Designers are taking an adventurous path for AW18 shoes and bots, sticking with some established favourites and also going in new directions.
And role-play is big news as our shoes carry us into cowboy country, help us live an urban sports lifestyle, or make us act like a style star in can’t-miss-them power prints that turn us (well, our feet at least) into true paparazzi fodder.
That runway favourite, the cowboy boot is back again but with a twist. This time it’s less ‘give me a home where the buffalo roam’, and more laidback office-meets-club-meets-beach-meets-festival-meets… well, wherever we want to wear it. Whatever the length, materials matter – think metallics, snakeskin, even sequins. And details are key too from exuberant fringes to multiple straps and buckles that make them feel more urban than prairie.
This sporting life
Who doesn’t own a pair of trainers? Exactly. And designers know that their customers, who are happy to pay 10 times what everyone else might for a skirt, bag, sweater or jacket will do just the same for a sports shoe. The modern (designer) trainer is colourful – I mean really, really colourful – and comes loaded with detail like gilt soles, heart prints, studs, or gem trims. And, for the most part, the chunkiest of chunky soles are a key feature, although materials tech advances mean chunky doesn’t have to mean heavy. They’re not all super-chunky, of course. A retro edge and, again, AW18’s love of strong colour statements, mean we can also make an impact without taking up quite so much wardrobe space.
Print and pattern were key features of the AW18 shows so it’s no surprise that footwear was pulled into the pattern net. And boots make up the perfect canvas for this, turning the body into an allover print statement that can be elaborate, fresh, neat, boho, or just joyful. Think oversized florals, abstracts, checks, animal prints and patchwork. It all gives a brighter edge to the winter season and leaves behind the usual blacks and browns that can make boot displays in-store so depressing. The look works best for over-knee or knee-length boots and also lends itself well to longer sock styles – just make sure there’s enough material to really show the pattern at its best.