A Definitive List of the Shoes Taking Over This Autumn

July 22, 2021 at 06:25AM

Ahh shoes. It’s been so wonderful wearing them again, hasn’t it? All right, so we may be being a touch dramatic, but there’s no denying that, for what seemed like the longest time, shoes (and bags for that matter) have taken a back seat, and instead, we’ve developed some new shopping habits. In lieu of treating ourselves to a new pair of heels to wear with our elegant wedding guest dresses, we snapped up loungewear, knits and candles in numbers never before seen.

Still, that was 2020, and right now, as restrictions seem to lift by the week, our outfits now call for something other than slippers. (Don’t worry—they’re not totally obsolete.)

So which shoe trends are we kicking autumn off with? We’re sure you’ll be pleased to hear that comfort is still very much a priority as far as footwear is concerned—as is durability. Without further ado, scroll below to see the shoe trends the season has to offer.

If you only invest in one trending shoe this season, it’s imperative that you make it chunky loafers. “The shoe counterpart to the chunky boot trend is the chunky loafer. Brands such as Prada, Balenciaga and Simone Rocha are key for this trend,” reveals Heather Gramston, head of womenswear at Browns. 

Rejoice! You can still justify wearing your slippers as shoes in the cooler months thanks in no small part to designers who have devoted their time to creating stylish options for us to choose from. “With us spending more time entertaining or relaxing at home after summer, the house slipper is going to be incredibly popular with our customer. Plush styles are modelled on the traditional slipper however are very versatile, as they can be worn outside of the house, too,” assures Cassie Smart, head of womenswear buying at Matches. 

It would be remiss not to include a pair of trainers in our edit, and for autumn, the trend has morphed into high-performing kicks. “We have seen an increased interest in athletic performance footwear as our everyday uniform has evolved and our customer is combining technical activewear with more fashion-focused pieces,” continues Smart. “New Balance has been a highlight, and we see this continuing for autumn as well as introducing new specialist brands including Salomon, Asics and On.”

There’s so much to love about Simone Rocha’s latest collection, but one of our favourite pieces is undoubtedly the gold ballet pumps that decorated the models’ feet. Featuring rhinestone wraparound details, they’re this year’s answer to party and wedding guest shoes. 


Forgoing heels for over a year was a welcome plot twist for some, but others missed having an excuse to wear them. To help ease us back into wearing them (if you haven’t already taken the leap), the biggest heel trend of note for autumn is the clunky Mary Jane. With straps that keep your foot in place and blocky heels for added stability, Nodaleto’s cult Bulla Babies are already creeping into our feeds. 

As our assistant editor Nell Block revealed earlier this summer, clogs are back on the footwear agenda, having made an appearance in Hermès’s glossy 2021 collection. Wear them with jeans, a white shirt and chunky socks to carry them seamlessly through to autumn. Until then, they look the summer part with gingham checks. 

We may have a few months to go until winter, but we like to feel prepared, so for our last slot, we’ve chosen to profile boots. Continuing on from last year, chunky, track-sole boots are still leading the sartorial charge, though we have noticed the addition of an elastic panel akin to that of Chelsea boots and a taller shaft. 

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Next Up: Autumn 2021 Trends: The Most Important Fashion Looks You Need to Know

Author Maxine Eggenberger | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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