Women want comfort and style in their shoes, and the latest sneakers and slides have both.
This summer, sky-high stilettos have given way to glorified shower shoes and gussied-up slip-on sneaks. Humble footwear has gone haute and can be utterly glamorous, funky and even furry, with costs ranging from moderate to off-the-charts pricey.
“We’ve seen a complete transition in shoes,” says Amanda Astor, vice president of The Shoe Box chain. “A huge portion of our business is the slip-on and slide trend, to the point we’ve completely changed our buying strategy. It’s night and day compared to a year ago. Our clients want to be trendy, relay a message of power, but still be comfortable and practical.”
Comfort is queen, says Good Housekeeping magazine style director Lori Bergamotto. “There is this movement through all of fashion as comfort being chic,” she says.
Bergamotto views the trend as an evolution of those “ugly pool slides from college. The genius fashion operatives had an epiphany and started blinging them out with fur, pompoms, embroideries, jewels, embellishment,” she says.
As for the slip-ons, she says, “If there was ever a shoe to not look like you’re trying too hard, this is it. A stuffy heel reads forced these days, as opposed to the cool balance of a flat.”
At Bloomingdale’s, Erica Russo, fashion director for accessories and beauty, says the look is ubiquitous.
“From the runways of Fashion Week to celebrity street style, sneakers and pool slides have become must-have items that are totally acceptable as everyday wear,” she says.
And the store’s customers are delighted by the extravagant adornment. “Fur has been a big hit,” Russo says. “For the Bloomingdale’s girl, more is more.”