Out of Hundreds of New Shoes, These 11 Have Defined the Year Thus Far

Avid Who What Wear readers won't need a PhD in behavioural science to know that I'm madly, deeply, insatiably consumed with shoes. They are my vice, my catnip, my one true love (outside of my husband), and as such as I am often a bellwether in the office for what's hot (and what's not) in the world of footwear. I don't buy every new pair of It shoes that comes along, but I certainly document, analyse and consider what they might bring to my wardrobe/life. 

This year has been a particularly strong start in the shoe world, with multiple, entirely different styles trending more than almost anything else we've seen. I've said before that a great pair of shoes can bring a worn-out outfit into the here and now, and it would seem that everyone else currently agrees with me.

Rather than a fully brand-new look head to toe, influencers are cementing their 2019 credibility by snapping up the exact styles that define each of the year's biggest shoe trends. What's more, a shoe trend will last far longer than seasonal clothing—a decent pair of flats, even the most recognisable or "designed" types, can have more longevity than a trending top, for example. So not only are the below hot to trot right now, they're going to be worthwhile purchases for the future. 

Keep scrolling to see and shop the It shoes of 2019, thus far. I know I will be…

Prada's Multi-Strap Rubber Sandals

Velcro sandals are trending in both high-, mid- and low-price brackets, but at the forefront of the designer league is Prada. The Milanese fashion house is well-loved for its ability to turn the most practical or "ugly" of items into something luxe and high-fashion. These rubber-soled fabric-strapped sandals are no exception and have already been seen on the feet of many an influencer (mostly those who have been on holiday already, of course).

Topshop's Strippy Heels

Within the Who What Wear UK office, there's barely an employee who doesn't have a pair (or two) of these strappy stilettos. They have sold out on multiple occasions and been promptly restocked—something that happened only yesterday, so you may stand a chance of getting a pair if you missed out the first couple of times. 

Mango's Brown Mules

Mango is no stranger to experiencing a shoe smash or two, but we have a feeling the interest in these brown mules is going to reach its peak once the weather really starts to change. We've already noticed bloggers across both sides of the pond picking them up for spring. More to come, and you heard it here first.

AlexaChung's JuJu Jelly Flats

Alexa Chung's collaboration with JuJu Jelly has been wildly popular. At this stage, you'll find the Instagram set wearing their bejewelled jelly flats with every kind of hosiery or sock known to man, but we expect that summer will stay true to the shoe type's tradition and be worn with bare feet, bare legs and vacation garms on a beach somewhere lovely. These have already been selling through fast, so don't wait until you finally book that economy flight.

Zara's Strappy Stilettos

Running in tandem with Topshop's strappy stilettos, Zara has (unsurprisingly) seen success in this genre too. The white version has been picked up by many a fashion girl already, despite the fact the weather is so far from being open-toe appropriate. More experimental dressers have ventured into the brand's offering of neon snake-print versions—very cool set against the plainest of outfits.

Burberry's Dolly Loafers

Outside of the obvious—like vintage checked scarves or the new TB bag—Burberry's school-ish shoes have been a surprise hit for the brand's new creative director, Riccardo Tisci. The Dolly loafers are chunky of sole, patent in finish and flourish with a very practical T-bar. The girls going wild for them are totally varied, from French influencers like Marta Cygan through to L.A. natives like Courtney Trop or Spanish chicks like Blanca Miro. The allure of comfort is a truly global one.

By Far's Tanya Mules

By Far's simplistic sandals, pumps and boots have been part of the fashion lexicon for a few seasons now. French girls in particular have taken a shine to their two-strap block-heeled Tanya mules, which come in a plethora of colours as well as in different finishes such as suede or patent. 

Charles & Keith's Buckle Slip-On Heels

One of the earliest standout shoes of the year, not to mention one of the most affordable, Charles & Keith's pastel-coloured kitten-heel closed-toe mules have been crazy-popular with the social media crowds and within editor circles too. They first started to surface in February's round of fashion weeks but are still going strong. 

Chanel's PVC Mules

Walk past a Chanel store and you'll notice that every single mannequin is in a pair of these slides with the little wedge heels. Whether in PVC and rendered in a rainbow of colours or in the raffia and suede iterations, this logo-emblazoned summer shoe-of-dreams has got every writer, stylist and consultant saving up the pennies. 

Gucci Platform Loafers

Often running against the grain, Gucci's biggest hits aren't ever what you'd expect. Where the rest of the shoe world is opting for sporty flatforms or fine stilettos, this Italian powerhouse is finding a keen audience for their '70s-inspired loafer platforms. Girls inclined to dress in a more vintage way are hooked, and we spotted many women from Spanish influencer Maria Bernad to Brit It girl Alexa Chung in them. 

Acne Studios's Kitten-Heel Mules

Are you starting to sense a theme here? Practical closed-toe mules with low heels are trending for a reason—they are easy to wear with anything and everything, and you can last all day long in a decent pair. These ultra-minimal black ones from Acne have been a quiet but stealthy presence on social media over the past few months. 

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