While you may not be ready to think about investment jackets, knitwear or a full head-to-toe autumn/winter 2022 look (well, we are in the middle of a heatwave, after all), you may still be intrigued to at least know what the topline shoe trends of autumn are. Although a coat or outfit has to wait its turn, shoes are perennial in our country. Bar a super-hot day here or there, in the UK, you can pretty much always pull out a closed-toe flat or ankle boot without feeling silly—in fact, some of the greatest celebrity summer looks play into this chunky autumnal shoe + cute summer outfit formula.
There's an interesting mood for the season ahead, wherein designers appear to have divided into camps. One faction is all about the partygoer, while the other focuses on easy, downtime vibes. So in the runway collections featuring slouchy tailoring, throw-on long dresses and denim-centric looks, the footwear is equally laid-back: Think stompy moto boots, sensible flats and (gasp!) basic trainers. And in the going-out-out corner, you have the high-octane heels and jazzy party boots to add the final flourish; platforms are still going strong (and the couture street style crowd were really into them last week at the shows), stilettos are embellished with all manner of OTT decoration, and there's a styling penchant for matching your fancy shoes to the same-colour hosiery. It's all a bit '80s, and I like it a lot.
Keep scrolling to see the 10 major autumn 2022 shoe trends, and shop them. (That's if they aren't already lurking in your wardrobe…)
Photo:Courtesy of Coperni, Gucci
Gucci sent multiple looks down the runway with adidas Gazelle sneakers, and this kind of gum-soled running trainer has been gaining popularity on the streets, too. Wear with anything from tailored wide-leg trousers to ultra-pretty dresses.
Chanel and Dior were committed to supporting kitten heels in their A/W 22 shoes, often styling them with retro-look socks or tights and most commonly seen in slingback form (another shoe trend that's been making quite the comeback lately). There's been an ongoing trend for lower heels since the pandemic, so if you—like me—prefer an easier heel height, now is the time to jump in.
Photo:Courtesy of Miu Miu, Cecilie Bahnsen
Have you been missing ballet pumps all this time? The easiest of flats are back, and this time, they're pretty, pretty, pretty. Think satin finishes, elastic straps and sparkly embellishment. Although, the likes of Proenza Schouler did offer them up as simple, glove-like leather pumps in plain colours, so everyone can find a ballet flat to fit.
Photo:Imaxtree, Courtesy of Versace
It all started with Versace a few seasons ago, and now many other established fashion houses envisage their clothes being completed by a pair of super-stacked platforms. Valentino's ultra-high, ultra-bright versions have proven to be particularly popular in recent weeks—see Anne Hathaway for further proof.
We're no stranger to over-the-knee boots, but the difference with this autumn's iterations is that they're coming in with flat soles and less fitted, stretchy legs. ACNE Studios and Chanel were just two of the many brands that decreed these to be their boots of the season.
On the opposite end of the spectrum to chunky moto boots or extreme waders is the prettiest heel of them all: the Mary Jane. Elegant and sweet, MJs came in many forms at the A/W 22 shows. Prada's featured quirky wedges, others had kitten heels or platforms, and many arrived in metallics.
Photo:Courtesy of Diesel, Helmut Lang
Distressed leathers, pointed toes and probably a buckle or two… The archetypal noughties knee boot is back, and it means business! Often paired with short skirts, this kind of retro boot style is coming back onto the streets already with Balenciaga's Cagoles being a very popular choice for the style set last week at the couture shows.
Photo:Courtesy of Victoria Beckham, Blumarine
This is less of a shoe trend and more of a styling move that many designers decided to take down the runway: matching tights or socks to heels (both open- and closed-toe) in exact or very similar shades. It probably lengthens legs, and I'll never argue with that.
Biker boots: They're big and loud (literally because of all the hardware) and back with a bang! So many top-tier brands put these in the mix for autumn/winter, meaning you can pull those old ones out of hibernation—finally! Or you can just continue to wear the lug-soled, chunky ankle boots you might have invested in over the past couple of lockdown years.
Photo:Imaxtree, Courtesy of Magda Butrym
Sitting at the very opposite end of the spectrum to moto boots are these look-at-me party shoes. Satin, metallics, crystals, corsages, bows… You name it; designers have made fancy heels out of it. I love the idea of wearing a pair like this with a very casual jeans-and-tee ensemble, but you can go full-throttle with an equally va-va-voom minidress and furry coat.