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Are you looking for a way to increase your mile time? A great pair of shoes should do the trick. Sure, a sporty pair of shoes may help your speed, but a fabulous pair of shoes will help your confidence—it’s easy to walk strong and tall when you love what’s on your feet. Whether it’s a pair of heels or sneakers, the shoe trends for 2023 include a style for every occasion (and weather forecast) to ensure you’ll love getting wherever it is you’re going. You may be fashionable, but you certainly won’t be late!
Unlike clothing trends, shoe silhouettes themselves stay more consistent over the years (and a good pair of shoes will last you far longer than that). But individual shoe styles and trends will shine within each category. Take the sneaker category for example. Up until around 2016, it was considered weird to wear sneakers with a more formal outfit like a dress or suit set. Then, everything changed when the massive Balenciaga Triple S sneaker was released in 2017. Suddenly, dad shoes were cool again. Around the same time, brands like Nike that have both a streetwear and sports focus had some hits—like the revival of the Nike Air Force 1 (that’s still going strong). And finally, brands that were once considered to exclusively be sportswear broke onto the fashion scene. Suddenly style icons were wearing Asics running shoes and New Balance sneakers to fashion week.
The breakout sneaker star of 2023 is without a doubt the Adidas Samba sneaker: a shoe originally created for indoor soccer, made mainstream by the likes of Bella Hadid. The original shoe retails for under $80 and sold out quickly after going viral on TikTok as Hadid’s shoe of choice. Likewise, the $850 version of the shoe sold out just as quickly when it was included in a pink hue as part of the Adidas x Gucci collab. The sleek, low-top style of the Samba sneaker is the basis of the trend and is sure to be replicated by brands throughout 2023.
Another shoe category (and arguably the best one) is boots. Knee-high or high heel, pointed-toe or square, there are so many boot trends, I can’t possibly mention them all here—though I did mention my 12 favorite pairs in another story. For 2023, you can expect boots to get elevated, literally. Say goodbye to the lug sole trend and hello to boots with skinny heels.
Mary Janes have made a wholesome return to footwear trends. While the style was once only affiliated with ultra-preppy fashion and school uniforms, it’s now considered an It Girl staple. Similar to the trending penny loafers and ballet flats, Mary Janes maintains a sophisticated everyday style while still being comfortable. They can be worn to the office with slacks or a long dress just as easily as they can be paired with a mini dress and easily can be worn over a pair of socks. Designers like Miu Miu and Chanel are leading the preppy footwear trend with Mary Janes and ballet flats as the focus of their 2023 collections.
Platform boots have been stomping out the competition for years now but a new boot trend finally found a way to slip in: the skinny-heeled boot. Balencaiga released a tall and short version of stiletto boots last season with studded silver hardware and the rest is history. In 2023, sleek heeled black leather boots will be the most popular shoe on everyone’s feet. The key to this trend is wearability—the heel height itself shouldn’t be very high at all! Instead, look for a boot with a kitten heel height. This style looks amazing with long dresses and skirts.
If you like the Mary Jane trend, there’s a good chance you’ve already pulled out your old ballet flats. Ballet flats spun onto the fashion scene this fall (if you believe they ever went out of style) and quickly took over Instagram as a part of the #balletcore aesthetic. The trend is a very literal take on real ballet slippers with brands like Miu Miu and Sandy Liang creating slippers that look as if they could be worn for The Nutcracker ballet. If you like the look of ballet flats but aren’t sure how to style them, it’s important to remember that they don’t need to be styled so literally. Ballet flats look great with baggy cargo pants or jeans and a bomber jacket too.
In order to score some major style points, you’ll need a pair of soccer sneakers in your closet—Adidas Sambas to be exact. You don’t need to have any intention of wearing these shoes for sport, they’re perfect for daily non-athletic use. If you need style inspiration, you can see some of Bella Hadid’s best Samba looks here. For styling, lean into the soccer look by pairing the sneakers with taller socks. This shoe comes in multiple colorways so don’t be afraid to branch out beyond traditional sneaker shades of white and black.
Metallics have been having a major moment in formal wear and now you can have shoes to match your sparkly dress! Metallic boots, heels and ballet flats are declaring themselves the new neutral—and I’m totally on board! Even though silver is a total statement, it goes with every color. Whether you’re wearing a floral dress, black trench coat or sporty puffer, a metallic accent will upgrade the look. The trend is particularly taking off with styles of knee-high boots, a perfect option for when you need a break from formal heels.
She’s a runner, she’s a fashion star. The ultra-sporty, safe-to-really-go-for-a-run-in sneakers are still going to be a top trend in 2023 (comfort lovers rejoice!). Sport-focused fashion continues to be a tentpole for huge designers like Balenciaga and I predict that as long as sporty sunglasses are in style, legitimate track sneakers will be too. For a fully functional and fashionable pair, check out athletic brands like Asics and Salomon.
Speaking of functional, rainboots are now becoming an all-weather footwear option, especially if they’re from a designer brand. Logo-embossed rainboots from Chanel have been flying off shelves and Bottega Venetta’s puddle boots are still selling strong. These styles look especially great when paired with taller socks underneath. The only question is if you spend hundreds of dollars on rainboots, do you really want to get them wet? For a more affordable option, brands like Hunter have styles that will last you decades.
Of course, you’re familiar with heels, but are you familiar with heel heels? Though that’s not the technical term for them, it certainly seems appropriate. Designers like Loewe have debuted heels that have over-exaggerated protruding heel shapes. Think of it as a pointed-toe heel but in reverse. Though this style probably won’t fit the general public’s taste, it’s sure to be worn by fashion maximalists and trendsetters throughout 2023. Dare to try it?