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  • Writer's pictureSwati Bhat

SS23 Women's footwear trends

Trendstop brings FashionUnited readers an insight into the key emerging runway trends informing footwear design for the Spring/Summer 2023 season.

Swati Bhat

Hermès SS23 footwear. Image: Trendstop

Footwear follows apparel, tapping into the key seasonal influences in highly creative and unexpected ways. Metaverse inspirations bring digital aesthetics into the physical realm, whilst DIY and crafted elements offer the human touch of handcrafting. Comfort is key for consumers, fulfilled by shoe designs featuring wide proportions, rounded profiles, and soft materials.

Digital design IRL

As with apparel, the virtual world influences physical footwear design. Playful styles with exaggerated, pumped-up proportions are ultra-creative and unexpected in their rendering. Moulded-look constructions and bulbous, rounded sole units inspired by the metaverse appear as though ready to be worn by an avatar. Soft gathered sock effect-booties and glittering crystal studs add to the other-worldly feel.

Rounded bumper sole

Exaggerated forms are recreated in more commercially realisable styles based on consumer desire for comfort. Wide-fit bumper styles with chunky, moulded wedges or flatform soles have greater wearability than high heels, are gently rounded and come with integrated footbeds for maximum comfort. Buttery padded leathers, semi-translucent rubbers, and mattified finishes give an elevated sense of protection and softness.

Upcycled footwear

The trend for upcycled constructions translates to footwear with designs crafted from pre-existing recycled pieces, deadstock of waste components and found objects or materials. Midsoles are mixed and matched into sandwich layers, lace trims and duct tape become straps, and Velcro and laces from different designs are used to create new fastening techniques. Hand drawn graphics applied to soles add to the creatively crafted DIY aesthetic.


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