Shoe trends 2022: The must-have styles to shop now

Step into the new season with the best shoe trends 2022, as chosen by our fashion team

shoe trends 2022 on the runway from: Etro, Dior, Valentino
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With winter in full swing, the shoe trends 2022 have seen us switch up our footwear wardrobe for styles that make us feel warm and protected, as well as a touch of sparkle as we enter the holiday season.

Injecting the latest shoe trends 2022 into your wardrobe is a quick-fire way of updating your look. Taking their lead from the key winter 2022 fashion trends, this season's footwear styles are incredibly varied, with the fall winter shoe trends honing in on cold-weather favorites - think the best winter boots and plenty of party-ready styles. 

And while you'll want to invest in a few new season styles to update your look, many of the shoe trends 2022 from earlier in the year are continuing into the winter, meaning you can get added wear out of newer purchases, with everything from statement platform heels to lug sole boots to still line the shelves of your favorite shoe stores. 

"It is clear comfort remains a priority for new season footwear but it’s great to see designers embrace color, embellishment, and statement features as we emerge from lockdown life," says Katie Eastwood, Style Ambassador at Stitch Fix UK. "Trainers will always be integral to our wardrobes but I, like many, will be adding some larger-than-life footwear to my wardrobe this season, ready for a brighter year ahead - quite literally!”

1. Kitten Heels

Chanel and Dior runway shots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A surprisingly tricky trend to try, kitten heels offer a bit of a retro feel to office and party-ready ensembles for the shoe trends 2022. A look that we have seen peeking through since earlier in the year, this look can feel a little dated, particularly thanks to its throw-back '80s connotations. 

To give this look a modern feel, opt for embellished styles, alongside leg-lengthening pointed toes. But it isn't just the shoe itself that pulls you through to the fall of 2022. Think about how you style a kitten heel to make this look more fab and less drab. Swap pencil skirts for ankle-skimming jeans or satin slip dresses and try styling your kitten heels with tights - like Dior and Chanel, to ensure the look feels on-trend. 

2. Party Shoes

loewe and Giambattista Valli catwalk shots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You can't head into the festive season without the best party shoes and luckily the shoe trends 2022 got the memo and delivered. From Loewe's magical oversized bow sandals to glittery footwear at Giambattista Valli, the shoe trends 2022 was a time for footwear to shine, styling up minimalist and maximalist party looks alike. 

While party shoes are certainly in for the end of the year, a great pair of metallic shoes is something you can keep in your winter capsule wardrobe for years to come. Working well with classic little black dresses, or this season's '90s fashion trend winner, the slip dress, grabbing some dancefloor ready shoes is a must-have for everything from family get-togethers to work Christmas party outfits.

3. Colorful Shoes

runway pics from Valentino and Stella McCartney

Valentino / Stella McCartney 

(Image credit: GEtty Images)

While black might seem like the only color the fashion crowd love, when it comes to the shoe trends 2022 it's all about mood-boosting brights. Taking its lead from the fashion color trends 2022, the runways were packed with bright color clothing and this seeped down into footwear too. Coined 'Dopamine dressing', we saw models step out in colorful footwear across the fashion capitals both in the spring and again for fall. 

For inspiration for the season ahead, turn to the likes of Valentino and Stella McCartney, both displayed colorful footwear options, for a joyous finish. 

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4. Lace-Up Boots

2 pairs of lace-up boots

Miu Miu / Dior 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As we hit the height of fall and head towards winter, '90s nostalgia still reigns supreme both in street style influence and on the runway and lace-up boots are definitely having a fashion moment. Spotted at the likes of Valentino and Louis Vuitton, the lace-up boot is the most directional way to re-spin floral midi dresses, adding an androgynous finish to the most feminine of looks. 

5. Thigh high boots

runway pictures from Brandon Maxwell & Prabal Gurung

runway pictures from Brandon Maxwell & Prabal Gurung

(Image credit: Getty Images)

From staple just over-the-knee styles to daring thigh-high iterations and wader-inspired boots, this season the thigh really is the limit. Ideal shoes to wear with leggings, or for teaming with the best jumper dresses or an oversized t-shirt, thigh-skimming boots are also perfect for pairing with this season's mini skirt if you're looking to flash a little less leg. 

One of several boot trends 2022, thigh-skimming iterations were the length of choice at the likes of Prabal Gurung and Brandon Maxwell, and have been reinterpreted for the ready-to-wear market with just-over-the-knee designs that are easier to integrate into winter outfit ideas. For the best quality winter boots, opt for leather iterations as these will offer extra longevity.  

6. Platform Heels

composite of two women in platform heels

Giambattista Valli / Valentino

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Take your feet to new heights (literally!) with some sky-high platform heels. Dominating the runways from Sportmax to Ermanno Scervino in the early part of the year and spotted on our favorite fictional fashion icon Carrie Bradshaw, hefty heels played into the desire from shoppers and designers to dress up once more. While this started as an early shoe trend 2022, expect this look to roll on into party season where it will truly shine. If you're still not used to getting your glad rags on, take heed of this shoe quote from Giuseppe Zanotti, “Never underestimate the power of a shoe”, a speedy way of making your look feel fresh and directional. 

"We can definitely see the '90s inspiration coming through, with chunky block heels and colorful platforms - once favored by our beloved Spice Girls and devoted fans everywhere - appearing all over Spring/Summer catwalks," says Eastwood.

"Create a maximalist look by pairing these heels with a bold mini or a printed midi dress and complete the look with a colorful clutch. For a more subtle look, add these statement shoes to an oversized shirt, jeans, and chunky gold jewelry."

Easier to wear than a stiletto thanks to the block sole, experiment with vibrant Crayola hues, or add a preppy twist with some on-trend Mary Janes.

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7. Ballet flats

composite of two women in ballet flats

Gucci / Valentino

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the other end of the heel spectrum is the simple ballet pump which has made a recent comeback. A popular '90s fashion trend, ballet pumps feel out of favor for a number of years but with the early noughties being a huge fashion trend 2022, it’s no surprise the ballet pump has resurfaced, especially as it has that comfy element too which can resemble slipping into the best slippers - bliss! 

Timeless and chic, ballet pumps work with anything from your jeans to skirts and they're an excellent choice if you're wondering what shoes to wear with leggings. For a fall update, look to a pointed toe silhouette which will leave a flattering finish too, and add a feminine flourish with embellished details and ribbon fastenings.

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8. '90s Mules

composite of two women in '90s mules

Amina Muaddi / Bottega Veneta

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mules have pretty much cemented themselves into our wardrobes the past few seasons thanks to that quilted style from Bottega Veneta and the fact that '90s fashion trends are still going strong into the later part of 2022. Defined by one simple strap and a low-to-mid heel this year's iteration has a playful spin - from animal prints to sparkly details.

Despite heading into colder months, when wearing mules becomes a little trickier, while you might not want a pair for everyday, when it comes to Christmas party outfits, they're an instant winner. Easy to slip off at the end of the night, look for jeweled and smart iterations to enhance your holiday season look.

With no fussy fastenings or laces, these mules can be easily slipped on and off as you dash in and out of the door. Team with mom jeans and a simple tee for a brunch-ready look that gives a little nod to nostalgia.

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9. Square Toe Loafers

composite of two women in square loafers

Prada / Chanel 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The polished loafer is the city-ready style we've been waiting for. Classic and timeless, they add an androgynous spin to any outfit and will earn you some serious cool points once you learn how to style a loafer. 

For a 2022 update, the best loafers for women feature a square toe silhouette as seen on the Tod’s runway. Lean in fully and team with tailored trousers for a sharp look, or opt for a more directional pair, with a chunky sole for a '90s twist that will look great paired with a cute and direction plaid mini skirt too, drawing inspiration from Paris Fashion Week street style snaps.

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10. Pointed toe shoes

two women wearing pointed toe shoes

Carolina Herrera / Yanina Couture

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dressing up is back and if you've been wondering what to wear to a wedding this winter, it's all about pointed-toe shoes. With parties back in a major way, designers took the opportunity to go glam on footwear. Elongating your silhouette, a pointed-toe shoe in both heels and flats are instant leg lengtheners and gives a nod to the '80s and '90s nostalgia that has been sweeping the runway too. From classic black stilettos to bold brights, here's how to interpret the trend as we step into party season. 

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11. Metallics

composite of two women in metallic shoes

Isabel Marant / Miu Miu

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A huge hit this past summer, expect our love of all things sparkly to follow through into the shoe trends 2022 for this winter too. Whether you opt for party-ready styles, or everyday designs, a metallic shoe is a sure-fire way of up-styling your look in a flash. From shimmery slip-ons to pretty embellished pumps, treat your feet to some new season sparkle. Fendi, Dior, Simone Rocha and Max Mara were just some of the brands that sent models' feet dazzling down the runway at the spring/summer 2022 shows. And with the holiday season one traditionally when designers go for all out sparkle, this look firmed up its position on the fall/winter runways too. 

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12. Mary Janes

composite of two women wearing Mary Janes

Dior / Miu Miu

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A classic shoe style, the Mary Jane veers in and out of fashion. Distinctive for its closed, rounded toe and at least one strap across the foot, while it usually features a low, block heel, for 2022, it has been reinvented across the runways. Maintaining its doll-like aesthetic, the new Mary Jane features both low and high block heels. In a range of fabrications, including leather, velvet and satin, they were seen at the likes of Thom Browne and Paul and Joe earlier in the year, but as we head into fall expect more celebratory and party iterations ready for the Christmas period. 

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13. White Shoes

composite of two women in white shoes


(Image credit: Getty Images)

White shoes are often associated with the brightness of summer but don't discount winter whites too. For the earlier part of the shoe trends 2022 white shoes and boots were spotted on the runway at the likes of Valentino, Jil Sander and Balmain. Taking on varied silhouettes, from the best white trainers to chic ankle boots and statement-heeled sandals. For the shoe trends 2022 as we close out the year, look to  new season knee-high boots in winter white hues for a fresh take. But remember, with white shoes, comes great responsibility, so make sure to learn how to clean white shoes in order to keep them in tip-top condition.

14. Ankle Strap Detailing

composite image of two women wearing heels with ankle-strap detailing

Versace / Bottega Veneta

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you love a nostalgic '90s anklet, then you'll love this trend. Ideal for wearing with shorter dresses and cropped hem jeans, ankle detailing up-styles all shoe shapes and silhouettes this season. From statement straps to chain detailing, ankle embellishment was big news on the runway. From Moschino to Armani and Tom Ford, designers were really honing in on the detail to set their shoes apart and as we head into the Christmas party season, we expect embellishment and detailing to remain a core shoe aesthetic..

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15. Padded Shoes

composite shots of two women in padded shoes

Giambattista Valli/Ottolinger

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A major trend across the board, fashion is officially obsessed with quilting. From coats to the best Saint Laurent handbags and everything in-between, if it can be quilted, guaranteed designers have done so. Pillowy in style, look out for thicker and fuller straps, knots, twists and quilt detailing for a creative take on this season's footwear. Shop the trend via straight-to-market brands for budget-friendly pieces that will allow you to have a play with the style without breaking the bank.

16. Creative Heels

two shots of women wearing shoes with creative heels

Malene Birger / Dior

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With runway shows happening six months in advance of the season, designers have to predict the mood of consumers to help direct their ranges. For this next trend, the likes of Loewe, Balmain and Tom Ford opted for a post-pandemic golden age of dressing up and frivolity. As we've all begun to ease back into a more regular routine, sculptural heels played a huge role in inviting shoppers to enjoy going out again and with a season of Christmas parties on the cards, we expect this trend to continue to be embraced in a big way.

Sculptural stilettos played with geometric shapes and chains as a way of up-styling heels. This quirky trend is a hard one to replicate for straight-to-market brands, due to the intricacy of the design, but look out for any added detail, contrasting block color heel interpretations, and unusual embellishments.