The Most Beautiful Shoes of 2018

There is truth in the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it was especially true in 2018. Both on the runways and in the streets, personal style became more pronounced, with increased model diversity and a growing trend to including more “real” people in fashion.

The trend toward personal style and diversity also went hand in hand with an increased range in footwear. The dad shoe, an arm of the “ugly” shoe trend of 2017, was propagated by Balenciaga’s Triple S, which exuded massive influence in street style and shaped the fashion sneaker landscape, as other luxury fashion brands like Chloé and Givenchy were quick to introduce their own athletic (or athletic-inspired) shoe.

But do sneakers — especially clunky, oversized dad shoes qualify as beautiful? Gucci made a compelling case with its Flashtrek sneaker, a chunky, hiking-inspired shoe that featured a removable elastic ribbon harness decorated in large crystals.

Does Gucci’s Flashtrek sneaker, a hybrid hiking-style shoe with a removable crystal harness, count as one of 2018’s most beautiful shoes? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — especially when it comes to sneakers.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Still, most of the year’s most beautiful shoes came in a dressier silhouette, but with variety. A range of heel heights — and shapes — gave more choice to women looking to veer away from a severe stiletto while maintaining a sense of femininity, and the architectural heel was at the crux of this trend.

Prabal Gurung’s stacked lace-up pumps with architectural heels.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Jewellike embellishments — crystals, sequins, pearls, glitter, you name it — gave a holidayesque sparkle to shoes year-round and were incorporated into high heels, flats and sneakers alike, contributing to a more-is-more mentality on footwear.

Erdem’s crystal- and pearl-encrusted sandals for fall ’18.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Miu Miu’s beweled sandals for spring ’19.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

And one of the year’s later trends — feathers of all types, colors and sizes — will also be a big trend for 2019.

Feather-accented booties at Chanel Haute Couture.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Click through the gallery for a comprehensive look at 2018’s most beautiful shoes.

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