The Top Shoe Trends of 2020—And How to Wear Them

After a season of footwear being restricted to the exclusively practical, looking ahead to the year’s shoe trends feels like a mirage in a sea of black, salt-stained, boring boots (even though Punxsutawney Phil did promise us an early spring).

Winter is the opposite of the crème de la crème—the worst of the worst?— when it comes to shoes. Unpredictable weather has us carrying our presentable shoes to work to stomp through slush in years-old snowboots and ice and less-than-ideal conditions put buying new footwear at the very end of our to-do list.

But alas, we’ve made it to the home stretch of the cold season, and it’s time to look forward to a new year filled with new, exciting fashion—and 2020’s shoe trends are not here to disappoint. From bright colors to eye-catching textures, the new decade’s footwear is here to spice up your go-to outfits and help you make an entrance. Set your eyes on the best shoes of 2020:


1. Knee-High Boots

We’ve lived through season upon season of over-the-knee boots, but their shorter sibling is this year’s staple boot trend. Wear them with coats that hit just at the top of them for a seamless look or with dresses for transitional looks once spring hits.

2. Heeled Loafers

Loafers are nothing new, nor trendy—they’ve been a staple in our wardrobes for quite a while now—but this year, they’re taking an elevated twist with heeled and slingback variations. Wear ’em all the ways you wear your classic ones for an updated go-to look.

3. Platforms

Be it on a sneaker or sandals, runways have shown that this year, flat soles are out. Upgrade your go-to shoe with a platformed version for extra height and elevated style.

4. Espadrilles

Jute-adorned, beachy espadrilles are going to be the shoes of the spring and summer. While they’re nothing new, 2020 is bringing different versions with aforementioned platforms, ankle straps, and wedges. Secure yours before they’re sold out in your size come May.

5. Thin Straps

Put away your thick, double-strap heels and sandals in exchange for the thinner, strappier versions of 2020. (Bonus points for a bright pair in a fun color.) They’re the perfect summer shoe to invest in once the temperatures climb.

6. The Square Toe

After years of pointy and almond-toed everything, we’ve been getting glimpses of shoes donning a square toe, and the chic shape is here to stay in 2020. Invest in a pair that’s similar to something you already own or knock out multiple trends in one with a strappy, square-toed sandal or a square-toed booty with an asymmetrical heel.

7. Updated Thongs

Not the ones from Old Navy that you had in 12 colors and made your mom yell at you every time you left the house in them—2020’s updated thong sandals have unique embellishments (think: toe straps) that make for a summer staple.

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