Stranger things: the weirdest footwear fads for AW18

From space age sneakers to high fashion Havaianas.

As a fashion journalist, it is my job to report fashion trends, regardless of whether I will be wearing them or not. And this season there are a fair few that won’t be going anywhere near my own wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know about them, so I’ve decided to round up some of the more ‘out there’ trends that you’ll be seeing for the new season. Many are not easy to wear or flattering. Some are downright bonkers. But hey, that’s fashion right?

The Space Age Sneaker

I’ve written before about the trend for dad trainers, but this season it’s gone stratospheric. Previously the domain of high end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga, in an unlikely turn, sports labels have followed the catwalk and developed their own versions. This is great, because it makes a luxury trend more affordable for everyone, and I’m all for fashion democracy. That said, it’s not an aesthetic I’m a fan of personally, so you won’t be seeing me wearing a pair any time soon! (The retro sneaker addiction is strong) Pair with a gingham Ganni dress for new maximum Scandi style.

Puma Thunder Spectra

Puma ‘Thunder Spectra’ trainers, £110 (pampamlondon.com)

Science Lab Chic

I was lucky enough to be at Prada’s AW18 catwalk show in Milan. Miuccia Prada is a designer I really admire, and while some of her ideas can seem completely mad at the time, you always leave the show really thinking about her concepts, and they inevitably trickle down to the high street, too. For Autumn/Winter 2018 she explored the idea of highly visible protection; fluorescent puffer jackets were paired with delicate dinner dresses (yes to this!). She also styled many of the models to look like they worked in a science lab, complete with laminated identity tags. Footwear-wise, this inevitably resulted in white lab boots, which have just dropped in store and will set you back £930 (yes, that’s nearly a grand for a pair of white wellies). I am, however, very much NEARLY on board with the idea of these white leather and neoprene Chelsea boots, even if the price tag is somewhat out of my reach!

Prada white Chelsea boots

Prada leather and neoprene Chelsea boots, £610 (farfetch.com)

High Fashion Havaianas

I attended Oslo Runway recently (that’s what they call Fashion Week in Norway, FYI) and flip flops were EVERYWHERE. It’s the only fashion week I’ve ever attended where the footwear on the feet of show attendees seemed to affect the shows themselves, because as the week went on, more and more styled the models with Havaianas. Hot off the heels of Copenhagen Fashion Week, the guests on the front row were really into the humble flip flop (see Emili Sindlev on Instagram for details). They’re cheap and lightweight, so they have the advantage of fitting in your bag, allowing multiple changes throughout the day (something I saw happening!), but remember that they won’t offer your feet any support and you shouldn’t walk long distances in them. Personally, I think they should stay where they were intended – on the beach – but if this appeals to you, opt for the chunkier original silhouette in a two-tone.

Havaianas

Havaianas ‘Brasil’ flip flops, £24 (havaianas-store.com)

Buffalo Stance

It’s hard to really embrace a trend when you remember it the last time around, and now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 41, this is happening all too often. This summer I avoided cycling shorts (hands up who else had the Tammy Girl shorts and matching crop top set for school discos?!), bucket hats and ankle bracelets. It’s even harder to embrace a trend when you liked it first time around, but couldn’t afford to buy the real thing. Much like my ‘Potato Patch Kid’ (Cabbage Patch’s lowly cousin whose USP was the opposite – rather than all being completely unique, they were all identical) my late 1990s Buffalos were a Topshop rip off. At first I didn’t like these from Eytys at all, but seeing them styled up with tailoring (top image) I can definitely see the appeal.

Etys jet turbo

Eytys ‘Jet Turbo’ sneakers, £250 (eytys.com)

Sock It To Me

By no means a new concept, and one that has no doubt been fuelled by the flyknit technology of sportswear brands, the sock boot is back this season. Brands will love producing these shoes because they are cheaper and easier than a traditional boot which requires cutting multiple pieces of material to construct the upper, whereas a sock style is one knitted piece that is then attached to the sole. Of course, they’re not the most practical for a wet British climate!

Fendi sock sneakers

Fendi sock sneakers, £690 (farfetch.com)

I’d love to know what you think of these trends. Leave comments below!