These 6 Autumn Shoe Trends Tell Me You're a Fashion Person

In the dating game, it has long been believed that shoes and belts are a dead giveaway for not only true style prowess but wider personality traits too. Scuffed leather toes = you don't care enough about yourself? I’m not totally sure if the theory is to be taken as gospel (as between you and me, my husband had terrible shoes when we first met and things have managed to tick along just fine for 15 years!) but it is true that shoes can make or break a look. That’s why, even as a very considered shopper, I can justify the need for what some people might call an excessive amount in my wardrobe—those trusty Tevas won’t work for a wedding and those office heels aren’t right for a brunch date, black won’t go with everything, and so on and so forth. 


(Image credit: @fiahamelijnck)

Footwear choices can also be an indicator that you are an arbiter of good taste, a beacon for what’s to come and therefore, something of a trend-setter. Where more divisive clothing trends can feel too challenging for the majority of us, many fashion people can get on board with a directional pair of shoes and they are often the first trend signals to surface ahead of a new season. Before the autumnal outfits and clothes come, the flats, heels and boots are debuted. Just like clockwork, despite the warm weather, we can already see this shift happening among the influencer set, on the streets and in our office. Sandals are being swapped out for closed-toe options, boots are being purchased (mostly cowboy) and outfits are being planned around box-fresh sneakers or clogs, if you’re that way inclined. Some shoe and boot trends act like a quick-scan indicator of insider status and below are the shoe trends that I would instantly assign to a fashion-savvy person if I saw them IRL right now.

Keep scrolling for the autumn shoe trends that tell me you know what’s up.



(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

I don't make the rules, I'm just here to report on them! Cowboy boots can be the most Marmite of boot trends but there's absolutely no denying that they're everywhere right and looking better than ever. The difference? They've transcended their noughties boho aesthetic and been shifted into cooler, more minimalistic territory.


(Image credit: @sofiamcoelho)

Many girls are leaning into the Y2K aesthetic, pairing their cowboy boots with denim minis.



(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

Kitten heels have been the real comeback queen in a post-pandemic world. While platforms and sky-high stilettos are at play, it's these lower options that have really taken ahold of people.


(Image credit: @sandrahagelstam)

Add slingbacks to your kitten heel and you're about as 2022 as can be.



(Image credit: @anouckyve)

Thanks to the summer's Birkenstock Boston Clog craze, you'll be seeing a lot more of these shove-on-and-go flats.


(Image credit: @ileniatoma_)

For the most luxe version, head to Hermès.



(Image credit: @lisafolawiyo)

Chunky platforms are the party shoe of choice these days, and even better if they're in candy colours or covered in designer logos.


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Chanel's monochrome monogrammed-stamped heels have been a particularly popular choice on social media.



(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Heavy-soled loafers are still going strong, so if you bought a pair last autumn, well done you.


(Image credit: @cocobassey)

I like the idea of a buckle-fronted pair in brown leather as they feel super-retro and a little different from the main strand of this shoe trend.



(Image credit: @_magda__)

Many of you will not feel prepared for this kind of noughties-style pointed knee-high boot to make return, but within Gen Z circles, it's happening.


(Image credit: @couturekulten)

The more "ugly" the better—so think of off-beat colours, faux animal print finishes and embellishment.



(Image credit: @spicy.mayo)

I'm not talking about any sort of ballerina pumps here. There are specifics to the style that feel most current now: They need to ideally be more square of toe than round or almond. Preferably with a Mary Jane strap across the front and rendered in either the softest leather or a supple fabric such as satin.


(Image credit: @laurenegg)

Between Miu Miu's Insta-famous styles and the under-the-radar luxury of The Row's elastic-leather flats, the simple slip-on pump is going to be everywhere for AW.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.