When it comes to the gravitational pull of an It item, it's hard to resist. In fact, I'm still thinking about the crystal-embellished Prada Cleo bag that took over the internet this past year. I haven't succumbed to the sartorial power of Miuccia Prada yet, but I think that's partly because I take my sweet time when shopping for handbags. But if there's one thing I'm much more willing to invest in, it's shoes. I personally think shoes affect an outfit more than a handbag can, so when I see a new it-shoe on my radar, I'm quick to hit purchase.
Of course, we can't add every pair of cool shoes to our carts (it's important to see what actually works with our wardrobe, instead of what's popular), but if you're looking to splurge on some, the list below is the perfect starting point. Every Who What Wear editor owns at least one of these—two of us even showed up at the office in an identical pair of Adidas Sambas. (Thanks, Bella Hadid!)
In 2016, Miu Miu released a ballet flat with chunky straps and gingham ribbon details that quickly went viral. There have been many reiterations since then, but the 2022 satin version has captured the attention of everyone in fashion.
Yes, the soccer sneakers you might have worn in high school are "cool" now. I'm not surprised, as there's been a surge of throwback sneakers that have resurfaced. You can thank Bella Hadid for this one, though.
While Birkenstock's Boston Clogs are not new to the market, there's been a surge of attention on them this year. Since 2020, people have gravitated more towards comfort and pared-back pieces, and this shoe just so happens to fit the bill. Not to mention collabs with Jil Sander, Staud, and Manolo Blahnik have made the style even more fashion-friendly.
Balenciaga is one of the defining brands of 2022, and the release of the Cagole bag and boots made that even more clear. The styles reinstate the edge factor of the brand and have been hard to find in stock.
Earlier in the year, I could not stop seeing the Khaite Dallas boot, on my feed and IRL. (Retailers were quick to try to mimic the western yet chic silhouette.) While the style cooled down as the weather heated up, I'm ready for them to be the fashion-favorite boot again in the fall. Despite whatever is going on in the trend cycle, they seem like the kind of boots you'll always return back to.
If you're on TikTok, you'll notice that an increasing amount of people are finding the best vintage Manolo mules on secondhand sites right now. (Myself included.) They can elevate the simplest of outfits, even with your favorite T-shirt and jeans.