The 7 Shoe Trends That Will Define 2021


(Image credit: @honeybelleworld)

Ready for a fresh batch of shoe trends? As we sink our teeth into 2021, it's only natural that we sit down to discuss the upcoming styles that will dominate for the year ahead. And I don't know about you, but shoes are my favorite topic of conversation, something that my vast (and I do mean vast) collection speaks to. So let's dive right in.

Obviously, there are a number of shoes we're not about to see a ton of this year, such as tall heels and the like, but taking their places are new styles such as retro sneakers, flatforms, and, yes, even clogs that prove comfort and style can go hand in hand. Over the next 12 months, prepare to see a lot more of the following seven shoe trends. You'd even be wise to start shopping for your next pair now.


Is it 2021 or 1981? Based on the array of throwback sneakers we're seeing right now, it might as well be the latter. With gummy tread soles and neutral suede fabrics, these are set to be the biggest sneaker trend of the year, hands down.


(Image credit: @lisasaysgah@annaaborisovna)

Love them or hate them, you can't deny that clogs are having a moment right now, and, dare I say, they've never looked cooler. From cow print clogs to patent leather, they're completely taking off.


(Image credit: @slipintostyle@awake_mode)

We spotted this trend on the S/S 2021 runways at Acne Studios, Khaite, and plenty of others, which tells me that it's one to watch. With elements like complicated straps and asymmetrical cutouts, no one will be able to take their eyes off of these.


Maybe it's because they add a polished vibe to any outfit, maybe it's because they're practical and easy to wear, or maybe it's because they're a perennial favorite that will never really go out of style. Whichever the reason, loafers, oxfords, and brogues are the dominating flat shoe trend of the moment, and I'm so here for it.


(Image credit: @monikh@venswifestyle)

Who else remembers those platform flip-flops from the early 2000s? These are like the elevated version of those retro sandals with cushy soles and extra-wide straps. 


Lug soles are the name of the game with boots right now and these knee-high versions feel completely fresh. The magic also lies in how fashion girls have been styling them, aka with leather jackets and leggings or skinny jeans tucked in. 


Last but not least, cozy slippers. These house shoes are what kept us the most comfortable last year and they're about to serve their purpose all the way through 2021 as well with luxurious updates like faux fur and pretty pastel tones.

Next: I'm Not a Dress Person, But These 5 New Trends Are Calling My Name

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.