Shoe trends were aplenty in 2021, with everything from sky-high platforms to ballet flats finding their way into our footwear collections. But now that we've entered into a new year, it feels like a perfect time to begin clearing out some space on our shoe racks for fresh additions while perhaps holding onto a few of last year's biggest hitters.
To get to the bottom of what is and isn't worth keeping as well as which styles should be on everyone's wish list this year, I hit up my fellow editors. And as always, their tips did not disappoint. Scroll on to find out which shoe trends, from low-key staples to of-the-moment fads, are making it into the 2022 wardrobes of 10 Who What Wear fashion editors and which are headed straight for the donation bin.
Eyeing: Flat Lace-Up Boots
Retiring: Tall Boots
"I'm not keen on over-the-knee boots right now because I think there are so many other styles that feel fresher. Since I'm tall, I don't really need any extra height, so I'm gravitating toward flat lace-up boots right now. They're super versatile and go with literally any kind of outfit, and they're also comfortable. Win-win."
Eyeing: High-Top Sneakers
Retiring: Chunky Sneakers
"At this point, I thought I would have been over the throwback-sneaker trend, but I'm only ordering more. Last year, I couldn't get enough of basketball sneakers, and most recently, I added a pair of cream-and-black Converse into my closet. Yep, turns out I'm officially a sneaker person now. That being said, I'm less excited about super-chunky sneaker styles since I don't see them having a long shelf life."
Eyeing: Wide-Round-Toe Shoes
Retiring: Knee-High Heeled Boots
"For 2022, I'm loving a toe-shape trend more than anything. It's a wide, round toe that feels so fresh after years of square toes. The best part is you can try the trend with almost any kind of shoes, whether it's mules (like I'm wearing) or a pair of heels. In terms of shoe trends I'm retiring, I haven't been reaching for my knee-high heeled boots lately. Specifically, there was a moment where a lot of people were wearing croc-stamped tall boots, and I think I went a little too hard on that trend, so I'll be letting those hang in the back of my closet for a while."
Eyeing: Rubber Footwear
"For now at least, I'm steering away from loafers—especially the chunky, lug-soled variety—and instead am backing all things rubber footwear. With the weather being as wet and unpredictable as it's been in NYC of late, it's not safe to wear my suede and leather footwear. Rubber shoes, like my Bottega Veneta Puddle Boots, allow me to go anywhere at any time without worry."
Eyeing: Riding Boots
Retiring: Sky-High Platforms
"I'm skipping the crazy-high platforms that celebs like Ariana Grande look so chic in, mostly because they don't really suit my lifestyle. The trend I will be wearing this year (and maybe forever) is riding boots. I walked for miles in a pair when I was in New York a month ago."
Eyeing: Platform Heels
Retiring: Chunky Loafers
"I actually loved the chunky loafers that gained a lot of steam over the last year, but personally, they never really worked with my style and wardrobe. Instead, I'm eyeing the exaggerated-platform trend for 2022 and cannot wait to invest in a pair."
Eyeing: Timeless Staples
Retiring: Colorful, Ultra-Trendy Shoes
"This year, I have vowed to shop smarter in order to really build out my wardrobe. That being said, I plan on minimizing the number of colorful and ultra-trendy shoes I buy and instead will be investing in timeless staples, like these suede kitten-heel mules."
"I tried to love clogs since I think they look so cool but struggled to style them in a way that aligned with my personal style, so I think it's time to retire them from my wardrobe. Mary-Janes are quickly earning my affection. In particular, I can't stop thinking about this pair from The Row. Mary-Janes popped up a number of times in the spring 2022 collections, so I'm betting they'll have their moment this year."
Eyeing: Classic White Sneakers
Retiring: Platform Sneakers
"It's all about comfort for me, so I'm going to continue investing in easy sneakers that I can slip on and just wear all the time. On the flip side, I'm not feeling platform sneakers at the moment or those silhouettes with a super-thick sole."
Eyeing: Thigh-High Boots
Retiring: Utility Boots
"Ever since I saw this shoe trend graze so many runways at New York Fashion Week, I've had my eye on the resurgence of thigh-high boots. Nothing says 'legs for days' like a patent-leather pair, and I especially love when a short skirt is worn with them to show off the added length. I have seen enough knock-offs and poorly styled takes on the utility-pouch boots that had their moment last winter, so I'll be leaving those behind in 2021.