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Top 12 Must-Have Footwear Styles for Spring/Summer 2024

Thick soled sandals

Stay ahead of the competition by stocking the hottest shoe trends for Spring/Summer 2024. Our in-depth buyer’s guide covers the essential styles your customers will be clamoring for, from Y2K-inspired boots to barefoot sneakers. Learn which silhouettes, materials, and design details will drive sales and keep your inventory fresh and on-trend.

Table of Contents
1. Strappy platform sandals turn heads
2. Rugged all-terrain sneakers gain traction
3. Refined flatforms elevate summer staples
4. Y2K western boots kick up festival fashion
5. Chunky mules make a bold statement
6. Barefoot sneakers prioritize wellness
7. Architectural wedges add sculptural flair
8. Boxy ballerinas offer packable polish
9. Molded slip-ons embrace futuristic design
10. Retro court sneakers score nostalgia points
11. Noughties slides return with platform soles
12. Biker boots toughen up Y2K looks

Strappy platform sandals turn heads

Platform sandals reach new heights for Spring/Summer 2024, with strappy details adding fresh appeal. Experiment with extreme platforms and delicate string ties for trend-forward customers, or opt for moderate soles and wider straps to attract a broader audience. Bold colors like denim blue, orange, metallic, and Barbiecore pink will pop on social media and in store displays. Mix materials like cork, raffia, wood, and luster for added texture and visual interest.

Time your deliveries from March to June to capture prom and wedding season sales. Test rising brands like Spain’s MiM and Italy’s Les Petits Joueurs alongside established favorites Cult Gaia and Loeffler Randall. With strappy sandals classified as a “Sustained Riser” by TrendCurve+, you can buy deep in this trending silhouette.

strappy platform

Rugged all-terrain sneakers gain traction 

Trail-worthy sneakers continue to surge in popularity as the pandemic fuels enthusiasm for outdoor adventures. Specialist brands like Salomon, Hoka, On Running, and Merrell routinely top “Brands to Watch” lists thanks to strong sell-through performance.

Look for standout features that tell a story, like modular uppers that transform and protect, or packable styles for on-the-go exploring. Across luxury and premium retailers, sneakers with outdoor properties rose 19% YoY and comprised 6.7% of new sneaker styles. The trend-led segment saw even stronger growth at 66% YoY and 10.8% of new sneaker arrivals.

Consider “waterproof” and “hiking” in your SEO and product copy – our data shows triple-digit search growth for these sneaker keywords. While outdoor sneakers are poised for moderate growth, avoid overinvesting as TrendCurve+ projects them as “Slow Risers.”

Refined flatforms elevate summer staples

Flatforms lend fresh proportions to core summer sandals in leather and raffia. Offer a range of stacked heights to suit all customers, from sky-high statement makers to comfortable low profiles. Wooden and raffia bases are key for contemporary collections, while cushioned cupsoles will attract comfort-driven shoppers.

Update slip-on styles with oversized buckle hardware and puffy leather designs. Lean into the season’s strappy trend with string ankle ties on directional flatforms. Leading brands in this category include Max Mara, Vince, Simkhai, and Paloma Barceló.

According to TrendCurve+, slides are stagnating while strappy sandals rise, so focus your buy on the latter. With flatforms poised for continued momentum, this is a smart investment to refresh summer staples.

Western boots

Y2K western boots kick up festival fashion

Tap into Y2K nostalgia and the ongoing western trend with embellished boots just in time for festival season. Metallics, pastels, fringe, and denim resonate with Gen Z while also attracting millennials. Detailed embossing and embroidery offer transseasonal versatility.

Pinterest and Google data underscore the demand for blinged-out westerns, with silver, pink, red, sparkly, and rhinestone ranking as top search terms. There’s also an untapped opportunity in extended sizing – “wide calf western boots” saw a 90% YoY increase on Google.

Across trend-led retailers, western boot arrivals tripled YoY and claimed an 18.3% share. The premium and luxury segment posted a 30% YoY lift, with western comprising 7.7% of new boot styles. Buy boldly in this high-growth category.

Chunky mules make a bold statement

Chunky mules emerge as a key style, merging Y2K influences with both casual and dressy aesthetics. Two distinct trends are taking shape: minimalist platform mules with sleek lines, and bohemian-inspired clog mules with studded and buckled straps.

Black leather with contrast white stitching taps into ’90s revivals, while denim and vibrant colors refresh the look. Platform mules saw a 37% YoY uptick among trend-driven retailers, securing an 18.5% share of mule and clog new arrivals.

Our search data shows rising consumer interest, with “platform mules” queries up 70% YoY. Social media is driving styling inspiration, as evidenced by the 100% increase in “chunky platform heels outfit” searches on Pinterest. Although TrendCurve+ forecasts mules as “Slow Risers,” adding platform variations will keep your assortment current.

chunky mules

Barefoot sneakers prioritize wellness

As consumers prioritize foot health and natural movement, the barefoot sneaker emerges as a wellness-driven trend. Key features include wide toe boxes for optimal alignment and ultra-flexible soles that mimic the feel of walking barefoot.

Once a niche market, this concept is gaining mainstream traction thanks to new players like Flux Footwear and Fleeters. While barefoot sneaker arrivals dipped YoY, search volume skyrocketed, signaling unmet demand. “Barefoot shoes” searches jumped 776% on our platform, 450% on Google, and 70% on Pinterest.

Consider testing this trend in limited quantities, perhaps through a wellness capsule or foot health guide on your e-commerce site. As brands innovate in this space, barefoot is poised to step into the spotlight.

Architectural wedges add sculptural flair

Sculpted, architectural wedges emerge as a directional trend, building on the momentum of resort-ready footwear. Angular cutouts, indented heels, and exaggerated 90-degree angles imbue artistic edge to sandals and occasion-worthy styles.

Materials play a starring role, from transparent lucite wedges to high-shine chrome and glossy patent leather. Luxury leaders like Amina Muaddi, The Attico, Arielle Baron, and Paris Texas are pioneers of the look.

Wedges saw a healthy 56% YoY lift among premium and luxury retailers, carving out a 6.9% share of new footwear arrivals. With sandals driving the bulk of this growth, architectural wedges are a natural evolution to elevate the category.


Boxy ballerinas offer packable polish

Ballerinas are back in the spotlight, proving a versatile choice for work, play, and travel. Boxy toe shapes modernize the classic silhouette, as do wraparound ankle ties and airy materials like woven leather and mesh.

While ballerina new arrivals were flat YoY, an uptick among influential brands hints at bigger gains for Spring/Summer 2024. Styling with minimalist resort looks and promoting packable, office-friendly appeal will resonate with consumers.

Stock softer styles for late spring and summer deliveries, and structured leather pairs for early spring and wear-to-work edits. Despite being “Flat” in the US and UK per TrendCurve+, this wardrobe staple is poised for a graceful ascent in the German market.

Molded slip-ons embrace futuristic design

As 3D printing and AI design catapult footwear innovation forward, molded slip-ons are gaining traction. While lug-soled rubber clogs remain a core item, avant-garde shapes are sparking intrigue.

Exaggerated proportions range from puffy, cloudlike soles to undulating, amorphous uppers. Once the domain of directional youth brands, experimental molded footwear is resonating across demographics for recovery and comfort.

Harness the hype around AI design through collaborations akin to Bershka’s team-up with RAL7000STUDIO. Sustainable material stories like Rose in Good Faith’s collab with sex toy brand Doc Johnson, which featured shoes made from recycled adult toys, also spark conversation. Explore 3D printing for one-of-a-kind designs and a reduced carbon footprint.

boxy ballerinas

Retro court sneakers score nostalgia points

Vintage-inspired court sneakers are a slam dunk, channeling ’80s and ’90s basketball culture. Throwback releases like Reebok’s BB 4000 II and The Pump generate buzz, while upcoming collaborations with indie labels like Axel Arigato, SAYE, Pedro, and Greats feel fresh.

Clean, two-tone color blocking and classic “Clubhouse” shades like deep green and navy are can’t-miss details. Low-tops are a sure bet, but consider limited runs of mid- and high-tops for directional youth audiences.

planet-friendly positioning is a plus – highlight styles like SAYE’s Modelo ’92, which features recycled and ocean-bound plastic. Since “high top sneakers outfit” searches rose 50% YoY, leverage social media styling to show shoppers how to wear them. Although basketball sneakers are “Flat” in the US, stronger UK demand indicates potential for bigger buys across the pond.

Noughties slides return with platform soles

Slip into the laid-back glamour of the early aughts with platform slides. Steve Madden’s 90s Slinky design kickstarted the revival, putting stretchy neoprene and elastic uppers back on the radar. Colorful leather versions suit premium price points, while foam flatforms update flip-flops for the value-driven set.

Lean into dopamine brights and soft pastels to capture the Y2K mood. With slides classified as “Flat” for Spring/Summer 24 by TrendCurve+, focus on trending platform and flatform iterations over basic pool slides. Personalized charms, anklets, and toe rings are prime cross-selling pieces to complete the throwback look.

court sneakers

Biker boots toughen up Y2K looks

Rev up for the return of rebellious biker boots. Directional runways like Acne and Miu Miu juxtaposed tough moto boots with unapologetically girly ready-to-wear, inspiring a Y2K-infused take on the trend.

Grunge and #gothlite aesthetics are also fueling the look. Chunky lug soles, oversized buckles, and rock ‘n’ roll studding telegraph an edgy attitude. Classic black and distressed brown are the go-to colorways.

According to TrendCurve+, biker boots are “Flat” in the UK and “Declining” in the US, so adopt a wait-and-see approach. Festival fashion edits are a smart testing ground to gauge shopper response before increasing orders.

Biker boots


From Y2K revivals to sculptural innovations, these 12 footwear trends offer a roadmap to Spring/Summer 2024 retail success. By strategically aligning your assortment with these key styles and leveraging data-driven tools like TrendCurve+, you’ll be well-positioned to meet evolving consumer demand. As always, we’re here to help you navigate the ever-changing fashion landscape – so you can step into the new season with confidence and style. Happy buying!

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