Let's talk shoes. For the Carrie Bradshaws of the world, they're a big deal. Miss Bradshaw famously told the man robbing her, "Please, sir, you can take my Fendi baguette. You can take my ring and watch. But you can't take my Manolo Blahniks!" Then there are those who don't care all that much about what goes on their feet. Perhaps they identify more as bag people or strap-in-and-go folks, grabbing whichever pair is closest within reach. But with spring 2024's shoe trends, even those not particularly partial to footwear are guaranteed to feel at least a little excitement.
From peep-toe pumps to lofty platforms upwards of six inches, this season's leading shoe silhouettes are playful and inspired—in some cases, even down-right experimental. To make sense of spring's top shoe trends, we scoured through 230 shows and presentations across New York City, London, Milan, and Paris (yes, we counted) and tapped the VP of Womenswear Buying for SSENSE, Brigitte Chartrand. Ahead, a comprehensive guide to the season's leading footwear styles. Ready? Let's kick it!
Seen at Simone Rocha, Peter Do, and Gucci, platforms were plentiful on spring's runways. They were especially stimulating at Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, a runway show that served as a heart-felt homage to the late great designer known for her sky-high silhouettes.
Chartrand concurs: "My first thought: no one does the maxi platform better than Vivienne Westwood," she details. "Platforms are one of those versatile wardrobe staples that you can dress up or dress down anytime you want to add a few inches; it’s no wonder the fashion set is embracing this style. Another option is the Yellow Platform Sandal from Dries Van Noten. I love the color and how it’s just an easy, classic silhouette for summer."
Dries Van Noten Yellow Platform Thong Sandals
Larroudé Stewart Platform Heels
Vivienne Westwood Britney Metallic Leather Platform Sandals
Boots with Bad Posture
No need to stand up straight this season—or at least, in regard to your footwear. From Alexander McQueen to Victoria Beckham, soft and droopy leather boots were a popular silhouette on the runways. "If there’s ever a pair of slouchy boots you need as part of your wardrobe, it’s Khaite’s ‘The River’ Knee High Boots," says the SSENSE expert of the one pair that defines the trend. "We also love a wide-shaft boot, which is our key buy this season."
As for styling a slouchy set, she recommends "pairing [slouchy boots] with oversized knits or a long coat, and you’re all set to leave the house."
Marc Fisher LTD Calysta Slouchy Suede Western Boots
Banana Republic Vegan Leather Slouchy Boot
Khaite River Suede Knee Boots
Whether you love them or hate them, feel an enthusiastic "Yes!" or a passionate "No way—they give me the heebie-jeebies," mesh flats aren't going anywhere. In fact, the trend is evolving beyond just low-level styles. As seen on Khaite and Luar's runways, taking shape in heel form, too. Givenchy even joined in on the mesh moment by styling sharp pumps underneath red nylon tights.
"To embrace the mesh silhouette in totality, look to the Maiden Ballerinas from Khaite," says Chartrand. "They’re simple in the best way possible—like, blending into your stockings, wearing a pair of socks easy."
Khaite Black Maiden Ballerina Flats
Stuart Weitzman Stuart Mesh Slingback Pumps
TOGA PULLA Black Lace-Up Oxfords
For the Ladies Who Lunch
In complete opposition to the aforementioned extreme platforms, designers also pulled inspiration from mid-century silhouettes and offered a slew of demure lady heels. One-inch slingbacks and micro-pumps were seen at showings from Altuzarra, Prada, Gucci, Valentino, and many, many more.
But the fun part about styling a sweet little kitten heel is that you don't have to be completely ladylike, as the SSENSE VP points out. "Opposites attract when it comes to styling a pair of lady heels, so give your look some edge by wearing pieces that contrast the ultra-feminine silhouette," says Chartrand. "I personally wear the Manolo Blahnik multi-color Maysalebica Mules with a pair of distressed, vintage Levi’s or a pair of oversized sweatpants. Don’t be afraid to lean into the juxtaposition and have some fun with styling."
Maysale Floral Silk Buckle Mules
Sam Edelman Bianka Slingback Pump
Marion Parke CS 45MM Pumps
Kick Your Feet Up
Spring 2024 invites you to kick back and relax in an off-duty weekend sandal. Try an easy fisherman style, like those seen at Loewe and Hermès, or a funky flat like the one at Tory Burch—which hasn't left the mind of any shoe-obsessed fashion editor who first saw it back in September.
Emme Parsons Ernest Leather Fisherman Sandals
Ancient Greek Sandals Clio Leather Sandals
Chloe Rebecca Leather Dual Buckle Slide Sandals
Lustrous and Low to the Ground
"You can never go wrong with a silver ballerina—an updated classic with its metallic finish," says Chartrand ."Going back to my love of contrasts, this pair by Simone Rocha is an immediate must-have for those casual weekends around town. You can embrace the nonchalant, model-off-duty look with a cashmere sweatsuit that’s instantly elevated with the mesh and bow detailing of these ballerinas."
Silver Bell Charm Crochet Ballerina Flats
Dear Frances Balla Ballerina Shoes
Reformation Bethany Ballet Flat
A peep toe, as we all know, is nothing new. However, the frontward cutout has recently experienced a spirited resurgence. It started with Miu Miu, always the trend-setting fashion house, releasing thong-style boots in its Spring-Summer 2023. The peek-a-boo detail gathered real speed a year later, with brands like Versace, Victoria Beckham, and Louis Vuitton catching on.
Miu Miu Suede Thong Boot
Black Suede Studio Dia Slide Sandal
Le Monde Beryl Leather Sling Peep-Toe Ballerina Flats