Put Your Best Foot Forward: W&D’s Guide to Spring’s Standout Shoe Styles


Come the tail-end of winter, we’ve all fallen into a black hole of suffering style for practicality and (as sick of them as we are) repeating the same, salt-stained black booties. But pretty soon, the snow-stomping mornings will come to an end, allowing us to put our best foot forward and have fun with footwear again.

Luckily for us, this season’s shoe styles do not disappoint, bringing forth color and unique shapes, while also reintroducing nostalgic styles from the past. Whether you opt for a see-through or slingback style, we’re ready to give our plain booties a good, long rest until next fall. Read ahead for the trends you can step into as the snow melts and the days become longer.

1. In the Clear/PVC

Hate it or love it, the clear shoe style is here to stay for spring, so why not join the PVC party. From slip on flats to barely there sneakers to strappy mules, this once-thought-of as “cheap” plastic material has gotten a serious upgrade this season–best in the form of cool shoes. Feeling especially daring? Try a full-blown transparent bootie.

Forever 21 Zipped Clear Stiletto Boots • Forever 21 • $26.99
Maryam Nassir Zadeh Black Martina Clear Slide Sandals • Maryam Nassir Zadeh • $440
Barneys New York Women’s Leather & PVC Ankle-Strap Sandals • Barneys New York • $295
KENDALL + KYLIE Leila 2 Women’s Shoes • KENDALL + KYLIE • $130


2. Sling-back

What goes around comes around, and we know that to ring especially true when it comes to fashion. Slingback styles have resurrected from the late 90s/early 00s dead and are now making a full-on comeback. 

French Sole FS/NY Women’s Kilted Sling Back Pumps • French Sole • $135
Steve Madden Envi Slingback Flat Women’s Sling Back Shoes • Steve Madden • $79.95
Humanoid sling-back closed sandals • Humanoid • $215
Tabitha Simmons Exclusive to mytheresa.com – Ines velvet sling-back pumps • Tabitha Simmons • $294


3. Westworld

Saddle up, partner! Channel your inner cowgirl and introduce a Western-inspired bootie to your spring wardrobe. You don’t have to go full-blown Dolly as street style stars are proving that, if styled properly, this style can remain modern and urban. Double dip in the spring trends and opt for a cool, lavender color–this is spring’s hottest hue.

Topshop Arizona Western Boot • Topshop • $160
Jeffrey Campbell Cromwell Cutout Western Boot • Jeffrey Campbell • $175–195
Jeffrey Campbell Overkill Western Boot • Jeffrey Campbell • $219.95
Frye ‘Billy’ Western Boot • Frye • $297.95


4. Sculptural Heels

In juxtaposition with the easygoing, comfort-first sneaker, architectural and geometric-inspired shoes are also catching our eyes. From interesting heels to squared-shaped toes, designers are proving this trend to be less like your grandmother’s kitten heel, and more like wearable art.

Alexander Wang Suede Mules • Alexander Wang • $225
Pedder Red ‘Adela’ sculptural heel cross strap leather mule sandals • $185
Imagine Vince Camuto Leven – Sculptural-heel Sandal • $129
Nimble square toe mules • $100


5. Throwback Sneakers

Sneakers seen in earlier decades are back in a major way. From chunky-heeled, parted-sole dad sneakers, to Sketchers-inspired, to Avril Lavigne-loving Vans (you know you pretended to be sk8r girl… don’t lie), we are definitely in a moment where quintessential footwear styles from our childhood years are reigning supreme.

New Balance Women’s 574 Classic Suede & Mesh Sneakers • New Balance • $80
Vans Off-White Taka Hayashi Edition Sk8-Hi 75 Sneakers • Vans • $170
Vans Og Old Skool Lx Leather-Trimmed Canvas And Suede Sneakers • Vans • $70
Topshop Ciara chunky sneakers • Topshop • $65


6. Classic Embellishments

Bring on the bows and buckles! Classically feminine touches are making their way to the shoe scene, topping off flats, mules and heels this season. Tend to air on the side of tomboy? Keep it modern and pair yours with a pair of cropped denim.

VINCE CAMUTO Women’s Carrelen Suede Bow Block Heel Sandals – 100% Exclusive • Vince Camuto • $110
Saks Fifth Avenue Women’s Bow Block Heel • Saks Fifth Avenue • $69.99
A New Day Women’s Hyleta Knotted Bow Heeled Mules – A New Day Lavender • $29.99
Dorothy Perkins Nude ‘Shelly’ Bow Heeled Sandals • Dorothy Perkins • $49

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Madeline Nachbar is the Trend & Style Editor at Mpls/St. Paul Magazine and freelance lifestyle writer. On the weekends, she enjoys sprucing up her Spotify & seeing her favorite bands in-concert, traveling,  or hanging in her NE Minneapolis hood with the three men in her life: her husband (Eric) and her two cats (Harry and Lloyd–who shamelessly frequent her Instagram stories). 

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