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Why no, it’s never a bad time to spend a few hours shopping the summer 2020 shoe trends, thanks for asking! Personally, I spent pretty much all of winter daydreaming about warm-weather fashion, so the second the sun came out and my parka went away, I immediately started shopping summer shoes. Too soon? Perhaps. Do I regret it? Hell no—especially since I was ahead of the game when it came to predicting this summer’s trendiest footwear.
Now that we’re a little more in the thick of it, it’s definitely time to meet our summer 2020 shoes. Expect summery hues and sandals (groundbreaking), but get ready for a ton of new silhouettes and styles, too. Bold footwear is taking over, and I’m kissing my trusty walking sandals goodbye in favor of fashion-forward heels, mules, sneakers, and more.
Let’s start with heel trends: From kitten to flare to slim and wide shapes, we’re officially canceling boring block heels and uncomfortable stilettos. This season’s best shoes all meet somewhere in the middle, and keep things low to the ground (where feet should be, TBH) instead of sky-high. As for silhouettes, anything goes, be it an old-school Mary-Jane moment with a new-school twist, a square-toe shape with Lego-sharp edges, or a loafer so cool, you’ll wear it to work and on the weekends. Finally, texture is key to nailing the top trends, and from mesh to crochet, I can assure you there’s a lot to choose from.
Read on for all the top trends to be following, and don’t be afraid to try all 13 trends—and two ways to shop them all. 26 pairs of shoes is not too many, and I’ll help you argue with anyone who disagrees. Viva la sandals!
1. Kitten Heels
The heels of summer 2020 aren’t particularly long, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t cute AF. Short and sweet kitten heels are in, and because they’re far more comfortable than taller heels, it’s a win-win all around. When it’s too hot outside to function, go with a heeled sandal. Or choose a closed toe kitten heel that’s summer-ready—but also perfect once the weather cools.
Snag these Villa Rouge Ridley Slides for some colorful flair. The multi-colored straps are a serious delight.
You can’t go wrong with a classic snake print heel. These kitten heels will pair well with most summer looks and transitional seamlessly into fall.
2. Square Toe
While extra-pointed toes are still in style, square-toed shapes will slowly but surely take over this summer. All the styles available right now make the look too cool to resist! Bottom line, any and all shoe silhouettes this season require a bold, defined toe shape. No semi-rounded, half-committed toes will do.
These light pink and ultra-feminine Senso Luna Sandals are the perfect square toe shoe option for summer. Trendy with a bit of throwback flare, you won’t be able to stop wearing them.
If you’d rather opt for a neutral, try these SCHUTZ Maribel Sandals. The brown will play well with all your summer ensembles, but they’re definitely anything but boring.
Not only are mesh-adored shoes effortlessly chic and edgy, but they’re also a great option when the weather is sweltering hot. The airy shoes keep your feet nice and cool when it’s too hot to function. With mesh heels and flats, you can have your cake and eat it too—that is, of course, wear stylish shoes and not sweat them off.
Loafers are the working girl’s go-to for a day of running around and still looking stylish, and there are plenty of chic options right now. From classic flat loafers with an animal print flare to heeled loafers in gorgeous neutral tones, there’s no shortage of ways to wear the trend this summer.
My Dr. Scholl’s shoes are some of the most comfortable footwear I own, so when I found out they made cute, on-trend loafers, I was over the moon. The Faxon Loafer in Snake Print Leather gives any look a fun pop of pattern.
If you’re looking for a bit of extra heigh, try these Sam Edelman Jamille Loafers. The neutral black is perfect for pairing with everything from colorful suits to minimalist summer looks.
5. Slim Block Heel
ICYMI, wedges aren’t big this year, but that doesn’t mean skinny stiletto heels are your only option. This summer, a slim, wide heel will be in style—it looks almost as if you’ve cut off a vertical chunk of your block heel, leaving just the back sliver to support your shoe.
Try the botkier Emily Mules in Cognac and see if you fall in love with this unique silhouette.
Alternatively, take a little risk with these gorgeous light blue cut-out pumps. They’re very high-society meets oh-so-cool summer trends.
6. Super Strappy
Strap us down or strap us up—just strap us (or at least our summer shoes). Super strappy heels and sandals are a huge trend this summer, and for good reason: These shoes are statement-making without going too over-the-top. Whether you choose fun summery colors or stick with chic neutrals, you can’t go wrong.
When I say I have literal dreams about Kat Marconi’s Spring/Summer 2020 footwear collection, I’m in no way being dramatic. The lineup is full of eye-catching colors and chunky fantasy shapes, but the super-strappy pairs are the most on-trend of the season. Treat yourself to the Pari Highlighter Strappy Slide Sandals and prepare for endless compliments.
If heels aren’t your thing, you can still get the strapp trend into your shoe arsenal with these Loeffler Randal Flat Sandals in a gorgeous neutral brown.
7. Sporty Sandals
Sorry, but you can’t wear your chunky dad sneakers to the beach. It’s all good, though, because sporty sandals will totally fill the sneaker-sized hole in your heart—and your wardrobe. It may feel like these sandals are catering to third grade boys, but trust us: This is one trend you should definitely try.
Pair the Fila Disruptor Sandal with your best street style look or a cute bikini and denim shorts for a funky flex.
Or, go for an animal print version of the trend with the FILA Outdoor Sandal. You can mix patterns or wear them with a graphic tee and midi skirt for a cool ensemble.
When you’re busy frolicking from the beach to the bar, who has time to buckle their sandals or lace up their espadrilles? Throw-em-on-and-go slingback are huge this season. In both sandal and closed-toe styles, this trend is ready to join your shoe collection ASAP.
These neutral Matiko Slingback Pumps are already gorgeous, but that rounded wooden heel is just the cherry on top.
The Stella Luna Cigarette Sandal is what sexy summer sandal dreams are made of.
Jonathan Simkhai and Kate Middleton both showed a ton of crochet details in their Spring/Summer 2020 collections, so the trend will definitely be alive and well this season. These shoes scream summer, and you’re sure to feel like you’re on vacation whenever you wear them.
Try the Fergalicious Samba Flat Sandal in Yellow for an unexpected pop of color and texture.
Alternatively, try this pretty pink hue from Anthropologie this summer. These crochet sandals are sure to play well with all your favorite sundresses.
10. Flared Heel
A flared heel starts skinny and gets wider at the bottom—think of it as yet another fashion-forward happy medium between uncomfortable stilettos and chunky block heels. You can go with a bold color or stick with a neutral, but either way you’ll look on-trend as hell.
The Jeffrey Campbell Mural 2 Sandals have the perfect flare heel, but I’m also awarding bonus points for the stunning shade of bubblegum pink.
These Jeffrey Campbell Khara Sandals are the perfect combination of the flared heel trend and the strappy shoes trend this summer. Win/win.
If Mary-Jane shoes seem too sweet and boring, it’s time you feast your eyes on the new Mary-Janes. Styles like these employ the OG’s classic strap, but utilize stiletto heels, bold colors, and fun patterns to make the look 2020-friendly.
The ASOS DESIGN Strallen Mary-Janes in Pink Gingham are a personal fave.
Of course, you can always try these Dr. Martens Polley Mary Jane Flats for an edgy take on the classic Mary Jane loafer.
12. Cowboy Boots
I don’t care if you’ve never been to the South—it’s time to invest in some cowboy boots. Wear them with flow boho dresses, pastel two-piece sets, or denim cutoffs and crop tops for an unexpected twist with an edgy, Western vibe.
I’ve been drooling over the SCHUTZ Analeah Boots ever since I first laid eyes on them. The only thing cooler than a cowboy boot, you ask? A crisp and sleek black cowboy boot. Swoon.
A shorter cowboy boot is perfect for summer, and this neutral-but-not-boring style from Villa Rouge is a dream come true.
13. Thong Sandals
Somehow, the flip flop is getting a very fancy upgrade. Toe thongs and separators are in fashion this summer, and the styles available RN are making them look elegant AF. Ditch your $1 flip flops and splurge on a more elevated take this season—you deserve it!
You can’t go wrong with a gold iteration for a little elegance. These Vince Cameo Marlinda Kitten Heels are a major summer vibe.
On-trend neon is the perfect way to test out thong sandals this summer. The Sigerson Morrison Jewel Sandals are like a trendy, upgraded flip-flop.
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