The Best and Worst Shoe Trends of 2016

Top designers from the women’s industry weigh in on trends that made the cut and missed the mark this year.

Stuart Weitzman

Top trend: “Over-the-knee boot — it continues to prevail as a leading silhouette each fall.”

Gigi Hadid's Stuart Weitzman fall '16 campaign.
Gigi Hadid’s Stuart Weitzman fall ’16 campaign.

Least favorite trend: “With so many great trends for 2016, [I choose to] focus on the positive when reflecting back.”

Tabitha Simmons

Top trend: “My favorite trend was the flatform, especially those from Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Gucci. I love the way they look. My favorite is our Tessa style in the multicolor balloon print or flower-printed leather.”

Least favorite trend: “Crocs. I just can’t bring myself to wear this trend. As a woman, I want to wear shoes that make me feel sexy and feminine.”

Rupert Sanderson

Top trend: “Velvet. Just gorgeous and set to continue.”

Rupert Sanderson Spring 2017 Shoes
Rupert Sanderson spring ’17 collection.
CREDIT: Andrew Morales/Footwear News.

Least favorite trend: “Flatforms. Ugh.”

Sophia Webster

Top trend: “Definitely the sneaker trend. I live and die in my Riko low-top shoes; having a classic sneaker with a unique detail is perfect for me.”

sophia webster sneaker
Sophia Webster, $350.
CREDIT: Bergdorf Goodman.

Least favorite trend: “One trend I have noticed is incredibly high heels or unusual heels that aren’t so conducive to walking. It’s important to have a range of heel heights that are stylish, but also comfortable and realistic.”

Jerome C. Rousseau

Top trend: “The return to mid-height heels. It has been refreshing to see women adopt chic, sexy shoes on lower heel heights in 2016. As a designer, it’s a nice challenge to create shoes that still feel feminine and luxurious on lower heel heights and even on heavier heel silhouettes.”

Jerome Rousseau Spring 2017 Shoes
Jerome C. Rousseau spring ’17 style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Least favorite trend: “I’ve grown tired of the white sneaker trend that continues to be in every capital city I travel to, especially combined with sophisticated outfits. I’m also guilty, and I still wear mine — go figure.”

Sarah Flint

Top trend: “The block heel has become a signature style for the collection because it is both versatile and timeless. Ours are 50mm, high enough to add some polish while letting women live their lives in them.”

Sarah-Flint-Emma-Taupe-Suede
Sarah Flint spring ’17.

Least favorite trend: “Over-the-knee boots have become a huge trend in the last few years, but lately I’ve been thinking more about booties. Aspen was a huge inspiration for fall, and there’s something cozy and luxe about a shearling-lined bootie.”

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