Protecting comfortable features in footwear remains a key component for SS23. While the season is all about adding a celebratory note to the wardrobe, along the lines of „revenge dressing“, consumers continue to seek for comfortable qualities within their products. These two opposing forces – functional form and fancy dress – are seeking to be balanced by designers now. Looking at the new must have shoes, Y2K-inspired flatforms and experimental wedges are crucial pieces. They capture a rather bold and experimental look, while remaining easy to wear and comfortable. Kitten heels with sling-back details, as well as nostalgic Mary Janes, are two other staples that are ready for offices and parties, yet comfortable in wear over a longer period of time. The big trends of previous summers, mules and heeled sandals, remain important but begin to give way to more exciting novelty products.
More fashion-savvy consumers will seek for doomed-ugly but functionality-driven clogs and slides. Those styles adapt to the recovery and wellness needs of clients and offer potential for fun and experimentation. Talking about maximum comfort, the ballet flat is making a return. This season, the style is updated with fashionable square toes and scrunched-up detailing. The familiar shoe is going for amore contemporary look now. Next, chunkier city sandals are adding a genderless and futuristic feel and are appropriate for consumers, who have started to dwell into the outdoors over the pandemic. Finding a novel passion within nature and exploration, this piece is filling a consumer need and is ready for returning summer vacations. However practical, those styles are easily dressed-up with embellishments and metal elements for a more hybrid dressy look. Another versatile staple are dressy sneakers, which incorporate multi-occasion appeal and translate easily into the dynamic consumer lifestyles of the moment. To note, footwear styles with the highest number of units sold in 2021 were wedge heels, rubber heels, thick or block soles and kitten heels and manifest the consumers ongoing comfort craze.