Shoe Trends That Will Rule the Runways This Fashion Month, According to Top Buyers

We know 2019 was all about animal prints, ’90s nostalgia and a departure of the dad shoe. But what will be the most popular shoe styles heading into the fall ’20 season? Sneakers, square toes?

With New York Fashion Week set to kick off in a few days, FN rounded up some of the highly anticipated trends to look out for on the runways this month, according to the industry’s top buyers.

Plus, be sure to keep an eye out for hot brands, such as Bottega Veneta, Amina Muaddi, Prada and Nodaleto, which tend to lead the charge when it comes to the next best trends.

Thigh-High Boots

“[Thigh-high boots] will be back in a big way,” said Mytheresa fashion buying director, Tiffany Hsu. “I am also hoping for some surprises. Maybe a more ’90s look with elongated toes.” Hsu said that she will be wearing her own personal thigh-high boots by Jacquemus and Bottega Veneta this fashion month. For Erica Russo, VP and fashion director of accessories and beauty at Bloomingdale’s, she predicts the high-shaft boot will gain popularity in animal prints or rich colors, such as burgundy, shades of blue and cognac.

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A model at Gucci spring ’20 in a patent leather and lace sheer slip dress along with thigh-high boots that read as chaps.

To buy: Asos Design Kendra Thigh High Boots, $80. 


CREDIT: Farfetch


To buy: Amina Muaddi Olivia boots, $1,261


To buy: Steve Madden Domain Thigh High Boots, $120.


The fall ’20 season won’t be about the sky-high stiletto yet again. “It feels like the right time to celebrate a comfortable shoe that’s not a sneaker,” said Russo. Shopbop fashion director Caroline Maquire added: “I expect to see a return of the loafer and brogue. I absolutely love this trend and am excited to see how designers interpret them in a more feminine, soft style, introducing new colorways, patterns and detailing.”

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Prada’s loafer for spring ’20.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

To buy: Mango Leather Heel Loafers, $60 (was $120).

CREDIT: Charles & Keith

To buy: Charles & Keith Chain Link Loafer Mules, $49

CREDIT: Nordstrom

To buy: Rebecca Minkoff Pacey Penny Loafer, $168. 

Lug Soles

“Lug sole boots, particularly combat boots, will be very important for the season,” explained Will Cooper, SVP-GMM of women’s shoes, handbag and accessories at Saks Fifth Avenue. “We are excited to see updated versions in novelty fabrications with contrast lace and shearling details.” Meanwhile, Russo said not to count out a resurgence of a platform boot. Chunky soles in a combat or mid-shaft boot, made popular by Prada and Bottega, will still be a favorite.

Prada’s fall ’19 combat boot with oversize lug soles and wraparound zippered pouches attached to the calf.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
CREDIT: Zappos

To buy: Steve Madden Rino Lug Sole Boot, $146 (was $162).

CREDIT: Zappos

To buy: Dr. Martens Jadon Quad Retro, $180

CREDIT: Nordstrom

To buy: Andre Assous Peggy Chelsea Boot, $198


The naked sandal trend won’t go away in 2020. According to Cooper, shoe silhouettes that are clean and streamlined will remain in favor through fall ’20. He added, “The trend of monochromatic dressing requires a tonal shoe to complete the look, and the trend of square toe shapes we saw in spring will continue, but [we will see] it softened and narrowed. Bottega Veneta and The Row continue to show sleek and modern styles that tie back to a minimalist aesthetic seen in the ready-to-wear markets.”

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A London Fashion Week Men’s street style look with strappy sandals.
CREDIT: Saira MacLeod/Shutterstock
CREDIT: & Other Stories

To buy: Square Toe Leather Heeled Sandal, $129

CREDIT: Shopbop

To buy: Carlotha Ray Square Toe Flip Flops, $115

CREDIT: Shopbop

To buy: Jeffrey Campbell Mural 2, $135

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.

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