It’s time to delve into one of my favourite topics to write about, and that’s autumn. With a summer season that seems to have been cut short, you could spend your time reminiscing over the few balmy, linen-clad days we did have. Or you could embrace the change and dive deep into autumn. Me? I’ll be doing the latter, though it does help that autumn is my favourite time of the year to dress for.
As the crisp air settles in and the leaves begin to change their colours, fashion people everywhere start to think about revamping their wardrobes for the season ahead, and one of the most effective ways to do so is via some new shoes.
Coats and knitwear might still feel premature, but you can start making (and wearing) smart footwear decisions now. We’ve already touched on the fact that closed-toe shoes are back at the forefront of our minds, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to cast an eye back to the A/W 23 runways and take stock of the autumn shoe trends that are set to dominate this year.
Photo:COURTESY OF PRADA
For autumn 2023, designers have pushed footwear boundaries like never before, introducing an array of innovative and captivating shoes that will elevate any outfit to new heights. From the collections, it’s clear to see the impact the '70s and '80s have had on this year’s autumn shoe trends, as platforms, metallic finishes and slingbacks were recurring themes.
Then things take a pretty turn by way of beautiful bows, along with a very polished take on flats. Indeed, this autumn's shoe trends celebrate individuality and self-expression whilst catering to various tastes and preferences. Whether you're a lover of classic silhouettes or more of a statement-maker, this season has something for you (and your feet).
Keep scrolling to discover the nine major autumn 2023 shoe trends as seen on the runways, and to shop them at every price point.
1. TIME FOR T
Photo:COURTESY OF GIORGIO ARMANI, ZIMMERMANN, ETRO
Style Notes: The A/W 23 collections saw many designers look to the past to inform their future collections, and although many of the shoe trends that overarch the season hail from the '70s and '80s, there's one which crops up further back in the archives. T-bar shoes originated in the 1920s and were an integral part of the flapper-girl uniform. Now however, I'm eager to embrace 2023's T-bar upgrade.
2. POINTED RESPONSE
Photo:COURTESY OF ZIMMERMANN, ULLA JOHNSON/IMAXTREE, PRADA/IMAXTREE
Style Notes: Flat shoes have never been as popular as they are now, and just when I thought we'd made our way through all the key styles of note, along comes a fresh haul of pencil-point flats. These shoes have toes so pointy they resemble a freshly-sharpened HB. Use them to add instant polish to jeans and jersey or make like the Zimmermann, Ulla Johnson and Prada runways and pair with pretty dresses for a romantic take.
3. RETURN OF THE COURT
Photo:COURTESY OF PRADA, CHRISTOPHER KANE/IMAXTREE, FERRAGAMO
Style Notes: Have you been wearing black court shoes all this time? The easiest of heels are back, and this time they're being worn with other sleek '90s separates to give them an edge. Think sexy tailoring, column skirts and a palette largely dominated by grey, white and taupe. As seen at Prada and Ferragamo, these go-with-everything shoes have never really gone out of fashion, but it's been a long, long time since they've been given this sort of high-profile attention.
4. HIGHER POWER
Photo:COURTESY OF VICTORIA BECKHAM, BALMAIN, ELIE SAAB/IMAXTREE
Style Notes: The antidote to the flat shoes that typically rule the summer months, platforms are back for autumn 2023, and let's just say they're pretty hard to miss. If they're not brightly coloured or ultra metallic, they're huge. As in, I haven't seen platforms this high on the runway since Naomi Campbell fell over in her Vivienne Westwoods huge.
5. UPON REFLECTION
Photo:COURTESY OF MISSONI, JIL SANDER, ROKH/IMAXTREE
Style Notes: Silver jewellery had long been overlooked in favour of gold, but that all changed last year when designers began serving up statement earrings, jumbo necklaces and cocktail rings in the cold-tone metal. Then, as these things often do, by spring the trend had spread to encapsulate clothing too. And now, on the cusp of autumn, I'm already starting to see silver on the hottest heels and chicest flats.
6. ACCEPTABLE IN THE '80S
Photo:COURTESY OF MIU MIU, GUCCI, MAME KUROGOUCHI/IMAXTREE
Style Notes: Channel Melanie Griffith in Working Girl in the chicest way possible (one which doesn't involve shoulder pads)—your shoes. Be it mules, slingbacks or, indeed, courts, the '80s serves as an overarching aesthetic for autumn shoe trends this year. We're seeing mock-croc finishes, elongated toes with a squared-off end and kitten heels. Briefcase and pinstripe skirt suit are optional but absolutely advised.
Photo:COURTESY OF LANVIN, ISABEL MARANT, PROENZA SCHOULER
Style Notes: Soft-suede socks or knee-highs with room all around, they just have to be easy to pull on and go. This is the defining theme of 2023's boots offering. From the stretchy leathers at Lanvin to the extreme slouches at Proenza Schouler, I'm embracing this new take on boots, mainly because it means I'll have a better chance of getting them over my calves.
8. TOPPED WITH A BOW
Photo:COURTESY OF LOEWE, KIKO KOSTADINOV/IMAXTREE, GIAMBATTISTA VALLI/IMAXTREE
Style Notes: The autumn 2023 is one that embraces the fanciful, and no shoe trend optimises this quite like the big bows that decorated everything from ballet flats to slingbacks. Loewe's gold velvet pair scream opulence, while Giambattista Valli perfectly demonstrates how the crystal-shoe trend as evolved since last autumn.
9. FOAM PARTY
Photo:COURTESY OF JIL SANDER, BURBERRY, LOEWE
Style Notes: If I'm being entirely honest, I don't know how I feel about this one, but as one of the most prevalent shoe trends on the autumn 2023 runways, it would be remiss of me not to give it its due. Rubber and foam shoes were seen everywhere from Jil Sander to Loewe, cementing them as a key look for the season ahead. Whilst they might not be my cup of tea, I do understand the appeal. Weatherproof and durable, they really are made with a British autumn in mind.