Shoes Are My Specialist Subject—11 Pairs That Are Key This Season

We talk a lot about the importance of investing in classic pieces; items that will stand the test of time and that you'll wear for years to come, but that doesn't mean we don't like to flirt with new-season trends when fresh looks roll around. By now, I'm sure you're already familiar with the overarching autumn/winter 2023 fashion trends, which I've documented by way of our bumper report. Now, if I may, I'd like to turn your attention to one particular item: Shoes. 


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

If you ask me, there's no easier way to dip your toe into a trend than with a pair of shoes (I promise that pun was a happy accident). After all, what else can completely change the tone of your outfit quite like well-chosen footwear? Therein lies their appeal. Jeans can be made fancier, cocktail dresses scaled back, summer wares made winter-worthy, and vice versa. As such, it not only makes sense to stay ahead of the shoe trends for 2023, but if you're the fashion enthusiast I expect you are, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of reading about them, too. 

So, without further ado, scroll on to see the 11 shoe trends for 2023 that are destined to take over at certain points throughout the year. How do I know this? From the runways, of course!

1. Pointed Perspective


(Image credit: Courtesy of Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Christopher Kane/ImaxTree, Bottega Veneta)

Style Notes: Square-toes have reigned over the past few seasons and collections but, for 2023, designers have sharpened their toes and are experimenting with '80s-style winklepicker silhouettes. 

2. Join the Barre 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Deveaux, Tod's/Getty Images, Simone Rocha)

Style Notes: Thanks to Miu Miu and The Row, ballet flats have been one of the biggest shoe trends of 2023. If you've already invested, you'll be pleased to hear they're sticking around for autumn/winter, too, by way of satin and velvet fabrications. 

3. Crystal Heeling


(Image credit: Courtesy of AZ Factory/ImaxTree, Jil Sander/ImaxTree, Chanel/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: Sparkly bags have been very much a thing this season, and the twinkling trend is being carried into winter 2023 in shoe-form. From slingback block heels to the boldest of boots, footwear with rhinestones and crystals was a running theme on the hottest runways. 

4. The Toe Show


(Image credit: Courtesy of ACNE Studios, Dries Van Noten/ImaxTree, Made in Armenia/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: If you've been holding off on getting a pedicure, this shoe trend might convince you to revisit the salon. Peep-toes appeared in unusual ways all over the designer spectrum—everyone from ACNE Studios to Victoria Beckham put models' toes on show. 

5. Upon Reflection


(Image credit: Courtesy of Tom Ford/ImaxTree, Chloé/ImaxTree, Bottega Veneta)

Style Notes: Shades of gold and silver are commonplace in the winter months when party season is in full swing. For 2023, the party continues with an array of high-shine shoes in light-catching metallics in sweetie-wrapper hues. 

6. Vinyl Player


(Image credit: Courtesy of Valentino, Huishan Zhang, Coach/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: Pedis at the ready, people—see-through vinyl was the finish of note on the runways of Valentino, Huishan Zhang, Coach and more. 

7. Modern Marys


(Image credit: Courtesy of Prada, Versace/ImaxTree, Dries Van Noten/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: Mary Jane heels might be one of the biggest trends of 2023, but you can rest assured they're staying put for winter, too. Chunkier than past iterations of the classic style, with details including statement buckles and platform soles, make no mistake—Mary's feel more current than ever. 

8. Portion of Wedges


(Image credit: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta, Ports 1961/ImaxTree, Masha Popova/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: Perhaps one of the most divisive shoe trends out there, you either love wedges or hate wedges; there's no middle ground. Another certainty? Bottega Veneta, Ports 1961 and Masha Popova are all in the former camp. Surprisingly easy to walk in, I'm willing to be wedge shoes will be all over occasion season. 

9. New Heights


(Image credit: Courtesy of AMI, David Koma, Sportmax/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: Boots might not be the first thing you associate with the spring/summer runways, but they were very much a thing in the 2023 collections, and were usually found styled with micro hemlines. 

10. The Right Ties


(Image credit: Courtesy of Givenchy, Ferragamo/ImaxTree, Jason Wu)

Style Notes: From knee-high boots at Givenchy to Ghillie-inspired stilettos at Jason Wu, shoes have been given their own unique form of corsetry with lace-up fronts for spring. Sexy but directional, this is the sort of shoe I imagine pairing with transparent dresses or an on-trend knee skirt. 

11. Bumper Bikers


(Image credit: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton, Sacai/ImaxTree, Jil Sander/ImaxTree)

Style Notes: Last year's slew of stomping boots are shy in comparison to those made for 2023. Soles are bigger, buckles are more cumbersome, and the attitude is off-the-scale. The market is still to catch up. but these clompers are excellent options for now. 

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Next Up, Autumn/Winter 2023 Fashion Trends: The Expert-Approved Looks You Need to See

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’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.