It’s been a rough decade for the much-maligned square-toe shoe.
But lately the sore-spot style is shedding its frumpy rat-race connotations at the hands of fashion’s key outliers.
For spring ’17, a number of designers experimented with extreme square shapes that pushed the boundaries of what many consider to be good taste. But the style is gaining traction for those who actually revel in its challenging, uncommon coolness.
At Balenciaga, designer Demna Gvaslia made a point of showing both platform and sloping-heel square-toe boots. The former, an update, quickly caught on with the street-style set. For the designer’s Vetements label, he’s also shown square-toe Western boots.
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Milanese accessory company Sergio Rossi recently underwent a re-brand that centered on a new squared-off shape. The concept, dubbed “sr1,” aims to reestablish classic house codes of the brand’s ’90s heyday. It features the “Sabot” open-toe mule sandal (recently worn by Mandy Moore) and a flat, slipper-style loafer.
Those weary of the shape are best advised to first try the open-toe versions, such as those by Gucci and Saint Laurent, which are not quite as overtly angular or difficult to pull off.