Search to find the world’s next great shoe heats up

Adidas Sambas may be on the way out, but what will fill the void? Photo: Getty Images
Adidas Sambas may be on the way out, but what will fill the void? Photo: Getty Images
Farewell, Adidas Sambas — what is next in footwear? At least for now, many people will want to give their footwear a cabinet reshuffle. So what other shoes can fill the void? asks Ellie Violet Bramley.

Sneakers may be on the way out as they have mostly disappeared from the top runways for now, but there are other options that can fill the void.

Footwear News executive editor Katie Abel said customers were "looking for versatility and shoes that will take them from day to night".

"Loafers continue to drive new excitement for many consumers."

Sturdy and practical, they might not have the casual appeal of a trainer, but they will keep your feet dry. Then there is your posh friend’s uncle’s favourite, the boat shoe, which looks set to enjoy some time in the sun this year.

Mary Janes and ballet pumps are enjoying a big boom, too. They also have that magic sauce: English fashion designer Phoebe Philo’s nod of approval. One of the latest designs released by her new eponymous label, the prices are astronomical, but this is more about Philo as taste-maker than purveyor of something to actually buy.

StockX director of merchandising Drew Haines notes growing interest in Uggs, Birkenstock and Crocs. Design-wise, he says, they veer from the Samba, but they fit with the mould for an emphasis on comfort that has remained post-pandemic.

Trying something new? Here some options for you:


Look for a fresh colour of an old favourite or elevate an amphibious staple via Simone Rocha’s bejewelled collaboration.


From M&S to Gucci, there is a loafer for most feet. Pair with bright or even white socks — they may never be as comfortable as a trainer but they do mean business.

Ballet flats and Mary Janes

The most buzzy minimal flats at the moment are made from mesh — the cult ones belonging to hyper-expensive brands Alaia and The Row.

Boat shoes

More New England-chic than trainer-cool, the boat shoe is coming in on the next tide. — Guardian News and Media