4 Flat-Shoe Trends That Are Gaining Steam Now
When kitten heels made their resurgence earlier this year, I made no complaint. I’m not quite sure myself what it was about them that inspired such deep-seated, instinctual revulsion among so many for so long—or what brought about their definite return. In any case, after seasons and seasons of sky-high stilettos (never my thing), sneakers so chunky and vertiginous that they barely qualify as sneakers, and flatform sandals I can’t look at without imagining twisting an ankle (I’ve had a few close calls), the style felt like a breath of fresh air.
Hot on the tiny heels of this (literally) down-to-earth trend comes the re-emergence of flats. And not just boring old basic flats—I’m talking seriously fun, seriously stylish iterations even a dyed-in-the-wool maximalist like myself can appreciate. Everyone will appreciate the four fashionable yet functional flat-shoe trends I’ve rounded up below. Think “ugly” sandals that aren’t ugly at all as well as directional ballet flats that won’t remind you of sophomore year.
I don’t actually think these are ugly at all (feel free to disagree, as long as you don't mind being wrong), but they’re definitely related to the whole “ugly” (or “dad”) sneaker phenomenon. But whatever you want to call them, these retro-looking, potentially orthopedic-inspired sandals remind me a lot of the sandals I wore just about everywhere growing up, and I’m currently deciding which of the following pairs to buy…
NOT-SO-BASIC BALLET FLATS
Whatever your thoughts on ballet flats, you’ve got to admit that for a while, they had gotten a bit boring. Another practical elasticized pair with a bow near the toe? Yawn. Which is why the emergence of luxe options with incredible details has us breathing a sigh of relief (and reaching for our credit cards).
BUCKLED MULES AND LOAFERS
Loafers and mules with hardware aren’t anything new, but this season, said hardware is bigger, better, and beyond anything we’ve seen in seasons past. Hello, giant geometrical buckles and adornments—pleased to make your acquaintance.
I grew up wearing Vans slip-ons (one particular checkered cherry style), and I’m glad my high school shoe style of choice is finally considered “fashion.” What I’ve always liked about Vans is its commitment to bold colors and patterns. You could grab plain white ones, but why would you when flame-print checked high-tops are calling your name?
Still looking for new-season shoe trends? See six more big ones we’ve been eyeing.