More often than not, spring runways are an ode to open-toed shoes. Just last year, we watched ’90s-era flip-flops, gummy pool slides, and dad sandals glide down the catwalks. For the upcoming season, change is afoot (pun intended): the Spring 2022 shoe trends keep toes concealed, heels high, and ankles harnessed.
These need-to-know silhouettes run the gamut, including platform heels (which we can thank Donatella Versace for), cloud-like suede slip-ons, and ballet flats with a few modern updates. In the knee-high world, there was no shortage of tall boots and gladiator sandals laced up to there. While we’re not necessarily saying mules are out, shoes with closed backs and ankle straps are certainly “in,” popping up across each of the trends listed below.
Groovy Platform Heels
Remember the Bratz dolls that dominated the aughts? Apparently Donatella Versace did—hence the groovy pumps that soared across her Fall/Winter 2021 catwalk. Lanvin, Khaite, and Marni are just a sample of the brands that followed suit. While their retro feel would’ve counted Bianca Jagger as a fan in the ’70s, modern supporters include Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande, who are known to sport them with printed tights and mini skirts. The shoe is for fashion fans that want to be seen, so pair them with a glitzy mini dress to command attention.
Gladiator sandals are one of those on-again, off-again trends that are worth investing in, so you can break them out each time they regain traction. For spring, designers refashioned the silhouette every which way—Isabel Marant went with crystalline lace-ups, Valentino with chunky rockstuds, and Ludovic De Saint Sernin with barely-there nude straps. These are a perfect match for Spring 2022’s Grecian drapery trend.
Per usual, brands like Nanushka and A.P.C. had minimalists in mind, offering a palate-cleanser from the towering heels and colorful flatforms that took over the runways. Reimagining suede for spring, they released a trove of slip-ons in the texture—pointed slippers, dad sandals, and clogs included. Maintain a low profile in them all season long with a relaxed shirt dress or a pair of boyfriend jeans.
Pointed Tall Boots
Over the past several seasons, skirts got shorter and boots got taller, giving rise to the knee-high craze of the moment. Blumarine and “Fendace” doled out tall boots with knife-sharp toes; the former in denim, the latter in Fendi’s famous FF-monogram. Prefer the classics? Consider Balenciaga and Roberto Cavalli’s all-black iterations. Wear these with your best mini skirt outfit this spring, and tie in a long-sleeved midi dress come fall.
Heritage brands like Dior and Ferragamo bet big on ballerinas for spring. Chanel updated its iconic ballet flats with ankle straps wielding a dainty CC charm, while Tory Burch went with ribbon ties worthy of dance class. Whether you prefer a traditional flat or a slipper with an ever-so-slight heel, there’s plenty in store. The same goes for color and texture: patent black is a recurring theme, but alternatives like mesh nudes and satin greens will also be in rotation next season.
Last but not least on our list of Spring 2022 shoe trends: statement flatforms. Designers used these heightened soles as a canvas for creativity—not only by playing with color, but also as an opportunity to test-drive sustainable fabrications. For instance, Gabriela Hearst’s slides are made from cork, lactae hevea (rubber derived from hevea trees), and other renewable materials. Stella McCartney’s Sneakelyse sandals, on the other hand, are made from recycled polyester. Pair these with a stark-white poplin dress all spring long.