyday look.

In their simplest form, loafers are slip-on dress shoes without laces or fastenings. They can have a flat or a heel, and they can be made from leather or suede. They can also have a variety of decorative details like tassels or beads.

They were a staple for prep school students and Ivy Leaguers in the 1950s, but now they’re as popular as ever. If you want to add a touch of elegance to your outfit, try a pair of sleek leather penny loafers. They look fantastic paired with tailored pants and a blazer.

2. Heels

Heels are an essential shoe for women and they’re back in a big way this fall. From flip flop heels (complete with square toes) to mules and pumps, a pointed heel elongates the leg and can add a touch of glamour to any outfit.

Aside from a return to heels, extra embellishment is also taking over footwear this season. Pearls, studs, feathers and bows are all being adorned on shoe silhouettes from Mary Jane’s to ballet flats and slides. You can wear these glitzy shoes casually with jeans or dress them up for a special occasion.

Metallic shoes in gold and silver are a must-have this season. Pair them with your little black dress or a classic suit for a festive look.

3. Cowboy Boots

The quintessential fusion of function and fashion, cowboy boots are as chic as they are sturdy. From thigh-skimming silhouettes in second-skin leather to patent and latex options with twists and knots, this unique shoe trend is sure to stun.

Originally designed for riding, today’s cowboy boots are comfortable enough to wear all day long. Whether you choose a pair featuring sparkly rhinestones or an elegant, classic round-toe design like The Earl featured here, the key to wearing this style is restraint and balance.

Aim to avoid pairing your Western boots with too many other cowboy-inspired elements, as this can be overwhelming for the eyes. Instead, opt for a simple jeans-and-tee combo that will highlight your boots’ distinct design and style. Alternatively, try tucking your jeans into the shaft of your cowboy boots for a clean, streamlined look. This will also keep your jeans from riding up while walking and help prevent creases or folds.

4. Mary Janes

A longtime favorite of young girls and schoolgirls, Mary Jane shoes have quietly come back in style for adults. Whether flat or in heels, they come in all shapes and sizes. From sleek patent leather styles like these Rothy’s to edgier triple-strap versions with thick block heels, this trend can be dressed up or down depending on your mood and dress code.

Inflated Mary Janes are a definite style statement, while rounded-toe flats with short cylindrical heels exude demure femininity. Platform Mary Janes can be worn to add height to a mini dress or skirt, and they’re also ideal for workwear outfits where the dress code is more formal.

If you’re looking for a cute, girly look to complement your favorite floral dresses, try this pair of patterned Mary Janes from Doen or these embroidered ones from Aeyde. If you’re going to wear Mary Janes with bare legs, go with long socks in a matching color or pattern for the most impactful effect.

5. Ballet Flats

The dainty slipperlike style favored by ballet stars and ballerinas resurfaced in a big way this season. The trend has also taken on a preppy edge with loafers and Mary Janes inspired by prep uniforms seen at Louis Vuitton, Erdem, and Khaite.

The ’90s style made a comeback in velvet, patent leather and suede with ruching, knots, twists and quilt detailing. Designers like Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Balmain have added lingerie and corsetry details to their flats in the form of fishnet fabrications and bow-detailed pumps.

A popular ’90s shoe style that became a symbol of elegance for Audrey Hepburn, Bardot and Instagram-age fashion bloggers, the ballet pump is a chic option that combines practicality and femininity. Slip-on designs with a round or pointed toe can be worn casually with jeans and a T-shirt or dressed up with a dress or skirt. If you want to go all out, opt for a pair of Margiela Tabi flats with an asymmetrical, avant-garde toe.

6. Cuffed Pants

Every now and then a specific toe style comes back in vogue, just like this season with classic pointed-toe flats (as seen at Giorgio Armani, Prada, Tory Burch) and heels (see Loewe’s S-heel chubby court shoes and the wavy Mary Janes worn by Carrie Bradshaw). Cuffed pants are a great alternative to ankle-cuffing and a fun way to play with proportions. They’re especially good for tall guys because they add more weight to the top half of your outfit, so that your pants drape better.

For the most streamlined and sharp look, try the simple roll—simply fold up about two inches of the hem and smooth it out. Or, if you want to show off your boots and have a more casual vibe, opt for the pinroll—fold the cuff up just above the shoe, then use safety pins to hold it in place.

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