Winter is my favourite time of year to invest in shoes. In the summer months, I tend to schlep about in the same sandals, day in and day out, but in winter, that's when my footwear horizons broaden. Of course, there are boots to consider, and I'm always eager to see which pairs feel fresh for the season ahead. But the colder months aren't just about wrapping up as best you can—with them comes party season, and I delight in the fanciful shoes that dominate new-in sections around this time.
Winter is also a prime time to revisit your loafers, which get put on stand-by from June to August. While classic leather horse-bit loafers will always be a style mainstay, you can bet they'll also be an overhauled helping of loafers to choose from, too.
Indeed, our winter shoe requirements are varied, which is what makes analysing the current footwear trends so interesting—you're never 100% certain which pairs you'll find. Of course, you might have enough pairs in your existing collection to get you through, but there are a few key winter shoe trend updates you should at least be aware of. So, without further ado, scroll on to see the 11 biggest winter shoe trends those in the know are backing, and then browse my edit of the best styles to shop for each.
1. School's in Session
Style Notes: Loafers continue to be reimagined in a variety of ways, ensuring fashion's appetite for them remains insatiable. Now, it's all about clunky styles with thick soles or block heels, reminiscent of the Kickers pairs I begged my mum to buy me for school.
2. Ride it Out
Style Notes: Lug-sole knee-highs have been the flat boots of the past few years. But in 2022, they're giving way to sleeker riding boot styles.
3. On Point
Style Notes: Square toes have consistently appeared on the coolest shoes, be they sandals or boots for the past few seasons. There is, however, a serious resurge of '90s-inspired pointed-toe shoes doing the rounds, many of which feature kitten heels and slingbacks for more Y2K appeal.
4. Set the Barre
Style Notes: Ballet flats are quietly divisive. I love them, but I understand that they can come off feeling a little dated. I've denoted that it's all down to the styling. Of course, if you wear them with skinny jeans and a bomber jacket they're going to feel very 2004, but if you pair them with some leather shorts or a printed shirt, they'll undoubtedly feel more modern. Regardless of which camp you sit in, we can all agree that IG fashion types are loving them right now.
5. Tall and Timeless
Style Notes: While I would agree that classic knee-high boots don't typically fall into the "trend" category, the sheer volume of simple-silhouetted boots on the market at the moment cannot be ignored. Look for leather styles in classic colours for everlasting appeal.
6. Playing the Field
Style Notes: Adidas Sambas are one of the hardest trainers, nay shoes, to get your hands on right now. Designed for football training where spikes are unnecessary, there's something distinctly '70s about this trainer style that, at the same time, feels so current for now.
7. The Glitteratti
Photo:Michaela Efford Photography for Who What Wear UK
Style Notes: A shoe style that was born with social media in mind, Gucci's crystal slingback shoes have cast a rhinestone spell over all of fashion. Shoes remain the easiest way to channel sparkle, and there are plenty of homages to choose from. Still, if you have the budget to do so, I recommend investing in the Gucci originals as a mark of respect.
8. Bootie Call
Style Notes: Nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than a pair of Ugg boots. After all, they played an integral role in my formative teenage years when I became serious about working in fashion. Now, I'm able to relive that love story daily as Ugg boots continue to crop up on the feet of those in the know.
9. So Blunt
Style Notes: The wait is over, and I can indeed confirm that square -toes are still going strong for winter 2022/23! Excellent news if you've invested in boots or loafers with them already. If, however, you're yet to buy into the trend, I'd advise getting the bluntest square toes you can for even more credibility.
Style Notes: Fashion is an art form, this we know, and designers such as Loewe have been exploring that sentiment in a meaningful way this year, particularly Loewe who continues to design pieces that wouldn't look out of place in a modern art gallery. Look for quirky details (balloon embellishments, anyone?) or eyebrow-raising textiles.
11. Perfectly Engineered
Style Notes: Between the indie sleaze aesthetic and the gothic looks that took over the autumn/winter 2022 runways, it should come as biker boots are back and making an impression this season. Miu Miu cements it with its "engineer" boots, which come adorned in heavy metal buckets and harnesses.