The Biggest 2021 Shoe Trends, From Ballet Flats To Kitten Heels To Clogs

2020 has been a mixed bag in more ways than one but especially in the shoe category. Comfort was king for 2020, and it appears that’s not going anywhere in 2021. Between working from home, no parties, and limited traveling, slippers and classic sneakers have reigned supreme. I mean, who wants to wear heels in quarantine? Still, given we all need some sort of hope to grasp onto, you may be ready for something more fun to spice up the boring aspects of quarantine — and the biggest 2021 shoe trends will break up the monotony.

So, what do you get when you mix a general yearning for over-the-top with 2020’s emphasis on practicality? Think: elevated comfort. Stilettos may be out, but super-tall, flat platforms are in. Uncomfortable, latex, over-the-knee boots aren’t exactly what you want to throw on while WFH, but clogs offer a similar sense of structure and professionalism. Sure, you probably won’t be leaving the house for the beginning (or more) of 2021, but you can still walk into the new year feeling like your most fashionable self, even if it’s with a new pair of treaded slippers.

The styles below will take you all the way from winter to spring, which, shockingly, isn’t that far away. No how you’re feeling about the year ahead, these must-try 2021 shoe trends might just make you excited about another trip around the sun.

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2021 Shoe Trend: Clogs

Hermes, Stella McCartney, and Batsheva included classic clogs in their spring ready-to-wear collections. And what’s not to love about it? The style is comfortable, professional, and couldn’t be easier to slip on for an immediately sharp look.

2021 Shoe Trend: Platforms

You don’t have to sacrifice height for comfort and vice versa. Rather than familiar stilettos, thick, leveled platforms dotted the runways at Versace, Molly Goddard, Erdem, and Altuzarra. Since I love being just a little taller than I am, platforms are everything to me. The flat sole keeps pain and the risk of tripping to a minimum. Add unexpected colors, textures, and extra cushioning to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect quarantine shoe.

2021 Shoe Trend: Nostalgia Shoes

Throwback ’90s and early 2000s shoes are making a swift comeback as 2020’s terrors have us all collectively yearning for simpler times. Velcro sandals similar to the Tevas you wore as a kid appeared in Anna Sui’s and Jason Wu’s 2021 shows, though these versions were more tricked out with modern updates, like platforms, ribbons, or animal print.

2021 Shoe Trend: Shoe Jewelry

2021 is going to be a tricked-out year. One simple way designers elevated tried-and-true silhouettes for 2021 involved simple embellishments, which took classic boots, buckles, and flats from plain to over-the-top in the best way. Valentino decked its shoes out with studs, Simone Rocha added pearls to its Mary Janes, and Miu Miu bejeweled its mules to perfection.

2021 Shoe Trend: Ballet Slippers

Even though we should all walk into 2021 quietly (don’t touch nothin’) ballet slippers are another revived throwback look for those who’d prefer to grande jeté into the new year. Simone Rocha, Dolce and Gabbana, and Prada were just a few of the brands to display the timeless, French-girl staple on their runways.

2021 Shoe Trend: Kitten Heels

If you’re determined to keep heels in rotation, lest someone pries them from your cold, dead hands, have you considered the kitten heel? Yet another nostalgic silhouette having an unlikely renaissance, the kitten heel boasts all the elegance of a taller heel but is far more comfortable and easier to walk in. Need more convincing? Major fashion houses like Valentino, Prada, and Miu Miu all showed off short heels for 2021.


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