The Summer 2021 Shoe Trends My Feet Can’t Wait To Wear

Bella Gerard
The Summer 2021 Shoe Trends My Feet Can’t Wait To Wear
Photo: Courtesy of Steve Madden; ROAM; Jeffrey Campbell; Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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The cold weather has come and gone, so I think it’s time that we begin talking about shoe trends for spring and summer. I was all about my chunky lug sole boots and fuzzy slippers a few months ago, but I am 100 percent ready to style some brand-new slides and sandals right about now.

Can you blame me? With a new season comes an entirely new shoe wardrobe when you’re a shopaholic like I am. A pair of sneakers will always stay in my constant rotation, but I’m obsessing over so! many! new summery sandals right now. Take, for instance, the puffy sandal trend that will single-handedly make blisters a thing of the past, thank goodness! Also, heeled flip-flops are giving my trusty Havianas a serious run for their money—they’re also a good reason to show off my pedicure, which I love.

I can’t possibly forget to hype up the flared heels that I’ve been seeing everywhere. 2021 is truly shaping up to be the year of the flare—first it was our jeans and now, our heels, too! The wider base at the end of an otherwise thin stiletto heel also means that they’ll be more comfortable in the long run, so it’s truly a trend worth getting behind.

If you’re ready to invest in your footwear for summer 2021, read on for the top trends and shoes I’ve already added to my cart. Here’s to a new season, new trends and some new opportunities to actually wear them outside of my apartment.

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Float On

I don’t know about you, but I’ll do just about anything to avoid wearing shoes that make my feet hurt. Luckily, this season’s puffy sandal trend (I call them “floaties”) has me covered. I mean, it’s pretty impossible for a shoe that looks like a pillowy cloud to be anything but comfortable, right?

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Zara.

Quilted Slides

Zara never misses when it comes to its selection of sandals. This pair of flip-flops is available in two colors, but the bright white shade has my heart.

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of ROAM.

The Puffy Sandals

It doesn’t get trendier than a pair of shoes that are literally called The Puffy Sandals, right? These bright blue slides will make you feel like you’re walking on air.

 Jelly Nostalgia 

Remember that pair off sparkly jelly sandals you loved as a kid? This is them now. That’s right—jelly shoes are back in 2021 thanks to the resurgence of the Y2K aesthetic on TikTok and Instagram. These adult-approved iterations spark some serious joy.

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Jeffrey Campbell.

Bubblegum Mules

Polly Pocket called—she wants her shoes back! These pastel pink rubber sandals are the perfect way to add some sweetness to your edgiest going-out look.

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Hee Grand.

Crystal Jelly Sandals

For a more classic take on the jelly trend, pick up a pair of these fisherman-style sandals from Hee Grand. The thick straps and low heel make them perfect for any summer date night.


Flip-flops, that is! Whether you like ‘em super thin or a little chunkier, heeled flip-flops are having a major moment right now. Celebs like Kendall Jenner have even been spotted in versions of this controversial shoe, proving your fave flip flops can definitely be dressed up for a summer night out.

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Reformation.

Selene Lace Up Kitten Heel Sandals

High heels—who needs ’em? This dainty pair of kitten heels from Reformation will keep you comfortable all day long. The best part? They’re padded with plant-based foam and the outsoles are made from 70 percent leather waste.

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Senso.

Livvi II Sandals

A thicker strap offsets the slightly higher heel height on this graphic pair of sandals from Senso. Style them with your favorite LBD for a neutral look that still packs a punch.

Flared Out 

Prepare to love walking in high heels again, because flared styles are here to save your feet and look cute while doing it! Rather than taper, these heels fan out at the bottom, so all of your weight won’t be balancing on one teeny, tiny pinpoint. Go full flare and style them with flared jeans for bonus fashion points.

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Steve Madden.

Lafayette Sandals

Kelly green is one of this season’s hottest colors, so I’m obviously obsessed with this pair of heels from Steve Madden! I mean, why would you not play with color this season after seeing these?

STYLECASTER | Shoe Trends 2021.

Courtesy of Billini.

Iesha Heels

You know what? Maybe I do need another pair of white heels. Billini makes some of the cutest—and most affordable—shoes on the market. Case in point: these heels are priced at only $75 bucks!

STYLECASTER | 2021 shoe trends | shoe trends fall winter | shoe trends winter 2021 | shoe trends fall 2020 | trendy shoes

A version of this article appeared in December 2020.

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