Yep, Cloud Shoes Are Just As Heavenly As They Sound

The very idea of "cloud shoes” sounds heavenly, but they’re even better once you lay eyes on them. Puffy, padded shoes have been on the rise since last year but what was once a micro-trend has now grown into a major trend that is dominating footwear in 2021. It makes sense given the rise in comfortable yet fashion-forward pieces to wear for days booked with Zoom calls.

At the end of last year, we saw the pillow shoe trend take off, spearheaded by the launch of Louis Vuitton’s down-filled puffy ankle boots finished in with quilted nylon of the brand’s iconic monogram logo. Then there are the Yeezy 500 sneakers. While the style isn’t new—in fact, the original release dates backs to 2018—they have a renewed cult following among the fashion set who have been snapping up the pillowy cushioned sneakers. Looking forward, there are plenty of other cloud shoes that are set to become fashion insiders favorites. I’m placing bets on styles like puffed up flips-flops and padded leather slides that are as directional as they are cozy. Ahead, more on the cloud shoe trend.

Flip Flops

Over the past few years, flip flops have regained popularity and seem to get reinvented each season. We've seen them evolve from heeled styles to platform versions, and now, puffy styles.


(Image credit: @giacouturefirenze)

If you're looking for the perfect spring shoe, this is it.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Zara)

I love this take on the trend with puffy straps and a subtle heel.

Shop the trend:


As I mentioned above, Yeezy 500 sneakers have been around for years but have been popping up everywhere on Instagram recently. I'll admit that these are sitting at the top of my shopping list right now.


(Image credit: @rosiehw)

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has these styled to perfection.


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

Just add a pair of tube socks and sweatpants.

Shop the trend:


One of the most eye-catching shoe styles from the S/S 21 collections? Proenza Schouler's puffy Rondo slides that practically resemble actual clouds. The puffy quilted leather shoes are one of the most forward takes on a slipper—a style I can actually imagine dressing up and wearing out of the house.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Proenza Schouler)

To wear with a midriff-baring top and skirt look—one of my favorite micro-trends for spring.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Proenza Schouler)

Or you can opt for a cool, sculptural dress like this one.

Shop the trend:


Padded heels are a personal favorite take on cloud shoes, including the Gia Couture x Pernille Teisbaek sandals I have in my closet. The brand just released a new toe strap style that is bound to be everywhere for spring.


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

Here, I'm wearing my favorite puffy heels. I love that they instantly add an interesting detail to a simple look.


(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

The perfect shoe to wear with jeans.

Shop the trend:


The pillow shoe trend started popping up at the end of last year with the release of Louis Vuitton's anke boots and will no doubt continue to be popular long into 2021.


(Image credit: @discodaydream)

These instantly make a sweatpants outfit look intentional.


(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

These look like a dream to slip into.

Shop the trend:

Next, shop 25 cool fashion finds I’m obsessing over right now.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.