Spring / summer 2022 shoe trends: high heels are back

Things I didn’t miss during the pandemic: a daily commute to work, menus without QR codes, crowded spaces and … high heels.

Like many, I’ve accumulated a constant supply of WFH-compatible fashion – hoodies, stretchy pants, slides, even a pair of rubber clogs – since March 2020. Now, as we begin to emerge from the depths of the pandemic, it seems the lords of fashion have decided it is time to get out of our collective rut.

There is no shortage of high heels on the spring-summer 2022 catwalks in Milan and Paris. Turning their noses to our plush Crocs and Birkenstocks, Saint Laurent’s PVC stiletto heels – in all their sweat and pinching splendor – serve as a signal of what’s in our sartorial future.

The maximalist collaboration of Fendi and Versace saw the debut of seemingly heel-less high heels. (How one walks there remains a mystery.) On the Versace standalone show, Donatella took a similar approach: the towering platform loafers seemed to laugh at fashion’s favorite practical shoe.

At Rick Owens, the models took to the sidewalk in high-top platform boots, in stark contrast to, say, Jacquemus’ flip-flops for Spring / Summer 2021.

Loewe took their shoes to creative new heights with hyperrealistic heels that resemble everyday items such as birthday candles, nail polish bottles and bar soap.

Even Prada, an expert in sleek portability, showed off court shoes with an intimidating inverted wedge heel.

It makes sense that the ever-moving fashion pendulum turns to dress shoes, given our nearly two-year adoption of loungewear. At one point, the shoe-slide-slipper bubble was doomed to burst.

There’s something viscerally exciting about donning a pair of dizzying stilettos – but it’s still with tears in my eyes that I embrace the inevitable return of high heel fashion.

Farewell, my flat-soled friends.

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