This year in footwear brought sculptural heels of all shapes and sizes (e.g., Jacquemus, Ferragamo), ladies clad in cowboy boots, a slew of new high-profile partnerships and more dad sneakers than we liked (for some, at least). It also made room for boundary-pushing ideas as a burgeoning market of hybrid shoes sprung up on the runways. Scroll through to see the weirdest, most inventive creations of 2018.
Crocs x Alife Sock-Sandal Shoe
Perhaps one of the most unsuspected unions of the year: Crocs and Alife. Following its highly successful clog-platform with Balenciaga in February (and last year’s Christopher Kane bling-sandal collaboration), the clog-maker continued pushing into new markets by joining forces with the storied New York lifestyle brand. The Alife for Crocs release included two versions, but it was the Sport clog edition that drove the buzz. The hybrid silhouette featured retro tube socks affixed to a white base, a play on the socks-with-slides look popularized by streetwear.
Jeremy Scott’s Overalls Boots
Jeremy Scott made a splash with his fishing wader-style boots, which he presented at his spring ’19 New York Fashion Week show. The shoulder-to-toe contraption is initially a head-scratcher, but after a flurry of colorways in acid yellow, patent black and patchwork denim, the idea had legs, especially in light of today’s ’90s takeover in the fashion world.
Virgil Abloh paid homage to track and field on his spring ’19 runway at Paris Fashion Week in September, going so far as having eight Nike female athletes join his supermodel lineup. Alongside Nike sneakers, Abloh presented a stiletto sandal with an upper reminiscent of a sneaker, complete with laces.
Gucci Flashtrek Sneaker-Hiker
To bring the dad shoe trend to the next level, Gucci burst on the scene with its hiker-sneaker hybrid that rivaled the Balenciaga Triple S in street-style points this year. The brand’s Flashtrek style fused outdoor and luxury elements, featuring removable crystals that played up contrast against a thick lug-soled wedge.
Christian Cowan x Giuseppe Zanotti Wristwatch Sandals
Why have too much time on your hands when you can have it on your feet? Christian Cowan and Giuseppe Zanotti’s watch-sandal heel received Cardi B’s stamp of approval, so much so that the rap megastar wore a pair to debut her single “Money” in October and again for her music video. In fact, it’s about all she wore, and her risqué image sent the internet into a frenzy and likely solidified the impending success of the spring ’19 style (which is set to release in February 2019).
Dsqaured2’s Double-Stacked Sneakers
Is the return of the sneaker wedge looming over the industry? If Dsquared2 has anything to do with it, the answer is yes, and yet again, Cardi B is one celebrity who might make it happen. The five-time Grammy nominee shared a photo on Instagram this week of herself wearing a unique pair of sneakers from the Italian brand’s spring ’19 collection. Dubbed the Giant Heeled Ankle Boot, the hybrid style’s unique stacked design provides the appearance of wearing two sneakers at once.
Tod’s x Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s Sock-Loafer Shoe
Italian luxury shoemaker Tod’s released its capsule collection with Alessandro Dell’Acqua last month, the first under the company’s new collaborative project series, Tod’s Factory. Dell’Acqua, founder of high-fashion label No. 21 and creative director of Rochas, infused his contemporary aesthetic into Tod’s assortment, which encompasses both footwear and apparel. One of the most captivating pieces is the duo’s socklike boot — the base transforms into a loafer-style kitten heel, creating the look of three shoes at once.
Tracee Ellis Ross’ “Shandal Boot”
Tracee Ellis Ross dedicated an entire Instagram post to her “shandal boot,” as she so named her sandal-shoe-boot hybrid that she showed off in October. Her “Black-ish” co-star Marcus Scribner responded with the perfect comment. “Why have one when you can have it all?” he said. The thigh-high leather style featured grommet details and was created by Stella Hues, a black designer based in New York. Hues previously spoke to FN about inclusivity, stating: “We are getting a chance to be known on a bigger scale … we are knocking down doors, breaking barriers, making a name and leaving a mark.”
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