Readers’ Choice: 2011 Footwear Trends

Vintage and Americana footwear looks will continue to be big in 2011.

The trend topped shoe company and retailer predictions for most important trend next year, with 20 percent voting for it.

Boots came in second, at 14 percent, with many anticipating that the style would again be a year-round phenomenon. More niche styles, such as over-the-knee boots and booties, have also been popular.

Third place was a tie between minimal footwear and comfort styles, both of which received 12 percent of the vote. Vibram FiveFingers received several callouts as the major barefoot style in the minimalist movement. And comfort, as always, will be key, respondents said.

“My women customers want pretty shoes that fit and are comfortable and a bit exclusive,” said another retailer.

On a related note, toning and wellness shoes garnered 11 percent of votes, while just two respondents predicted a decline in the category.

Outdoor shoes and lower heels could also see a boost in 2011, with both popping up in the poll.

“[2011 will see] a re-emergence of the dress category,” said one respondent, “particularly mid-heels that are fashionable.”

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