The Top 10 Shoe Trends of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, retailers and consumers alike are taking stock of what have been the buzziest shoes of the year. While the dad sneaker undoubtedly enjoyed its rule throughout the entirety of 2018, with Balenciaga’s Triple S helping the brand to become Kering’s fastestgrowing brand — and the year’s hottest shoe, according to a just-released ranking report from retail tracking platform Lyst.

But it wasn’t the only trend making waves in 2018. Scroll through for the top 10 shoe trends of the past year — and where you can still buy them before 2019.

The Dad Shoe

Balenciaga’s Triple S may have debuted in 2017, but there was no stopping it in 2018. The brand debuted a follow-up, the Trek, for fall ‘18, but it was the original that dominated street style — and became the biggest love-hate trend of the year.

Balenciaga’s Track sneaker, a continuation of the dad shoe trend that the brand started with its Triple S sneaker.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker.
CREDIT: MyTheresa

Cakestand Heels

Curved heels with an exaggerated pedestal shape were a signature style for luxury newcomer Sies Marjan, but they also made an appearance at Miu Miu and in Amina Muaddi’s new line.

A cakestand heel from Sies Marjan’s spring ’19 runway show in September.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Sies Marjan laceup bootie.
CREDIT: Courtesy of FWRD

Hiker Sneakers

Hot on the heels of the dad sneaker trend was a modified runway hiker, which mixed outdoor footwear elements with more fashion-forward details, like Gucci’s Flashtrek sneaker with a removable crystal harness.

Gucci’s Flashtrek sneaker, a hybrid hiking-style shoe with a removable crystal harness, from the brand’s fall ’18 collection.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Gucci’s Flashtrek.
CREDIT: Shutterstock


Chanel’s clear rainboots kicked off a PVC craze that has come to include all types of shoes, from the pragmatic to the not-so-practical, as shown on Balmain’s fall ‘18 runway.

Balmain’s PVC booties from fall ’18.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Christian Louboutin’s Nosy PVC-accented pump.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nordstrom

White Boots

The 2017 trend was one of the biggest carryover colors of 2018, and many retailers continued to stock white boots and pumps as a staple shoe instead of boring black. Here, Givenchy’s bootie from fall ‘18 added light to a film noir runway.

Givenchy’s all-white bootie from fall ’18, a carryover trend from 2017.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Halogen’s white boot.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Western Styles

The biggest boot trend of the year came in a modified Western style that dominated the fall ‘18 runways at brands like Tibi, Coach and Fendi, the latter of which did it in colorful embossed croc with a carved wooden heel.

Fendi’s Western-inspired embossed boot.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Tibi’s Jagger boot with a Western silhouette and cut-out motif.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Shopbop

Comfort Slides

Last year, it was Crocs; this year, Birkenstocks. And Teva is betting on spring ‘19. Comfort brands continued to infiltrate the runways, and Birkenstock saw the most buzz, with its ongoing Rick Owens collaboration and a runway extravaganza at Pitti Uomo in January.

A fuzzy Arizona sandal from the Birkenstock and Rick Owens ongoing collaboration.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Birkenstock’s Arizona shearling sandal.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Birkenstock

Sculptural Heels

2018 was the year that many designers paid more attention to the heel than the toe, with sculptural geometric shapes at Jacquemus, Cult Gaia, Gray Matters and more.

Sculptural heels from Jacquemus fall ’18 — a signature of the designer’s footwear.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Jacquemus suede pumps with a wooden heel.
CREDIT: Courtesy of MyTheresa

Decorative Mules

Easy on, easy off. The silhouette has the ease of a slipper, but adding feathers or bejeweled toes (like Giannico’s for fall ‘18) made for a luxe look that was a signature for the year.

Giannico’s embellished mule from fall ’18.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Sam Edelman’s embellished Dorcy mule.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Crystal Embellishments

Crystal and pearl embellishments gave plenty of sparkle to heels and flats alike. Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio even collaborated with five fine jewelry designers for a Net-a-Porter capsule.

Aquazzura’s So Noor crystal-embellished boot, a collaboration between the brand and jewelry designer Noor Fares, part of jewelry-inspired capsule from Net-a-Porter.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Aquazzura’s bejeweled So Sabine mule, a collaboration with jewelry designer Sabine Getty and part of a the brand’s capsule with Net-a-Porter.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.

Click through for a closer look at the top 10 shoe trends of 2018.

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