Top Men’s Trends for Fall

When Footwear News asked men’s designers and key brands to reveal their best bets for fall, boots stole the show — from vintage-inspired work styles to high-top sneakers with hardware touches.

Steve Madden
“We’ll continue to focus on young men’s looks for a jeans-based wardrobe, providing alternatives to athletic shoes. Denim-driven dress shoes and boots will utilize more basic, classic patterns that incorporate material interest for added excitement. From lug-sole engineer boots to harness boots and industrial looks, [styles will come in] materials that appear worn and used, such as oiled, burnished and distressed leathers. They’re a reflection of the times, with many consumers shying away from the appearance of prosperity. [Overall], big growth will come from rugged boots and shoes, with short boots becoming year-round items.”
— Andrew Shames, president, Madden men’s

J Shoes
“A key trend is the continued development of the boot story, with an overall ‘luxification’ of work and utility items. There’s a military-inspired boot in a hand-finished leather designed with a high-leg option, so it can be worn partially laced. This also transcends into an outdoor, workwear look that’s crafted on a real crepe outsole. Done in oiled and textured leathers, this direction is quite raw in its treatment, but at the same time, retains a simple luxurious feel.”
— Nick Drury, lead designer

“Diesel men’s sneakers will focus on athletic-formal hybrid styles in tonal colors, using materials such as leather, suede and patent. These hybrids are given attitude with hardware such as chains, spikes and studs for a tough rock ’n’ roll edge. Diesel also is introducing hiking boots that can be used on the trail or in the city. In 2010, Diesel will play with distressed elements throughout the entire collection.”
— Diesel spokesperson

Rocket Dog
“For fall, it’s a vintage Americana theme. Heavy waxed canvas and seasoned leathers capture the comfort of years past. Our vulcanized category stays crisp and clean with classic twin gores and oxfords. These styles bring the basics back to life on the streets. Our look also has a subtle rock ’n’ roll feel, with military-inspired details such as studs, harnesses and oiled leathers. Our main focus will be on welted worker and casual utility/biker boots. A rugged fashion look will reflect the fight to revive the American economy. Both of these looks will blend well with soft flannel button-up shirts and dark denim jeans.”
— Zach Hickert, men’s designer

“Frye is about a strong, iconic, American look. Key silhouettes include work looks, wing-tips with rustic finishes and classic American harness and engineer boots. Concurrent with the apparel and denim trends, the collection will include worn-in leathers, hand stains and customized distressing effects. The men’s collection for 2010 is about embracing one’s individuality, locally grown movements and a return to vintage dressing.”
— Michael Petry, design director

Dr. Martens
“Our Paratrooper boots play off the idea of modern combat. They’re given an authentic, worn-in feel [achieved] through the use of washed leathers with a burnished [effect]. For non-combat wear, the boots feature Dr. Martens original 1960 air cushioned soles for comfort and durability. They’re also oil-resistant and offer good abrasion and slip-resistance, making them ideal when hitting the trenches. The Ammo style is based on a classic British army boot, while the Pro takes influence from boots worn in the U.S. military.”
— Martin Meade, U.S. men’s director of product

Shane & Shawn
“Our focus is on high-cut ankle boots with rugged equestrian-inspired uppers. The use of burnished pull-up leathers, layered stretch gore, [as well as] hardware and metal zippers, allows us to create this signature look. We also buff-cut our layered rubber/EVA heels in a crude manner to accentuate the feel of the urban cowboy theme we created for the collection. Most of the styles are executed in black and brown Crazy Horse leather and are contrasted with our gold S&S button on the heels of each design.”
— Shane Ward, creative director

Ed Hardy Shoes/Christian Audigier
“Innovation remains key. For example, the Newcastle style is a high-rise sneaker that features bold graphics and bright colors and converts into a subtle low-rise version with minimal artwork. Another style features interchangeable designs and appliqués that can either be zipped or Velcroed onto the shoes. These looks give consumers different options to fit their mood, style or occasion.”
— Philip Chemla, president of PSDI/Ed Hardy Shoes

Heyday Footwear
“We’re working with several high-end apparel lines for our Collaborative Effort initiative in 2010. Due to the demand for more workwear-influenced product, we’ve partnered with Toyo Japan, parent company to high-end Sugar Cane Denim Co., for a series of boots that utilize its classic high-quality selvage denims and details, [blended] with our modern approach to footwear. There will be hickory stripes, selvage denim and authentic hardware and details paired with rugged leathers on forward-styled wedge-bottom boots.”
— Darin Hager, owner

“Fossil continues to focus on vintage-inspired designs with simple-yet-classic silhouettes, all injected with modern style. Attention has been given to materials such as vintage-feel leathers and a blend of waxed canvas with suede. A big focus for fall is on lug soles, whether on a double-gore boot or a modern dress oxford or loafer. Clogs are also important, as well as loafers, boat shoes and court sneakers.”
— Fossil spokesperson


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