The Best Shoes of Fashion Month: Fall/Winter 2016

Important life questions and shoes to answer them


The fastest way to fake knowledge about fashion week is to bring up what the feet wore. It’s like answering, “the juxtaposition of themes,” when your book club president asks what your favorite thing was about the assigned novel you didn’t read, saying “the complex flavors,” when a date (whom you lied to about being a sommelier) asks what you like about the wine and responding, “a bar,” when someone asks how you and your Tinder boyfriend met.

With runway convos among friends who devour the seasons like they’re crescent rolls, you can fumble your way through the clothing by simply stating observations: “It looked so cool!” “It was interesting!” “Wow!” But if you really need to sneak past the sartorial doorman — maybe at a dinner party/salon whose host invited you to be the expert — like I said, just talk shoes.

Below, things to know, preceded by potential curveball questions that very well may get thrown your way.

Are we still really still doing the kitten heels thing? Oh yes we are, pretty kitty. Kors, Marni, Loewe, Saint Laurent and Chanel all want to dial back the cat lady to where it all began: the paws.

I saw full grown cats at Dolce & Gabbana; why not cat heels? No one knows what a cat heel is, Martha.

All my friends have infants and they want to come over at noon. Were any of the shoes not baby proof? Great question, safety first. A lot of the shoes were covered in appliqués and baubles and gemstones and peals. Dolce & GabbanaAltuzarra, Miu Miu and Dries Van Noten would all be very dangerous to have around a strong-fingered baby who was skilled in the art of plucking details off heels.

What if it’s cold next winter but I just can’t do pants? It will be cold because that’s how winter works, but Proenza Schouler, Givenchy and Balmain all have your legs covered.

What if it’s cold next winter, and it snows?! Ok that also happens, so…anyway. The boots at Louis Vuitton and Margiela will keep you warm, cool and give you good traction. When does that combo ever happen?

What about that sock shoe thing, is that still happening? The stretchy flats that look like below-the-ankle athletic socks with a midi-heel? Not so much. Even Céline (the brand, not Dion) seems to be leaning away from this a bit. We still saw some updated versions of the bunion huggers on her runway.

What if I want to dance with somebody? The ballet flat is back and super literal at Valentino. (It’s been back and is moderately literal with a weird punk rock meets picnic basket twist by way of Miu Miu, though.)

You know what I hate? When someone steps on my toe. Who doesn’t? Try a Proenza Schouler steel toe.

Pointy pumps are basic-in-the-bad-way right? I prefer to think of them as “classic,” but if you need to weird them up: add a pair of stirrup pants with the loop over the heel, like at Balenciaga.

Quick q: I’m going to the pool, but it’s cold. ???? You’re in luck: Baja East showed furry pool slides. Don’t get them wet, though.

Panic! At the Disco. What shoes do I wear if the 2016-70s are officially over?  The groovy-heeled platform shoes aren’t. Gucci, Rochas and Balenciaga all made you a pair.

Yoo hoo! Heard horses were in! Horses are always in. Chanel, Tory, Ferragamo and Altuzarra all had their own spin on the equestrian boot.

What if you forgot miss your pet Zebra 🙁 Thank Gucci. Alessandro Michelle made a pair for your feet.

Is that it? See the slideshow above. You’re bugging me.


Photographs via Vogue Runway and Footwear News; collage by Emily Zirimis. 


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  • I know this has been an unpopular opinion for so long but I am so glad kitten heels are becoming less vigorously opposed. I love ’em!

    • Aydan

      wait same! They can look so chic!

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    • Greer Clarke

      They are also a totally different walking skill though!! I thought I had heels sorted but their inbetweenness freaks me owt

  • Morgan

    this post motivated me to spend the past 45 minutes adding to my obsessions on therealreal ~~~~ thank u for this midday treat

  • Greer Clarke

    I always quit on the 3rd slide with articles like this because it takes so long to load. Is this just my internet/computer or do other people get this? If it is just me maybe I don’t want to know because I’ll get shoe FOMO 🙁

  • Tiana

    Very creative shoes!!

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