SS23 Women’s Shoe Trends

Trendstop gives FashionUnited readers an inside look at the key new runway trends informing footwear design for the Spring/Summer 2023 season.

Footwear follows clothing, exploiting key seasonal influences in highly creative and unexpected ways. Metaverse inspirations bring digital aesthetics into the physical realm, while DIY and crafted elements add the human touch of craftsmanship. Comfort is key for consumers, fulfilled by shoe designs with wide proportions, rounded profiles and soft materials.

Digital design IRL

As with clothing, the virtual world influences physical footwear design. Playful styles with exaggerated, inflated proportions are ultra-creative and unexpected in rendering. Molded-look constructions and bulging, rounded sole units inspired by the metaverse look like they’re ready to be worn by an avatar. Soft, puckered sock-effect boots and sparkling crystal studs add to the otherworldly feel.

Rounded bumper sole

Exaggerated shapes are recreated in more commercially viable styles based on consumers’ desire for comfort. Wide fit bumper styles with thick, molded wedges or flat soles have greater durability than high heels, are gently rounded and come with integrated footbeds for maximum comfort. Buttery cushioned leather, semi-transparent rubber and matte surfaces provide a heightened sense of protection and softness.

Upcycled footwear

The trend for recycled construction translates into footwear with designs made from pre-existing recycled parts, dead stock of waste components and found objects or materials. Midsoles are mixed and matched into sandwich layers, laces and duct tape become straps, and Velcro and laces from different designs are used to create new fastening techniques. Hand-drawn graphics on the soles add to the creatively designed DIY aesthetic.

Exclusive offer:

FashionUnited readers can access Trendstop’s Spring Summer 2021 Key Formal & Casual Footwear Directions report for free. Just click here to receive your free report. is one of the world’s leading trend forecasting agencies for fashion and creative professionals, known for its insightful trend analysis and forecasting. Clients include H&M, Primark, Forever 21, Zalando, Geox, Evisu, Hugo Boss, L’Oreal and MTV.

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