From Dad Shoes to White Kicks, a Look at the Top Shoe Trends of the 2010s

Trends are ever-evolving.

The shoe styles that were most common at the beginning of this decade have already died down in popularity — and some of them might even cause you to cringe. Of course, some of today’s most popular shoe styles have their roots in fads of years’ past — take the retro runner — so it stands to reason that some of these just might make a comeback one day.

Below, take a look at some of the decade’s most defining trends.

“Dad” Shoes

Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker kicked off the “dad” shoe trend in 2017, and it’s been a defining style for the past few seasons. FN’s 2018 Shoe of the Year was the Fila Disruptor 2, an affordable (under $100) take on the look. While it’s uncertain whether the look will stand the test of time, there’s no doubting that it’s still going strong.

Balenciaga Triple S sneakers, milan men's fashion week street style
Balenciaga Triple S sneakers.
CREDIT: Jason Jean

Wedge Sneakers

Circa 2012, it seemed as though everybody owned a pair of wedge sneakers. Isabel Marant’s version was perhaps the most popular, but other designers and fast-fashion brands came out with their own renditions as well. Some say the style could make a return to the forefront soon, replacing the “dad” shoe.

Gwen Stefani Sneakers
Gwen Stefani in bright orange Puma wedge sneakers in February 2016.
CREDIT: Splash News

White Sneakers

Classic, white sneakers have always been a go-to, but they really soared this decade. Adidas’ Stan Smith and Superstar silhouettes revived in popularity among a millennial and Gen-Z set, leading a major boom for Adidas. Given that white shoes go with just about everything, the trend seems likely to have some sticking power.

New York Fashion Week Men's Street Style
(L-R): Fenty Puma Creepers, Adidas Superstars and Adidas Stan Smith sneakers at Men’s NYFW in February 2016.
CREDIT: Donald Stahl

Platform Pumps

While red carpet go-tos today include strappy sandals and pointed pumps, platform heels were a must-have at the beginning of the decade. Paired with a form-fitting Hervé Léger bandage dress, platform pumps were seemingly worn by every “It” girl, from Blake Lively to Kim Kardashian.

jennifer lopez, herve leger bandage dress, celebrity style, 2010
Jennifer Lopez models a Hervé Léger dress with platform pumps.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Logomania Shoes

Whether coming on a sneaker, a boot or sandal, logomania was a defining trend of the decade. Logomania appeared mid-decade on apparel and accessories of all kinds, with somewhat of a ’90s nostalgia flair combined with a very ’10s streetwear aesthetic. Fendi, Gucci and other high-end shoe brands made use of their well-known monograms with footwear.

Fendi logo boots, milan fashion week, street style
Fendi thigh-high boots.
CREDIT: Jason Jean

Gladiator Sandals

While the neoclassical sandal never really goes out of style, it saw more popularity this decade than in the last few. Bold knee-high and thigh-high versions of the shoes gained in popularity, both on the runway and in real life. And like clockwork, the shoes get plucked out of closets when temperatures rise each summer.

Rihanna Manolo Blahnik So Stoned Shoes
Rihanna in 2016 wearing gladiator sandals from her #SOSTONED Manolo Blahnik collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Pointy-Toed Pumps

In the aughts, the standard pump had a rounded toe and a mid-heel. That went out the window this decade, replaced by sleek pointy-toed pumps. Appearing on the red carpet and in the workplace, shoes like Manolo Blahnik’s BB and Christian Louboutin’s So Kate became well-known adherents to this ongoing trend.

kaia gerber tom ford spring 2019
Kaia Gerber walking Tom Ford spring ’19 in mauve pointy-toed pumps.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Suede Ankle Boots

Suede ankle boots are not new this decade, but they’ve certainly been a staple for the past few years, popping up in various iterations for both fall and spring. While certain colorways and silhouettes seem to never go out of style — take a black suede bootie with a pointed silhouette and stiletto heel — fresh takes have also come about. For instance, Western booties were everywhere for fall ’18, many of them made of suede.

Khloe Kardashian Christian Louboutin Shoes
Khloé Kardashian steps out in Christian Louboutin black suede ankle boots in 2016.
CREDIT: Splash News

Cut-Out Heels

This style is meant to show off the foot, with sensual patterns throughout the vamp drawing the viewer’s eye downward. Oftentimes, cut-outs are used to turn boots or close-toed pumps into transitional footwear. Cut-outs have taken different forms over the years, from foot-flattering PVC detailing to trendy laser cuts.

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2015
Brian Atwood cut-out booties for the Victoria’s Secret Runway Show 2015.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Wedge Sandals

Wedge sandals were big in the ’90s and early ’00s, and then they disappeared for a while. But the summery shoes are in for spring ’19 — meaning you’re about to see them everywhere again. New silhouettes are sleeker than those that were popular last millennium, while providing the same walkability stilettos lack.

reese witherspoon, prada, draper james, wedges
Reese Witherspoon out and about in L.A. in summer 2018 wearing Prada sandals.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Below, watch dads sound off on the “dad” shoe trend.

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