We're Retiring These 5 Shoe Trends (and Trying These in 2021)


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

With 2021 just around the corner, our attention continues to focus on all of the fresh trends we're interested in trying next year. Today, we're here to zero-in on the specific shoe silhouettes that could have the potential to be front-runners in our 2021 wardrobes. On that note, there are also footwear styles we may retire next year to make room for the new silhouettes. So we're also highlighting that below as well. Of course, all of this is based on our own personal preferences, and you should absolutely always wear whatever you love—no matter what anyone says.

With all that in mind, keep scrolling to check out the shoe trends we will and won't wear in 2021. As a preview, there are a lot of comfortable footwear picks coming your way. Oh, and you'll also find inspired shopping picks sprinkled throughout as well.


"The shoe trend I won't wear in 2021 is lace up combat style boots. They've never been something I gravitated towards, and there are so many good shoe trends I'm more jazzed to try: wellington boots, riding boots, and clogs in particular. Beatrice Valenzuela's hit the perfect balance of classic and luxurious."

Shop clogs, wellie, and riding boots:


"I'm definitely not getting rid of the heels that are already in my closet, but I am putting any new heel buys on pause for right now. Instead, I'm excited about the house shoe trend that was all over the S/S 21 runways where labels like Rosetta Getty and Balenciaga are rethinking your standard slippers with cool finishes like woven leather and brand logos. The cozy shoes are meant to be worn at home, but also everywhere else."

Shop house shoes:


"While kitten heel mules used to be my go-to shoe for polished office outfits, I'll be retiring them in 2021 in favor of more forward-looking and, more importantly, comfortable shoes like modern ballet flats with square-toe or ruched details that look just as sophisticated but feel much more relevant for right now."

Shop ballet flats:


"Super-chunky sneakers are a trend I'm kind of over. They had their moment and it's past time to move on to retro sneakers—an easy-to-wear style that I expect to stick around for the foreseeable future."

Shop sneakers:


"I’m definitely retiring super-flat boots that don’t have much of a heel, and I’m preferring thick and chunkier styles that add height and edge to any outfit."

Shop boots:

Next, check out more shoe trends.

Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retailers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.