The Cult Shoes Of FW23

We chart the details behind FW23’s star shoe silhouettes, informed by EDITED data, celebrity backing and drops from cult brands.

  • Bright pop colors have refreshed the retro sneaker, noting that Gola’s presence in the market has increased 119% YoY. Silver shades are this season’s newest color trend, spurred on by Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour, with sneakers, heels and ballet flats all top sellers.
  • The Quiet Luxury movement has catapulted the popularity of minimalist loafers and heeled slingbacks. Intake of penny loafers is +23% YoY, with H&M and Mango noting sell outs. Heritage loafers have had celebrity backing from Paul Mescal and Kendall Jenner. Slingbacks reigned in SS24 street style, with Prada and Miu Miu hero brands.
  • The biker boot has become fall’s It boot silhouette and is a key update to the chunky trend that has dominated recent seasons. Feeding into Motocore and Y2K Grunge subcultures, the boot offers retailers different messaging avenues to target shoppers.
  • Crowned Lyst’s hottest item for Q3, the Mary Jane has seen arrivals grow 70% versus 2022, with pointed, chunky and heeled designs top movers in FW23. Keep an eye on ballet flats with updated front straps as minimalist styles begin to bubble up.

The Retro Sneaker

Throwback sneaker silhouettes are nothing new, but the increasing popularity of bold color pops has refreshed the trend for fall. PUMA recently rereleased the Palermo sneaker (originally popular in the 00s) in bright pink and lime hues, with a campaign fronted by Jack Grealish, while Rihanna’s new era at Fenty saw new drops of the Avanti model in emerald and rich navy. The reprisal of retro brands has seen Gola’s presence in the market increase by 119% YoY, with John Lewis, Free People and Lulus all increasing options versus 2022. Onitsuka Tiger was stocked for the first time in FW23 at Free People and Madewell.

In Pop Culture

@gigihadid
Instagram – Gigi Hadid

In Retailers’ VM

PUMA Email UK – Oct 20, 2023

The Cult Brand

Handball Spezial Shoes

Wonder glow / blue / gum

adidas Originals at Adidas (UK)

GBP85.00

Mass Market Top Movers

Unisex Mexico Delegation Sneakers

Pine green

Onitsuka Tiger at Madewell (US)

USD120.00
Classics Elan Suede Lace Up Trainers

Caramel/white/red

Gola at John Lewis & Partners (UK)

GBP90.00
Hawk Sneakers

White / raspberry / gold

Gola at Free People (US)

USD105.00

The Biker Boot

Fall’s It boot silhouette is a key progression to the chunky boot trend that has dominated recent seasons. Mirroring Miu Miu’s cult design, which has propelled the biker boot’s popularity, O-ring hardware, buckles and low-block heels are the underpinning details of bestsellers in the mass market. Intake has uplifted 40% YoY. Feeding into the Motocore and Y2K Grunge subcultures, the boot offers retailers different messaging avenues to target shoppers. Adding further weight to the trend for the pre-spring transitional selling period, Coach, Ganni and Dior unveiled moto boots in their SS24 collections.  

In Pop Culture

@kourtneykardash
Instagram – Kourtney Kardashian Barker

In Retailers’ VM

Steve Madden Email US – Oct 18, 2023

The Cult Brand

leather knee-length biker boots

Jet black

Miu Miu at Farfetch (UK)

GBP1,800.00

Mass Market Top Movers

FLAT BIKER ANKLE BOOTS WITH BUCKLES

Brown

Zara at Zara (UK)

GBP59.99
Biker Boots

Black_001

H&M at H&M (US)

USD74.99
Biker ankle boots with buckles

Black_040

Pull&Bear at Pull&Bear (UK)

GBP55.99

The Mary Jane

Once the sister trend to the ballet flat, the Mary Jane has quickly become one of fall’s hottest shoes. The Lyst index crowned Maison Margiela’s Tabi version Q3’s hottest item after searches jumped 342% in September.1The Lyst Index Fashion’s Hottest Brands and Products Q3 2023 – LYST Spotted on everyone from Hailey Bieber to Olivia Rodrigo, the style’s versatility has allowed it to slot into grunge, femme and preppy narratives. Arrivals in FW23 have grown by 70% YoY, with best-selling styles including pointy, chunky and heeled designs. The front strap has also refreshed classic ballet flats as the rise of minimalist silhouettes increases, noting majority sell outs of Jeffrey Campbell’s Moira in four colorways.

In Pop Culture

@haileybieber
Instagram – Hailey Rhode Baldwin Bieber

In Retailers’ VM

Christian Louboutin Email UK – Oct 26, 2023

The Cult Brand

Tabi Mary-Janes

Black

SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.

MM at Maison Margiela (US)

USD990.00

Mass Market Top Movers

Moira Mary Jane Flats

Black

SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.

Jeffrey Campbell at Free People (US)

USD128.00
Ballet flats with studs and buckle detail

Black_040

Pull&Bear at Pull&Bear (UK)

GBP35.99
Flat Mary Jane shoes with track soles

Black

Stradivarius at Stradivarius (UK)

GBP39.99

The Heeled Slingback

Pointed heeled slingbacks are a staple trend in the new era of minimalism. Prada’s brushed leather designs and Miu Miu’s buckled pair were hero shoes in recent street style outfits. Adding further fuel to the heel shape, LYST ranked Prada’s 3D flower heels within the top ten of its Hottest Fashion Products of Q3. The shoe has also ushered in a penchant for shorter and more practical heel shapes, with intake of kitten heel slingbacks +227% YoY. Silver and red shades are trend-led color refreshes for fall, while blacks continue to dominate bestsellers. Their year-round wearability can help retailers lower seasonal markdowns and preserve margins.

In Pop Culture

Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Gucci Spring 2024

In Retailers’ VM

STAUD Email US – Oct 16, 2023

The Cult Brand

25mm floral-appliqué leather pumps

White

Prada at Farfetch (US)

USD1,120.00

Mass Market Top Movers

Classify Metallic Slingback Court Shoes

Navy

SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.

Dune at John Lewis & Partners (UK)

GBP85.00
SLINGBACK SHOES WITH BUCKLED STRAP

Black

Zara at Zara (UK)

GBP35.99
Slingbacks

Black_001

H&M at H&M (US)

USD30.99

The Minimalist Loafer

Another shoe that has risen to prominence thanks to Quiet Luxury and the overarching minimalist movement is the streamlined loafer. While chunky treaded loafers are still a significant trend, a more refined silhouette has gained increased interest this fall. Intake of penny designs is +23% YoY, with options moving well at H&M and Mango and within John Lewis’ menswear branded offering. Celebrities continue to back the heritage-inspired loafer, with Paul Mescal recently fronting Gucci’s Horsebit 1953 loafer campaign. Meanwhile, Kendall Jenner has frequently worn cult brand The Row’s moccasin-style Enzo loafer. 

In Pop Culture

@emmachamberlain
Instagram – Emma Chamberlain

In Retailers’ VM

Gucci Email UK – Oct 17, 2023

The Cult Brand

Enzo Loafer in Black

Black

The Row at The Row (FR)

EUR1,460.00

Mass Market Top Movers

Leather penny loafers

Chocolate

Mango at Mango (UK)

GBP89.99
Leather Loafers

Black_004

H&M at H&M (US)

USD84.99
Buckland Leather Loafer

Tan

Oliver Sweeney at John Lewis & Partners (UK)

GBP179.00

Silver Shades

Metallics are one of this season’s biggest color trends, spurred on by Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour domination this year. Not confined to partywear, sneakers such as Bottega Veneta’s Orbit released this fall, have become an instant cult item, already spotted on Lil Yachty and Hailey Bieber. Spanning luxury and mass markets, River Island, Tory Burch and Cult Gaia have used email communications to curate metallic stories, mixing apparel, footwear and accessories. Backed by Steve Madden, Madewell and NA-KD, arrivals of silver ballet flats have climbed 58% YoY. Silver heels and ballet flats are the most popular designs within bestsellers, but sneakers at Marks & Spencer, Dune and Zara have also seen majority sell outs this fall.

In Pop Culture

@gilbertfloresphoto
Instagram – Gilbert Flores

In Retailers’ VM

Cult Gaia Email US – Oct 4, 2023

The Cult Brand

Orbit Sneaker

Silver / white / optic white rubber

Bottega Veneta at Bottega Veneta (UK)

GBP710.00

Mass Market Top Movers

Leather Metallic Platform Trainers

SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.

M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer (UK)

GBP49.50
Basic Bow Ballerinas

Silver

NA-KD Shoes at NA-KD (UK)

GBP34.95
Metallic sandals with bow detail

Silver

Mango at Mango (UK)

GBP169.99

Appendix

Date analysis
Products in stock Oct 23, 2023, new in & first majority sell outs Jul 1 – Oct 23, 2023, unless stated otherwise

US & UK retailers considered
& Other Stories, ALDO, Bershka, boohoo, boohooMAN, Clarks, Dune, Free People, H&M, John Lewis & Partners, Loft, Lulus, Madewell, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Mint Velvet, NA-KD, Nasty Gal, New Look, Office, PrettyLittleThing, Pull&Bear, River Island, Steve Madden, Stradivarius, Tu at Sainsbury’s, Zara