Shoe Trends for 2016

May 01, 2016

Shoe Trends for 2016

When it comes to trend-spotting, most if not all eyes are on the upper and lower body. But if you want to stay on your toes fashion-wise, then you need to keep at least one peeper on what’s happening below the (exposed) ankle. Cooper & Jin has searched high and low to find these footwear styles that are a shoe-in for spring/summer 2016.

Trainers with Velcro & Straps

     Trainers have vastly increased their footprint in recent years. Saying that trainers are a big trend for 2016 is not especially revelatory, though. So instead, we are going to hone in on the trends within the trainer trend.

     One of these gaining serious traction is Velcro. Acne Studios, Ami and A.P.C. were among the labels who served up tennis shoes fastened with the sticky stuff, perhaps as a way of putting a new topspin on the still-omnipresent Stan Smith. While other manufacturers are slow to add Velcro to their trainers, some of the top sneaker companies have been adding it for years and have received much praise from customers.

     Maybe Velcro on trainers is the next trend for the fashionable shoe industry and maybe not, but for 2016, Velcro is in!

Monochrome & Tonal

     There are two opposing factions vying for supremacy in the trainer market, technical and minimalist. Technical and statement trainers, with their bright colors and high-performance bells and whistles seem to sell well enough while minimalist styles are catching on and catching up. For 2016, the toned-down, tonal sneaker is the newest trend.

     The market has been full of sneaker collaborations loosely designed around a story or theme and there has been a gap in the market to produce more sophisticated and mature tonal sneakers. These sneakers appeal to consumers who want something a bit more subtle than what has been available.

     Stone, dusty pink and khaki are the colors of the season and are perfect for tonal dressing. There is an argument that these styles pair better with light, summery colors and fabrics, while some say that they can be paired with almost anything if done well.

Crepe Soles

     Crepe is a kind of nubby rubber, originally coagulated straight off the tree, although nowadays you’re more likely to find synthetic rubber crepe on shoe racks. Its most famous deployment was in the iconic Clarks’ desert boot, which was inspired by the lightweight but grippy alternative to heavy military boots devised by British army officers stationed in Burma during WWII.

     Crepe soles are still most commonly applied to desert and chukka boots, but this season you’ll also see them on brogues and Derbies by the likes of Burberry and Paul Smith, respectively.

     Maybe it’s the desert-sand-beach connection, but something about a crepe sole says hot weather. Combined with a suede upper, it’s a sure-fire way to make classic, formal footwear styles feel more summery, not to mention comfortable.


     Yes, you read that right. Note, though, we are talking about proper leather sandals here, not cheap rubber flip-flops. Designers have been pushing sandals with increasing force for a few seasons now, and everyone from Michael Kors and Marni, to Gucci, Versace and Kenzo have new styles for 2016.

     Modern sandals are usually made of a premium material like leather which makes them sit more naturally alongside formal summer looks and even tailoring, of the relaxed, deconstructed kind, that is. But while highly ventilated sandals are supremely practical for summer, they’re very much an edgy look – especially if, like on the runways, you style them with socks.


     The rope-soled summer staples haven’t been this hot since they first came into fashion, in 13th-century Catalonia. Today, designers often incorporate modern innovations like stealth rubber soles to increase espadrilles’ durability while maintaining their laid-back, hand-woven vibe. But the likes of Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino have taken things a step further this season, with trainer-espadrille hybrids sporting thick rope-trimmed soles and slick leather uppers in place of cotton.

     Yes, they’re more expensive. But they’re also more suited to padding around on pavements and they are less likely to disintegrate as well. Espadrilles can also be dressed up with smarter outfits or even relaxed summer tailoring.