Finding footwear that is fashionable, comfortable and affordable is challenging in any season, but the pressure is on in warmer months. Feet swell when we spend more time outdoors – even if it is just to go for lunch or a walk during the workday. And in today’s casual environment it is almost expected that we will have bare legs with more revealing shoes, making the right footwear choices even more important.
Happily, this summer there are enticing shoe trends for women of every age; in every heel height from flats to skyscrapers; and at every price point for every budget. You don’t have to spend much for a trend you don’t see yourself wearing next year. On the other hand, for a timeless style, buy the best quality you can afford.
Before you start shopping, remember that your shoe size can change. Have your foot measured – both length and width. Always buy what fits, regardless of the number on the box. Just like clothes in your closet, you may wear a number of different sizes, depending on the brand and style.
For basic shopping, try shoes with the hosiery you expect to wear with them. The thickness of a sock can affect fit. Unless you are Kate Moss or under age 16, put last season’s trendy mountaineering style socks away for next Autumn. At the same time, don’t be afraid to wear summer shoes with colored tights if you can’t get away with bare legs.
Shop late in the day when feet have the greatest tendency to swell. Take advantage of longer days to fit a little shoe shopping in at the end of the work day. Consider a slightly roomier size for hotter conditions, and if your feet are different sizes, buy the larger one.
Committed shoppers keep notes about brands and sizes – what works and what doesn’t. Once you know what size you are and what brands work best, here are the styles to look for this spring and summer.
Elegant pointed toes
In any height they never go out of style, and are particularly prevalent this year. If you crave stilettos but can’t tolerate the height any more, investigate the kitten heel–cute at a lower altitude. Just make sure you can wiggle your toes. Toe impressions should never be visible through the top of a shoe.
Popular during the winter, they are now available in summer styles and are an easy way to get height while feeling like you are wearing flats. But your toes should never hang over the sides of your platform (or any other shoe).
Black and white
The popular perennial is turning up this year in clothes, shoes and accessories. In footwear, this year’s offerings go beyond the traditional pump to just about any shape or style in black and white.
Kate Middleton is keeping the nude shoe trend strong. Keep your nude pump but also look for nude leather, suede and fabric popping up on many of the spring and summer style trends.
Your neutral, workhorse, go-with-everything shoe doesn’t have to be black this season. Try orange, red or yellow as a basic. And if you can go beyond basic, florals and prints were a pretty addition to the spring runway. Wear them with a neutral outfit or pair them with a contrasting floral and remain on trend.
Buy any color with a shiny finish–no need to limit yourself to silver and gold. Think pink, mint green and red. If all over metallic isn’t your thing, look for a metallic stripe instead.
These were the rage during winter and continue to be popular and flattering paired with shorts and skirts. Rubber Wellies aren’t for everyone, especially in warmer climates. But, a solid or floral short rubber boot with the right casual skirt is a fun trend to try for outdoor concerts. Just don’t try it at the office unless you work in a garden store.
Straps are turning up in sandals, shoes and even boots. To remain comfortable, look for perforated or laser-cut leather, linen and open-toe strappy styles to give your stylish feet some air. Remain on trend by pairing this style with a summer-weight leather jacket in a bright color or a floral dress.
Dressing from a man’s closet is something we usually associate with fall and winter, but this year you can find a lot of menswear styles in feminine colors for spring and summer. A wingtip with a coloured sole is a nice riff on a menswear staple.
Color blocking, unusual shapes, layering of materials, and metallic decorations abound. If you aren’t ready to go full on into this trend, look for a creatively placed zipper – up the front of the shoe, on the outside of the boot, or up the back of your heel, for some structured flair.
This is my favorite trend. They make a shoe comfortable and stable at any height. Chunky heels can also be found in new materials such as wood and clear plastic. Higher chunky heels can often provide more stability than a low stiletto, with just as much style and a lot more comfort.