Men’s shoe trends change at a pace that’s more baby steps than seismic shifts. Sure, weekly trainer drops can put spikes in the graph but, by and large, what you slide your feet into this season won’t be massively different to what you lace up the next.
That’s not to say, of course, that they won’t change at all. For SS17, designers might’ve shown styles that won’t necessarily make the cut for production (stacked loafers, multi-coloured velcro-strapped sandals and shoe-sandals – ‘shandals’?), but that doesn’t mean they haven’t given shoe design a nudge along in a new direction.
Here are the trends to know to stay one step ahead of the game.
Techy Trainers, Clean Sneakers
We could do a guide to trainer trends all of its own (actually, we already have), but in the interest of covering all footwear bases here, we’ll keep this section succinct. There are – according to Louise Godding, men’s buyer at Dune London – two main trends making tracks in trainers this season.
The first is all about giving old-school runners a welcome update. “Technical fabrics such as mesh, neoprene and knitted nylons are taking a front seat on traditional sports [styles] such as the runner, [helping] them look fresh,” she says. Where the likes of Nike and Adidas boldly tread, pretty much every other brand and retailer follow – with performance-focused sock silhouettes and panelled trainers taking first place this spring/summer.
Secondly, minimal sneakers are still making their presence felt. “Clean cup sole [sneakers] with pared-back styling and premium buttery leather uppers remain key for a more luxe look, and are great for giving tailoring a more contemporary twist,” says Godding.
If you’re tired of turning up to parties in the same pair of squeaky clean white kicks as every other reasonably style-woke guy, then switch to suede – all the luxury of leather, none of the ubiquity (well, yet). “Suede sneakers are our hero-buy this season,” says Olly Smith, a junior buyer at Harvey Nichols. “Muted and dusty colours contrast perfectly with the white rubberised soles [making them the ideal] understated shoes to take you from work to play.”
- Undandy Leather Sneakers 68 By Ben
- Reiss Bradley Clae Suede Sneakers
- Filling Pieces Low Top Fundament Mesh Grey
- Filling Pieces Runner Sac Knits Black/grey
- Adidas Ultra Boost 3.0
- Nike Flyknit Racer
- Common Projects Achilles Blue Suede Trainers
- Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Phantom Ecru Knitted Trainers
- Puma X Stampd Clyde
- Harrys Of London Mr Jones 2 Canvas/suede/nappa White
- Suitsupply Green Suede Sneakers
- Adidas Originals Stan Smith Primeknit Sneakers
As no-show socks have liberated ‘mankles’ in recent years, warm-weather footwear options for men have grown faster than a bad dose of athlete’s foot. Which, despite the laboured (and admittedly pretty disgusting) metaphor, is a very good thing indeed.
The loafer is a warm-weather all-rounder; as much a shoo-in for a polo shirt and shorts combination as a two-piece linen-blend suit.
This season – in no small part thanks to the revival of Gucci’s horsebit – loafers are going luxe. “The loafer is getting a polished update [this season] with the addition of hardware detailing such as metal snaffles,” says Dune’s Godding. “And coloured loafers are more wearable than ever.”
Alan Cook, Marks & Spencer’s menswear design lead, also pinpoints the loafer as one of SS17’s leading styles. “The slipper-cut loafer is a key style this season; its shape and [sophisticated] style make it a versatile shoe that can be worn from day through to night,” he says. Use your loaf: buy a pair.
- Undandy Loafer 31 By Sebastian
- Reiss Verona Ii Allen Edmonds Calfskin Loafers
- Gucci Horsebit Leather Loafers
- J.M. Weston 180 The Moccasin Full-grain Leather And Suede Penny Loafers
- Ted Baker Jyanis Patent Leather Loafers
- Frank Wright Alfredo Sand Suede Slip-on Shoe
- Rubinacci Leather-trimmed Denim Loafers
- Bronn Navy Snaffle Bit Contrast Sole Loafer Shoe
- Clarks Originals Burcott Loafer
- Bally Simpler
- Kurt Geiger Kent In Tan
- Oliver Sweeney SCILLA WHISKY
Sandals And Sliders
As much as we men like to pride ourselves on our function-first approach to style; when it comes to sandals and sliders, that straight-talking male logic suddenly malfunctions. These options, according to internet commenters, are too ‘feminine’, or leave too little of your unkempt plates of meat to the imagination.
Newsflash, gents – your feet will invariably be sweatier, smellier and generally much grosser if you choose to wear closed footwear instead. Plus, we’ve come a long way from Birkenstocks.
“Sandals and sliders have had a high-end makeover this season,” says Harvey Nichols’ Smith. “Designers are reinventing them in an array of luxe designs, from Gucci’s tiger print canvas sliders to Valentino’s black leather studded sandals.” Just don’t – despite whatever you saw a model in some magazine wearing – try wearing them with socks.
- Ancient Greek Sandals Cleon
- Ancient Greek Sandals Bios
- Alvaro Alex Leather Sandals
- Dune Ionian Brown Multi Strap Sandal
- Dr Martens Black Leather Gryphon Sandals
- Oliver Sweeney BRADSTOCK TAN Leather Sandal
- Topman Ellesse White Sliders
- Topman Adidas Blue Duramo Sliders
- Dune Ibiza Navy Rubber Slider Sandal
- Moncler Basile Sliders
- Valentino Camouflage-print Rubber Slides
- Ted Baker Kianne Ribbed Sliders
Yes, yes, we know what you’re thinking, but for those of us based in places where a constantly sunny summer is a phenomenon so rare it deserves its own David Attenborough documentary, boots (albeit lightweight ones) are a trusty fall back for changeable weather.
“The classic desert boot popularised by Clarks in the 1950s is [trending] and has earned the admiration of cult brand Common Projects, which is offering [its take on] the classic silhouette,” says Smith, who adds that the department store has expanded its range of desert boots – what he dubs the “perfect transitional style”.
Also blazing a trail are hybrid boots, or as Smith calls them: “amplified” boots – those styles that mix and match elements of smart and casual shoes with boots. Good news, then, if most of your summer swimming is done in pavement puddles rather than pools.
- Frank Wright Bowmore Tobacco Suede Lace-up Boot
- Frank Wright Vogts Grey Crackled Suede Chelsea Boot
- Clarks Originals Wallabee
- Undandy Chukka Boot 48 By Castel-branco
- Reiss Armor Suede Desert Boots
- Common Projects Stone Brushed Suede Chelsea Boots
- Paul Smith Maurice Suede Boots
- Officine Creative Maurice Shirred Suede Chukka Boots
- Dune Bradshaw Round Toe Chukka Boot
- Church’s Sahara Suede Chukka Boots
- Selected Homme Royce Suede Boots
- M&s Collection Luxury Suede Chelsea Boots
Smart Shoes 2.0
Just as a three-piece tweed suit is anathema to fashion right now, so too are traditional brogues, Derbies and other well-worn shoe silhouettes. Which is not to say that they’re not stylish (they won’t ever not be), but that straightforward, smart footwear just isn’t where the action’s at right now.
Instead, designers are tweaking these styles – rendering them in striking colours, combining them with sporty details or incorporating non-traditional materials into their design – to breathe new life into your ones and twos.
“[We saw] espadrille rands [strips of leather placed underneath the back of a shoe before adding the heels that make it level] on structured shoes and sandals all over the catwalks this season,” says Dune London’s Godding. “Likewise, cork was seen on footbeds and soles. In our Bronx style, we’ve used a flash of cork to update a white sporty wedge sole and create a stacked effect.”
The most prominent example, however, is the fusion of a sporty sole with a more traditional upper – e.g. a brogue or Derby upper paired with a rubber sole in a contrast colour. “Classic brogue [and Derby] styles have been updated with playful twists such as pops of colour, embellishments and unexpected and luxe fabrics,” says Smith.
“In formal footwear, more is more this season.”
- Dune Bronx Grey
- Dries Van Noten Leather Monk-strap Shoes
- Oliver Sweeney BIDEFORD GREY Suede Oxford Brogue
- Frank Wright Marvin Tan Leather Brogue Shoe
- Undandy Oxford 48 By Samuel
- French Connection Casual Leather Brogue Shoes
- Engineered Garments + Dr Martens Ghillie Airwair Leather Derby Shoes
- Officine Creative Cap-toe Suede Derby Shoes
- Ted Baker Aokii2 Toe Cap Leather Derby Shoes
- Valentino Valentino Garavani Rockstud Lace-up Leather Derby Shoes
- Pierre Hardy Twin Derby
- Common Projects Cadet Derby Suede Lace-up