Shoe experts reveal the hottest footwear trends for summer 2017
It’s nearly here: blazing sunshine, beach days, backyard BBQs and patio drinks galore. In shoeaholic terms, it’s pedicure season. Along with summer come countless events and activities to dress for, from family weddings to casual poolside lounging. I asked some of the experts at the shoe stores on West 4th for their favourite summer 2017 styles. Here’s what they told me…
1. Slides and mules
Versatility, comfort and fashion: what more could we ask from a summer shoe? “Slides and mules are a hot commodity this season. Heeled or flat, they are comfortable, easy to wear, and look chic with palazzo trousers, summer dresses, skirts and jeans. They are easy for everyday summer style or special occasions,” says Jon Berg, marketing manager at gravitypope.
“Marsell’s luxurious, handmade Italian loafer slide in milky off-white is a beautiful summer neutral to finish off linen and cotton dresses, skirts or pants,” he says. “These are my personal favourite as they are timeless and stunning.” Marsell’s loafer comes in European sizes 37-39 and sells for $850 at gravitypope.
Another more affordable, casual option is The Rio. “Local Vancouver company People Footwear offer a lightweight, casual shoe that is perfect for a day at the beach or stroll in the park,” says Travis, marketing manager at the Boardroom. “The Rio is a full EVA slip on.” Find it at the Boardroom for $59.99.
2. Handcrafted boots
Australian Boot Company is known for their inclusive, unisex styles. For the perfect balance between comfort and fashion, look no further than Blundstone. “The Chisel Toe line offers a sleeker, dressier look that is narrower in fit, while still providing the endless comfort you would expect from a Blundstone boot,” says store manager Shea Lindenberg from Australian Boot Company.
“Being a store that strives to be as inclusive as possible, we cater to customers old and young, from all walks of life. That belief also translates to the products we offer. We believe we have something to offer everyone.” This includes Blundstone, R.M. William boots and Glerups 100 per cent natural wool slippers. Summer storms and rain showers don’t stand a chance.
3. Formal full-coverage
For weddings and formal events, Jon Berg from gravitypope suggests a classy sandal. “The chic silver Officine Creative Jaune is the perfect sandal for those desiring sophistication, style and comfort. This timeless design of this special sandal will last a lifetime.” These peep-toe, leather sandals cost $670 at gravitypope.
If your budget is closer to $100, you might want to try on Umay. “One style I would choose if you were looking for something a bit dressier is called the Umay by Bueno. It's a sturdy three-inch heel, and is made with the softest Turkish leather,” says Christine from Miz Mooz.
4. Men’s styles
“We are seeing a number of trends emerging in men’s footwear this summer,” explains Travis from the Boardroom. “Comfort will always be key, but demand for long-lasting, hard-wearing shoes has pushed brands to develop materials that offer the comfort but can also take a beating and last more than one season.”
“Alternative closure is a popular trend right now. Velcro is no longer just for kids, with Vans offering the Black Ball V and Old Skool V. People Footwear is also making a big push this summer with an offering of ultra-light and comfortable shoes with the use of innovative materials.”
Jon Berg from gravitypope insists it’s all about the sneakers this summer. “Adidas Stan Smiths, Ultraboosts, and Iniki’s are on the top of the ‘cool’ list along with the Achilles Low Common Projects for the guy with deeper pockets. Primaforma and Paul Smith offer a refined luxury sneaker while New Balance, Asics, Clae, Converse, Vans and Puma present tons of colours in many styles.”
5. Hard-to-fit feet
As a woman with size 10.5 feet, I understand the struggle of finding attractive footwear that fits. Gravitypope carries Suicoke's Depa sandals, which come with adjustable buckled straps, Birkenstocks, which offer regular and narrow fitting sandals and clogs with adjustable straps, and Slack London two-tone sneakers with a flexible neoprene upper and adjustable velcro strap, which allows for some adjustment for a wider foot.
For those with the opposite problem, Australian Boot Company carries a particular line of Blundstone boots in a smaller fit, called The Women’s Series; however, that doesn’t mean men don’t buy them, too. Store manager Shea explains, “every piece of footwear we sell is gender non-specific.”
The Boardroom also stocks a wide range of sizes, from toddler 10 all the way to men’s 13. Marketing manager Travis insists, “we have a diverse range of brands that enables us to find the right pair for everyone.”
According to Christine from Miz Mooz, “West 4th makes for great boutique shopping. The area is still primarily independently owned boutiques and therefore, offers something different. You'll not only receive a higher level of customer service, but you'll come across styles and brands you won’t find at the mall... which we think is a good thing!”
Now that you know which styles to look out for this summer, where to get them and how much to budget, all that’s left is to tackle summer with your best foot forward.