6 Men’s Footwear Trends to Look for in 2018
Guest Post by Lynn Lewis
These days, men are finally being recognized as style-conscious fashion fans who care about their appearance from head to toe. Everyone wears shoes, after all, and it stands to reason that you want to wear attractive pieces that set you apart. From sneakers and sandals to exotic designs that set you apart in the crowd, here are six footwear trends for men to keep an eye on in 2018.
1. Boho-Inspired Beach Shoes
For far too long, well-heeled gentlemen have been getting the short end of the stick as it applies to warm weather footwear. Perhaps the reason behind the number of fellows who regretfully choose to wear socks with their sandals and sliders is that they don’t have much choice.
Granted, there’s never a good reason to wear visible socks with slip-on shoes, but it costs nothing to give the benefit of the doubt to the perpetrators of this fashion faux pas. At any rate, it’s no longer an issue. One of the year’s up-and-coming trends in men’s shoes revolves around casual footwear.
Designers such as Loewe and Paul Smith, for example, are finally giving men their own version of the espadrille. Prepare for an onslaught of slip-ons with braided or woven soles. Go for the classic boat shoe silhouette or look for something with laces. To pull off this trend, bright colors and eye-catching patterns are a must. The designs harken back to the early ’90s, at least with regards to the abundance of bold stripes and vivid hues.
2. Kicks with Some Cushion
Sneakers never go out of style. Every year, in fact, you can always look forward to the introduction of a new style. Often, it’s not much different than whatever was popular the previous year, but this time, things are a bit different. Once again, in a nod to the eclectic fashions of the early 1990s, something old is new again. Chunky, oversized sneakers are the thing. That means extra cushion in the soles and around the ankles, which is nice, but more than anything, the aim is to walk around in kicks so thick that passersby can’t help but glance at your feet.
Dior, Balenciaga, and even Hermes hopped onto the bandwagon. Valentino’s line of sneakers even incorporates trim that resembles the ubiquitous friendship bracelets of the ’90s. Their new sneakers are characterized by thicker, wider soles that stick out from the shoes themselves and provide a little extra lift. If you love the designs but aren’t crazy about designer price tags, have no fear. By spring and summer, the trend will have trickled down to more affordable brands. You can embrace the chunk without spending a chunk of cash in the process.
3. Exotic Skin Shoes
Shoes and boots with animal skin, whether it’s genuine or synthetic, never go out of style. If they slip out of fashion for a season or two, they always come back eventually. The design is enduring, in part because of the prestige associated with a pair of snakeskin loafers or crocodile boots. As it happens, exotic skin shoes piggyback on another popular trend—the resurgence of dress shoes as an aesthetic—and the two are a match made in heaven.
There are several ways to wear attractive animal skin shoes. Balenciaga debuted stylish ankle boots in blue, which is one eye-popping way to make this look your own. Seek out skins in unexpected colors, from Balenciaga’s deep blue to red, green, charcoal, or even purple—if you’re confident enough. Other details to look for include stacked heels. Everyone can do with a few extra inches.
4. Sandals That Show Off Some Skin
In recent years, the only open-toed shoes men had to choose from were sliders and huaraches, neither of which are particularly flattering or stylish. What happens when you’re out on the town in warm weather, and you want to dress nicely? You follow the big-name designers, of course. Once Hermes proclaims that strappy sandals are fashionable and masculine, there’s no room left to argue.
Balance is key. Peek at sandals with buckles and straps to spare, but avoid anything that feels like too much—to you, that is. You might not want your sandals to strap in behind the heel. That’s fine, as several footwear designers decided to remain casual. Louis Vuitton, for example, introduced a sleeker line of sliders with supportive soles—but honestly, don’t wear them with socks. Even when you think it appears sporty and laid-back, reconsider your options.
Now, if you genuinely want to step outside the shoe box, then allow yourself to be tempted by the strappiest of strappy sandals. In a bold move, Officine Generale made a statement on the runway to let men know that straps are sexy, stylish, and beyond masculine—even if they have toe loops.
5. Mules That Collapse
Sometimes, all you want is a pair of comfortable slip-on shoes that don’t give you any hassle. Amazingly, not only are mules in fashion for men, but this year, they’re also collapsible. That sounds like an unnecessary detail meant to make mules seem cooler than they are, but it’s actually a practical design technique. Not only does it allow you to save space in your shoe closet or suitcase, but you know that you can shove your feet into your shoes without disrupting the shape or the way they fit your feet. Believe it or not, you can even find dress mules in supple leather.
6. The Versatile Chelsea Boot
No list of men’s shoe trends would be complete without mentioning the versatile Chelsea boot. Casual enough to wear with jeans to the bar but sophisticated enough to pair with a fitted suit, the Chelsea boot is the ultimate boot for every man. In addition to giving your outfit a slight rock-n-roll vibe, these give you a little lift in height so you feel that much more confident whether you’re headed to the club or giving a presentation in the boardroom.
Did we mention that Chelsea boots are lace-free? That’s right – these are slip on shoes, making it that much easier and faster to head out the door in style. Upgrade your wardrobe this year by picking up a pair of the shoes that everyone from Kanye West to Harry Styles considers a must-have.
Kick Off 2018 On The Right Foot
A great pair of shoes can set off any outfit – and change the way you feel about your day. Whether you’re looking for something casual to hit up the beach this summer, like sandals or sneakers, or something with a little more flair to give yourself a makeover next fall, like suade boots or exotic oxfords, 2018 trends have something for every man.
These days, you don’t have to sacrifice quality or comfort to stay stylish when it comes to your footwear – so do yourself a favor and pick up a new pair of kicks to start the year off on the right foot today.
Lynn Lewis is a freelance writer and personal stylist based in Los Angeles, CA. She has clients throughout LA, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. She loves writing about fashion and accessories. In her free time, she spends her days roaming boutiques to find the newest trends to bring to her clients.