The fall 2020 shoe trends are here! The average woman buys around five pairs of shoes per year: a couple for warm weather, a couple for cold weather, and perhaps one more just for fun. However, if you’re reading about the fall/ winter 2020 shoe trends, you’re likely not an average person!
Just like with other fashion trends this season, the fall 2020 shoe trends pulled strongly towards practical footwear. For many of us, 2020 feels like the end-times, and a lot of the protective, heavy-duty boots we saw on the runways seemed very appropriate for a post-apocalyptic climate.
That said, there was some frivolous, high-fashion fun on the runways this season, as well. There were seasonally not quite appropriate strappy sandals and a few different sparkly shoe options, not to mention blingy fringe and sky-high platforms.
Whether you’ll only pick up a new pair of boots or intend to buy one of each trendy shoe, we help by breaking things down and identifying exactly what’s going to be on the shelves or on the streets for the fall/ winter 2020-2021 shoe trends.
#1. Doc Martens-Style Chunky Combat Boots
I’ve been going strong in my wannabe Docs all throughout this current season, so it’s thrilling to know that I’ll fit right in with the fall/ winter 2020 shoe trends. These tough boots first gained popularity in the ‘90s, albeit with a specific subsection of the population. I’d say that right now they’re becoming not just trendy but mainstream thanks to their ubiquity on the runways.
From the extra glamorous to the earthy and sustainable, we certainly saw some unusual combat boot and outfit pairings. At Gabriela Hearst, for instance, shiny black patent combat boots were worn with a loose and flowy white dress, while at Valentino, they were worn both with fierce leather ensembles and with delicate dresses.
We saw more chunky combat boots at the Rochas, and Margaret Howell shows.
#2. Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots have managed to transcend trends. They can be designed to look professional enough for any work function, or they can keep a bit of bulk à la Blundstones to suit more outdoorsy adventures, and they go with nearly every outfit. No wonder there were so many of them on the runways!
Stella McCartney presented the best of both worlds, with sleek, pointed-toe Chelsea boots with a zipped front fit for the office and heavy-soled ones that you could wear when you need to look tough. What’s more – all of the shoes were vegan, per the designer’s ethos!
In addition to the combat boots we’ve already mentioned, Valentino presented Chelsea boots in either burgundy or black that were fitted with the same heavy-duty rubber soles. We saw more Chelsea boots at Nina Ricci and Giambattista Valli.
#3. Equestrian Knee-High Boots
Fitting in with an equestrian theme, lots of runways presented low-heeled or flat knee-high boots for fall 2020. You can’t actually ride in most of these boots, but you’d fit right in with the society crowd at the races.
All of the models at Chanel wore the same boots, which were designed based on a pair worn by Karl Lagerfeld at some point in the early-’80s. These riding-style boots were made of black leather, with the top part of the shaft folded over to show the inner part of brown leather.
At Brandon Maxwell, riding-style boots were styled to look casual and chic, with short skirts or over tight jeans. The knee-high boots had a V-shaped dip and came in burgundy, brown, or navy leather.
We spotted more riding boots stomping the runway at Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Coach 1941.
#4. Bows and Ribbons
Ribbons and bows always add some feminine touch to a shoe, and in a season that was mostly quite somber, we appreciated the playfulness.
Pretty pastel heels at Prabal Gurung were made of satin, with an additional extension of the material tied into a small bow right over the toes.
Crystal-covered heels at Giambattista Valli would have been noticeable anyway, but a little piece of black ribbon tied into a bow helped to make them more interesting by adding that dark yet demure contrast. Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferretti, and Brock Collection all also used bows and ribbons to decorate some of their shoes.
#5. Strappy ‘90s Sandals
This shoe trend made us raise our eyebrows. Strappy sandals? For winter? Really? While we would certainly avoid actually wearing these in fall or winter, we gotta admit the strappy ‘90s-inspired design holds some sex appeal.
At Hellessy, sandal heels were actually made with straps that looked like knotted chords, which gave the shoes a slightly edgy touch. They were even styled with ankle-high stockings, which added a warm and unusual touch.
The strappy heels at Jason Wu were worn with pantyhose, another rule-breaking styling choice that helps make these shoes more bearable in the wintertime. We also spotted more strappy heels on the runways of Prabal Gurung, Bibhu Mohapatra, Ashley Williams, and Ulla Johnson.
#6. Vintage Kitten Heels
With quite a few designers taking their inspiration from decades past, it’s no surprise that vintage kitten heel designs were essential for driving looks home. It also helps that they are really cute and much more comfortable than higher stilettos.
The Marc Jacobs collection was a blast from the past, with models wearing all kinds of exceedingly pretty vintage-style kitten heels, from patent black Mary Janes to a fuzzy burgundy pair of kitten heels with a bow embellishment.
The adorable kitten heel design at Khaite was thankfully also simple enough for a wide range of occasions. The slip-on kitten heels, which came in red, white, and black, were covered in a layer of folded satin that lent them elegance and softness.
Rodarte, Y/Project, and Loewe all also presented lovely kitten heels with a vintage influence.
#7. Heeled Loafers
A flat loafer is an easy shoe that turns any outfit just a little more formal, and while heeled loafers miss the convenience factor, they still have their own unique charm.
At Lanvin, loafer-mule hybrids were easy to slip on but still looked elegant, with a two-tone leather design with a pretty gold buckle over the front. Amongst all of the platforms at Celine, there was also a pair of platform loafer heels made out of black snake-embossed leather and even decorated with a little tassel.
We spotted a few more loafers at Stella McCartney and Fendi.
#8. Square Toe
The major toe-box design for the fall/ winter 2020 shoe trends may have been pointed, but there were still quite a few square-toed options that will make it easier for you if you had purchased such a pair for spring.
From Rejina Pyo, we saw white or black kitten heels with a slip-on design that left most of the foot bare, but with a square toe-box that added a sturdy feel.
At AWAKE Mode, both boots and strappy heels were designed with a very geometric square toe-box that will appeal to those who like minimalist but conceptual footwear.
#9. Colorful Leather Boots
Brown and black leather boots can get boring pretty quickly, so if you’re looking for a bit of excitement in your wardrobe, you may want to pick one of the colorful fall 2020 boots. They mostly came in the knee- and thigh-high silhouettes that dominated this season, but the range of color choices is wide.
At Carolina Herrera, lively boots with slouchy shafts and pointed toes came in colors like green and red for an extra touch of color blocking. If you’d like something a touch more serious but still in color, Jonathan Simkhai presented orange leather boots with a tighter fit and a square toe-box.
There was lots more color on the runways of Dries Van Noten, Proenza Schouler, and Lanvin.
#10. Ruched Heels
Ruched heels were probably the subtlest of the fall 2020 shoe trends. Heels were decorated with ruched straps, which gave them an elastic feel and added texture.
Slingback heels at Eckhaus Latta were given a twist with the slingback strap being ruched in a different color than the rest of the pump. Ruching took front and center at Christian Siriano, with slip-on heels in black or pink decorated with three ruched straps that kept the foot in place.
Courtesy of Glowsly.com