I'm in a Committed Relationship With Flat Shoes—6 Trends I'm Eyeing for Summer

Hands up if you're ready for summer? Both of mine would be in the air right now if it weren't for the fact I have to type this. After what feels like a long, especially cold winter, I have my sights firmly set on the new season and, my, I can't wait to start refreshing my wardrobe for the spring. While coats aren't quite off the agenda and there is still a need for boots, I am adamant—I will be wearing "normal" shoes this month.

Sure, they may require a sock on chilly days but the first change I action when I begin making my seasonal style switch always pertains to footwear. Though I may need to call upon them again for the next while, the last thing I'll entertain buying is boots: Instead, I've set my sights on some new flat shoes. It might sound like a silly claim but flat shoes are everywhere right now. Of course, they've always been a market staple—loafers have remained a stylish shoe go-to since Gucci put them back on the map in the early 2010s. But now, flat shoes have taken over from heels as the shoe du jour, and there are more designs than ever to choose from.

Last year, the ballet flat reigned supreme, but what's in store for 2024? Well, if you already invested in a pair, you'll be pleased to hear that ballet flats are sticking around as we head into spring (if you really want to look current, I've woven the freshest pair into my edit). However, alongside them, there are five more flat shoe trends taking off in 2024. Scroll on to see them.



(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

Style Notes: Let's start things off on an elegant note, shall we? Slingback kitten heels were all the rage last wear but, for 2024, things are taking a more practical turn, as more and more brands are serving up flat slingbacks. More often than not with a pointed toe, these feel intrinsically '90s, in the best possible way.

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(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

Style Notes: Another 2023 trend that was put on ice for winter, we're set to see the return of mesh flats as temperatures rise. Shopping options were limited last year but the market is already flooded with chic mesh flats for every budget.

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: Continuing the homage '90s footwear we're seeing this season, buckles are also on the rise for 2024. Seen on flats by way of statement claps as well as micro fastenings, so long as your shoes have a buckle of some sort, rest assured they're bang on trend.

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(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

Style Notes: Alaïa brought social media to its knees when it released its studded flats a few months ago, sparking a need for studs and embellishment on footwear. From mary janes to ballet shoes, you'll see this treatment across the shoe spectrum this spring. Below are just some of the highlights.

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(Image credit: @ingridedvinsen)

Style Notes: I said ballet flats are still in, and I meant it. Whatever pair you already own will absolutely do the trick. However, if you are in the market for a fresh set, why not consider one of the minimal styles on offer? Sans bows, these ballet flats give the trend a cool, refined take.

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(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: Horsebit loafers will always be a flat-shoe mainstay but, like their ballet flat cousins, we're seeing a rise in unadorned loafers in 2024, otherwise known as the penny loafer. Simple and classic, these loafers will go with everything you pair them with, from straight-leg jeans to floaty skirts.

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Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.