Summer 2023 Shoe's Trends Offer Practicality and Play

Hit the ground running this season.

graphic of arts and crafts style shoes, one of the leading shoe trends of summer 2023
(Image credit: Future)

There's a clear theme with summer 2023's fashion trends: duality. The shades of quiet luxury—think ivories, caramels, and slate gray—and ostentatious hues like electric lime green and vibrant orange will co-exist in your summer color palette. You'll don high-waisted trousers and linen blazers for in-office work days, but after hours, reach for statement sequins and party-ready pieces for evenings spent sipping spritzes and dining al fresco. Summer 2023's shoe trends reflect a similar balance of aesthetics: You'll find practicality with work-appropriate loafers and ballet flats but also the chance to express your more playful side via kitschy cool sandals and platform pumps. 

As Kate Bellman, Nordstrom's Women’s Managing Fashion Editor, details, the best shoes for summer 2023 exist on opposite ends of the sartorial spectrum—but shopping the seasonal footwear edit is not as tricky as it might seem. Ahead, Bellman offers insight into the front-running shoe trends, and you'll find a well-curated, ready-made edit to shop so you can hit the ground running this summer.

Prep Codes

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preppy shoes, one of Summer 2023 shoe trends

(Image credit: Future)

"Tailoring has been influential the past few seasons and is only tracking to get bigger for upcoming seasons. With that, the prep codes have prevailed through key footwear styles bringing importance to loafers and Mary Janes," explains Nordstrom's Bellman. "For summer, look for lightweight materials, like a woven raffia version, or a pretty color palette."

Strap In

strappy shoes, one of Summer 2023 shoe trends

(Image credit: Future)

Statement straps, whether that be gladiator-esque cages or interwoven leather cords, are a dominating look among summer's trending shoes. As for specific silhouettes, try a flat sandal that laces up the leg or a strappy slingback heel that works for both formal occasions (perhaps that summer wedding you have coming up the docket?) and everyday wear. 

Level Up

graphic of platforms and flatforms, one of Summer 2023 shoe trends

(Image credit: Future)

"Platforms and flatforms continue to be on the rise for the summer months and provide a sleek pairing to both effortless tailoring or sexy silhouettes," details the Nordstrom fashion expert. "Exaggerated heights feel even more modern this season with strong architectural wedges and reinvited design elements of the everyday heel."

Arts & Crafts

graphic of arts and crafts style shoes, one of Summer 2023 shoe trends

(Image credit: Future)

"As the temps start to heat up, be sure to amp up the color for your sandal assortment as well," implores Bellman. "Vibrant hues and colorful craft details"—think woven textures, quirky patchwork, funky fringe, and flair—"add an amped-up playfulness to show off your pedicures." Arts and crafts, but make it polished and fit for your day-to-day.

Ballet Flats

graphic of model wearing ballet flats, one of Summer 2023 shoe trends

(Image credit: Future)

"Adding a touch of effortless and ease to our shoe wardrobe, our romance with the ballet flat continues through the summer months. As versatile as they are feminine, they pair perfectly back to a long, ethereal dress, as they do to balance out the toughness of wide-leg jeans," describes Bellman of the classic, fool-proof flat.

Meet the Fashion Expert

Kate Bellman
Kate Bellman

 Kate Bellman is the Managing Fashion Editor at Nordstrom.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited 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 and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.