If there's one thing I know after analysing and writing about fashion for the past 12 years, it's that shoes have the power to change the tone of any look. Whether you want to elevate your basic jeans-and-T-shirt combination or relax a pretty dress, shoes will help you do so in a very efficient way.
Footwear is also one of the easiest ways to dip your toe into the new season. Right now, for example, I'm willing to bet that you've already begun swapping out the majority of your sandals for closed-toe shoes to better ready yourself for the chilly weather. Aside from practicalities, shoes are such an easy way to make your looks feel more current, too. Today, we're going to take a closer look at shoe styles that fall into this category—the shoe microtrends for autumn 2023.
First things first, let's clarify what constitutes a microtrend. Essentially, microtrends are small offshoots from the overarching trends we see on the biannual runways. In this instance, we'll be referencing the collections that were showcased for autumn/winter 2023 back in February and March.
Obviously, when we first see what's in store for the coming season, we're six months away from actually living it, so it's natural for the big trends to evolve and drill down into niche subcategories. This is where microtrends are found. And being the shoe obsessive that I am, I wanted to determine which shoes are going to make my outfits look trendiest for the coming season.
Using our trend report in tandem with Instagram outfits, I found six shoe microtrends I know will be big for autumn 2023. From the boots update that makes tucking your jeans in so much easier, to the fabric that's sweeping brands from Chanel to Mango, I believe there's an autumn shoe microtrend for you, regardless of your aesthetic.
But there's zero point investing in trends (micro or macro) if they don't feel intrinsic to your style. They should evolve your look, not be a complete departure from it. So, consider what you see carefully and determine whether there's a place for them in your wardrobe or not. If there is, you'll find shopping picks for each as you scroll.
1. SHUFFLE CLOGS
Style Notes: Birkenstock Bostons have been some of the most difficult shoes to get your hands on this year, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise that fashion people began sourcing other clunky clogs, clogs so cumbersome one can't help but shuffle in them. When temperatures dip, style them with chunky socks.
2. WADER BOOTS
Style Notes: Boot trends tend to enjoy a longer shelf life than other shoe styles in general, but this one in particular has serious staying power. I've noticed so many pairs with wide calves cropping up, which is great news considering I always struggle to get boots over my ankles. The desired look is deliberately slouched, and should you want to tuck your jeans or trousers into your boots, there should be enough room to do so.
3. BUBBLE STUDS
Style Notes: Last year we witnessed the return of rhinestones on shoes, but for autumn 2023, it's all about OTT studs, the sort that closely resemble bubbles. A.W.A.K.E. kickstarted this trend, but I'm starting to see it crop up all over the market, on everything from sandals to mary janes, to heels.
4. SATIN BALLET FLATS
Style Notes: Ballet flats have been trending hard this year as it is, and although it defies logic, given that autumn is typically wetter than summer, people have recently begun forgoing leather pairs and embracing silky and satiny fabrics instead. You'll want to check the forecast before you wear them out—water marks will never be chic—but I find myself quite taken with this pretty, more traditional way of wearing ballet flats.
5. STRAPS AND BUCKLES
Style Notes: The '90s gave us many shoe trends, but one that's been overlooked up until this point is buckles, and, often, the straps that accompany them. For the ultimate Y2K pairing, wear a pair with cargo trousers and an asymmetric vest top.
Style Notes: A recurring theme when it comes to autumn 2023's shoe microtrends is tactile fabrics (as seen above by way of satin ballet flats). Now, there's another to discover. Denim might populate our wardrobes, but our shoes have remained largely unaffected. Prepare for that to change this year, as so many brands are serving up denim-clad footwear. Here's looking at you, Chanel…