The surprising breakout shoe of summer was the flip-flop heel. Call it the fashion underdog nobody knew they needed—but after appearing on the feet of stars such as Kim Kardashian West, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Katie Holmes these past few months, the thong stiletto has popped up everywhere on the market. (You can also thank Kanye West’s label, Yeezy, for bringing it back from the ’90s.) The reaction to the naked, beachy-but-make-it-fashion shoe? It has been polarizing to say the least: People have loved it or hated it.
The unlikely trend had us thinking: If ugly-chic footwear popped off this summer, could it do so again in the fall? A quick scour through the Fall 2019 runway shows proves that there are plenty of offbeat-shoe contenders. Victoria Beckham’s show, for instance, featured red-hot peep-toe booties, another ’90s style that feels fresh but puts one’s toes on full display. (Time to get those pedicures, ladies.) At the Vetements show, there were hiking-style shoes paired with cutesy floral dresses; Bottega Veneta’s and Proenza Schouler’s had squared toes; and at Celine there were even above-the-knee boots lined with shearling—think Ugg boots but thigh high.
So what will fall’s most divisive shoe be? And more importantly why—and how—will we want to wear it? Below Vogue editors sound off on their controversial-shoe predictions come September.
“Square-toe boots. Also house slippers.”—Anny Choi, market editor
“I understand that technically socks are not shoes, but I’d put my money on socks becoming this fall’s unstoppable footwear trend. Sophie Turner has been sporting ankle socks with her slides all summer long, and just this week Elsa Hosk wore white socks with Rick Owens x Birkenstock sandals to travel to the Venice Film Festival. Less adventurous dressers can try showing just a sliver of sock between cropped trousers and loafers or brogues. Personally I’m going to be wearing white socks with a platform creeper all fall long—can’t wait.”—Steff Yotka, fashion news editor
“I think this fall will be the official return of the wretched but amazing Ugg boot! Uggs made a big splash in the new Harmony Korine movie that came out at the beginning of the summer, and those Eckhaus Latta Uggs are dropping soon.”—Sophie Kemp, fashion assistant
“High socks and sandals are a big street-style thing right now.”—Laird Borrelli-Persson, archive editor
“I’m interested in the ways in which tactical hiking shoes, mostly seen on outdoorsy folk, have crossed over to the fashion set—thinking of Rihanna wearing Salomons in particular, on her birthday no less—and I think that those classic suede Merrells will be next. I’ve been seeing them around more and more. With the right styling I think they could look chic, sort of in a similar vein to the art world’s favorite clog, Danskos. And they’re versatile enough for all sorts of fall activities, whether it be hiking or apple picking.”—Rachel Hahn, fashion writer
“A kitten heel is sassy in the summer but extra-sassy in the fall. They are divisive, yes, as they have only about a few centimeters of lift. (What’s the point of that?) But that’s what I love about them! The ridiculousness of it all. So keep the absurdity going into fall.”—Liana Satenstein, senior fashion writer
Originally Appeared on Vogue