Despite unconventional settings, fashion designers marched on with their Spring 2021 collections and continued to put their best footwear forward. Given that WFH life continues for many, the overarching need for comfort in footwear was certainly met, with flat sandals taking top billing at most collections. We also got the answer to the question we've all been waiting for: Will we want to wear heels again? Yes—but in the form of stable platforms.
For spring 2021, it was clear that practicality was top of mind for designers and in the demand from consumers. During this time at home, we've all taken inventory of our wardrobes, and the tightening of our footwear collection was reflected in the shows. Even if we can't predict what our next six months will look like, we can find relief in the fact that most designers are leaning into familiar styles that should hold up for a couple of seasons still.
So whether you're dusting off a pair from last year or switching up your favorite throw-on-and-go style, we've broken down the trends that we think are worth investing in. Because temperatures are dropping and spring dressing feels light years away, many of these styles are super transitional when paired with socks and knit hosiery, or can be worn in the comfort of your home and the heat blasting—pedicures optional. In other words, your feet can relax. We've got them covered.
Say hello to the camp counselor’s signature shoe silhouette. These fresh takes on tech-y Velcro sandals are less granola and more girly than they have ever been. Anna Sui (left) paired lacy versions with equally feminine socks while Jason Wu (right) showed ones with pearl embellishments.
Arizona Love gained a cult following with their bandanna-wrapped Velcro sandals, but these pearl-encrusted ones are next-level.
The Anna Sui and Teva collab is back and girlier than ever for Spring 2021. Before they hit stores, check out this pair from their current offering.
These silk scarf-wrapped metallic numbers are the perfect combination of statement-making and chill.
Let’s be clear: These are not your rubber shower shoes. Shown at Tom Ford (left) and Jacquemus (right), thong sandals have never looked more chic. The new iterations play with heights, proportion, elevated materials, and extra details like ankle wraps to give the classic summer staple a much-needed makeover.
Animal print? Check. Extra volume? Check. Ankle wrap detail? Check. Ideal summer sandal? Big check.
Heeled flip flops aren’t going anywhere and these are a steal, not to mention super comfortable with the tiniest bit of heel.
These puffy leather flip-flops feel dramatically cooler than the rubber variety and are just as effortless.
Chic, simple and elevated, this python thong sandal can replace a stiletto style without sacrificing the dressiness.
The ballet flat is kind of the perfect shoe for 2020. The form-fitting shape is comfortable enough for long indoor wear but also keeps you nimble and able to keep moving while on the go. The Spring runways showed a flashier take, no doubt inspired by decadent interiors, with brocade patchwork (at Dolce & Gabbana, left) and burnished gold (at Simone Rocha, right).
Simone Rocha’s Spring take on the ballet flat may not be out for a few months, but you can take this chain- and pearl-adorned version out for a spin now.
This cracked gold is somehow neutral enough to go with leggings and a sweater but can easily transition to an evening slipper with a cocktail dress.
Nothing like a bit of toile print to give ya a fancy pep in your step.
These laser-cut beauties have enough detail to distract everyone from the fact you’re not wearing heels.
For those craving a bit of elevation but who aren't really to get back in the stiletto saddle, platforms will be your new shoe go-to come spring. Natural elements like wood (shown at Ulla Johnson, right) and snakeskin (at Erdem, left) ground the otherwise disco-era shoe for more everyday wear.
This simple suede pair with a sensible wooden platform are a no-brainer addition to your spring wardrobe.
An espadrille wedge is an easy way to boost your height and the python-print trim make them a bit more sexy.
The cork footbed makes for a super light and easy-to-wear platform that will never go out of style.