Platforms to Peep-Toes—Let's Talk Spring's Shoe Trends

We scoured 230 runway shows and spoke with a retail expert to break down the season's top footwear.

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Let's talk spring 2024 shoe trends. The usual warm-weather suspects stepped out during the 230 runway shows and presentations (yes, we counted) across New York City, London, Milan, and Paris last fall. Woven fisherman sandals, commuter flats, and ladylike kitten heels made welcome, albeit expected, appearances. (Gucci's ruby-red slingbacks were one of Sabato de Sarno's many siren silhouettes, calling to the fashion crowd with alluring Buy me now! appeal.)

But there were also more dramatic and, in some cases, downright experimental spring shoes, too. Proenza Schouler continued last year's mesh flat momentum with porous slip-ons you can wear to the beach and beyond. Meanwhile, at Givenchy, models wore stiletto heels underneath see-through hosiery as if they forgot the proper order of getting dressed. Versace and Victoria Beckham had a similar bare-it-all spirit and played pedicure peek-a-boo with peep-toe pumps. The end result was rather spirited and playful—and for some, a needed departure from the subdued, quiet luxury sentiment.

As for shopping the spring 2024 shoe trends, Marie Claire composed a comprehensive guide and tapped the VP of Womenswear Buying for SSENSE, Brigitte Chartrand, for insight. Ahead, our curated edit of the sandals to slip on, flats to wear to work, and party pumps to pull out every now and then. Ready? Let's kick it!

Lofty Lifts

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Sky-high shoes seen at Gucci, Peter Do, Roberta Cavalli, and Simone Rocha had a head-turning impact.

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Seen at Simone Rocha, Peter Do, and Gucci, platforms were plentiful on spring's runways. They were especially exhilarating at Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, a collection that honored the late great British designer known for her sky-high silhouettes. "My first thought: no one does the maxi platform better than Vivienne Westwood," says Chartrand.

The SSENSE expert also praises the surprising versatility of a sky-high shoe. "Platforms are one of those versatile wardrobe staples that you can dress up or dress down anytime you want to add a few inches," she says, shouting out Dries van Noten's lofty flip-flops and suggesting you team the sandal with straight-leg jeans and a linen button-down.

Boots with Bad Posture

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Vivienne Westwood, Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga offered their interpretation of slouchy boots, ranging from the subtle and to super scrunched.

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The boot, a cold-weather hero shoe, is taking a load off this spring and relaxing into slouchy silhouettes. From slightly folded versions at Alexander McQueen to the puddled pools of leather at Victoria Beckham, stiff boots were out on the runways.

"If there’s ever a pair of slouchy boots you need in your wardrobe, it’s Khaite’s ‘The River’ Knee High Boots," the SSENSE expert says of the in-demand shoe from the New York label. As for styling the boot, Chartrand recommends "pairing [slouchy boots] with oversized knits or a long coat, and you’re all set to leave the house."

Mesh Momentum

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The mesh flats and heels seen at Proenza Schouler, Mugler, Khaite, and Givenchy confirm that see-through shoe trend prevails.

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Whether you love or loathe them, mesh flats are soldiering on for spring. "[Mesh flats] are simple in the best way possible—they're like wearing a pair of socks," Chartrand describes.

For those looking to level up, look for mesh-paneled heels instead of just the flat versions like those from Khaite and Mugler. If a sheer pump still doesn't give you enough thrill, you can DIY the look yourself with hosiery á la Givenchy's sharp stilettos worn underneath red nylon tights.

For the Ladies Who Lunch

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Gucci, Prada, and Valentino sent out a series of micro heels in their Spring 2024 collections.

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In complete opposition to Westwood's sky-high platforms, designers offered a slew of demure, low-to-the-ground heels. Pulling inspiration from a ladylike, mid-century silhouette, one-inch slingbacks, and micro-pumps were seen at Altuzarra, Prada, Gucci, and Valentino showings.

But, as Chartrand explains, the fun part about styling a sweet little kitten heel is that you don't have to be entirely proper. "Opposites attract when styling a pair of lady heels, so don't be afraid to lean into juxtaposition. Give your kitten heels some edge by wearing pieces that contrast the ultra-feminine silhouette," says Chartrand. "I personally wear the Manolo Blahnik Maysalebica Mules with a pair of distressed, vintage Levi's or oversized sweatpants," she notes. It's the ultimate high-low pairing.

Kick Your Feet Up

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Hermès, Tory Burch, and Loewe have your casual footwear rotation covered.

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Spring 2024 invites you to kick back and relax in an off-duty weekend sandal. Try an easy fisherman style, like those seen at Loewe and Hermès, or a funkier flat sandal like the metallic toe-strap option at Tory Burch—which has haunted the minds of all shoe-obsessed fashion editors since its debut back in September.

Silver Lining

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High-shine flats in a darling Mary Jane style and a classic slip on silhouette seen at Versace and Loewe.

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Silver shoes have joined forces with ballet flats to become one super-charged trend this spring. Magpie-worthy Mary Jane flats were hard to miss at Chanel and Cecilie Bahsen, while Loewe sent out crystalized slippers that shimmered with every step.

"You can never go wrong with a silver ballerina—it's an updated classic with its metallic finish," details Chartrand. When styling a reflective flat, the SSENSE expert encourages you to "embrace the nonchalant, model-off-duty look with a cashmere sweatsuit." After all, diamonds (or at least the shiny effect of diamonds) plus cashmere is the ultimate aspirational pairing.

Peek-a-Toe!

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At Versace, Louis Vuitton, and Victoria Beckham, toes led the charge in a variety of front-cutout footwear.

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As we all know, a peep-toe shoe is nothing new. However, the frontward cutout has recently experienced a spirited resurgence, resulting in a spike in designer and celebrity interest. It started when Miu Miu (always the trend-setting fashion house) released its thong sandal-style boots in the Spring 2023 collection. After percolating for a year, the peek-a-boo detail gathered real speed for spring, with brands like Versace, Victoria Beckham, and Louis Vuitton sending out a series of peep-toe heels and knee-high boots, whose fans include Kylie Jenner who came out in support of the peep-toe bootie.

Meet the Fashion Expert

Brigitte Chartrand
Brigitte Chartrand

Brigitte Chartrand is the Vice President of Womenswear at SSENSE.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, who writes everything from trend reports to fashion featurettes and long-form profiles. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, writing shopping e-commerce guides, assisting with market for fashion photo shoots, and assigning and editing fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center. When she's not writing fashion deep-dives, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking in her tiny NYC kitchen.