It may be that we should wear only the shoe that fits (and fits comfortably!), but many of us have a place in our hearts for shoes that are new, fun and trendy. So what’s new, fun and trendy for fall 2016? Online, Glamour identifies the following five shoe styles as seasonal trends: exotics, pointy pumps, second-skin boots, rugged boots and over-the-top embellished. Vogue says heels are back, as are buckles, platforms and long boots. InStyle’s vote is for pointy-toe heels, “kiltie” details (tassels and fringe), anything black and strappy, blush tones and bright suedes. We visited several Maple Grove stores to see what is trending, from practical to pure fun, in shoes on their display racks now.
Each Apricot Lane boutique is independently owned and operated, selling clothing, shoes and accessories for a wide age range of women. Manager Liz Berko says shoes this fall are moving away from wedges and heels to flats. Apricot Lane carries Minnetonka Moccasin’s fringed low boot in the classic camel-colored suede, as well as slippers. They also stock the popular TOMS brand (for every pair purchased, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need), usually in three different styles.
Schuler’s mantra is shoes that fit well, feel good and look great. Perusing the inventory in their spacious Maple Grove location, it seems none of these is a barrier to fine fashion, too. Marie Vidger is vice president of merchandising for Schuler Shoes and New Balance Twin Cities, and she shared some of their 2016 fashion trends, specifically noting that not all styles and colors will be available in every shoe, or at every store. “Colors for women are trending toward dark earth and jewel tones, Brazilian and metallic,” she says. Popular boots are low-shaft, booties and Chelsea boots, many with details such as buckles and angled top lines. Other women’s styles include pointy flats, athleisure, natural colored stacked heels, 70’s and menswear inspired. The men’s trend list includes lace-up ankle boots, Chukka boots, Chelsea boots and athleisure. Schuler’s “winter influence” trend includes fashion boots with a winter touch like shearling, faux fur and flannel. “The trend also includes winter boots that can be worn fashionably—boots that go beyond mere function,” she says, adding that Sorel is a brand using this trend with increasing popularity.
Located in the Fountains at Arbor Lakes, DSW is known for its large selection of brand-name and designer shoes and handbags. Store manager Jocelyn Coan independently confirms many of the trends mentioned above: in women’s dress shoes, for example, she’s seeing a lot of block heels. A variation on this, she says, are heels with a cut-out toe or back. The trend in boots is toward the bootie, especially ones “with a bit of Western flair,” she adds. The style in boots also favors cut-outs, including toe and/or geometrical (for example, wedge-shaped openings dipping down to the ankle on each side of a short boot). Popular for men is “street style,” like classic sneakers by Vans, Converse and Adidas that can be worn with casual or more formal clothing. “We’ve just started carrying children’s shoes,” Coan adds. “For the most part, they mimic adult styles."
According to Famous Footwear’s vice president of women’s nonathletic footwear and accessories, Michelle Mackin, fall trends include booties, high top sneakers and black and white athletics.
Ankle height boots are all over the marketplace right now for women. While not completely replacing the tall shaft boot, the bootie is quickly becoming a staple item in any woman’s closet. Because you can dress them down with skinny jeans, or dress them up with a dress, there is a style of bootie for virtually every woman. With lace, sweater, fringe and buckle details, this trend isn’t likely to go away any time soon and will carry well into the spring season.
We are seeing an uptick in black and white athletics as fashion footwear, like the Adidas Womens Lite Racer. In two tones, all white or all black, these timeless shoes can be paired with almost anything.
And, high top sneakers are making a fierce comeback. Classic Converse Chuck Taylors and new-age Adidas are being worn by people in all walks of life and by women, men and children alike. Pair them with jeans to grab coffee with a friend or with sweats to run a quick weekend errand; this trend is becoming very versatile.
One popular fall 2016 trend is retro-style high top sneakers. Famous Footwear favorites include the Adidas Raleigh 9TIS (pictured on the left, for men, women and children), which feature an Ortholite sock liner that both cushions and absorbs odor, and the Nike Court Borough Mid. In Vans, check out the Chapman for men and the Milton for women. Finally, a convenient style for children is the Converse Chuck Taylor Easy Slip.
Gymboree exclusively sells children’s apparel and is located in the Shoppes at Arbor Lake. Katie Bryant, store manager, has a brand-new collection of children’s shoes for fall 2016. The star of the show for girls is sparkle, sparkle, sparkle: sparkly pink high tops with contrasting-color shoelaces and sparkly ballet flats, as well as faux leather high riding boots. For boys, best sellers are expected to be boat shoes and two-tone canvas high tops.
Nordstrom Rack is the discount arm of Nordstrom, Inc, which originally opened in Seattle in 1901 as a shoe store. Nordstrom Rack PR representative Jessica Canfield says, “This fall is all about four trends—menswear (think loafers, wingtips, oxfords), block heel booties, over-the-knee boots and sneakers.” You’ll find all these styles at the store and at nordstromrack.com.
Store manager David Everett calls Red Wing Shoes in Maple Grove a destination store for men and women who need very specific footwear for workplaces, including construction, factories and warehouses. “The criteria for workplace shoes can be very specific to the company,” he says. For instance, some workplaces require puncture-resistant models, while others demand boots that feature a specific overlay to protect the top of the foot (called “met guard”). Everett also sells hunting boots, typically waterproof and containing varying degrees of Thinsulate insulation, with tread on the bottom specific to terrain and the territory that game usually inhabits. Hiking boots range from ankle- to knee-high, the latter providing “a lot better ankle support and shin protection, too,” he says.
An abundance of specialty shoe stores comes, coincidentally, at the end of our alphabetical listing. While Payless ShoeSource may not be generally considered a specialty store, a glance at the racks reveals a large variety of women’s styles in sizes 10 to 13, and many shoes in wide widths. Men’s sizes go up to 15. Also available are lighter-duty work shoes for men and women, dye-able special occasion shoes and ballet and tap and jazz shoes for children. Payless ShoeSource, 8056 Wedgewood Lane N.; 763.416.7887; payless.com REI specializes in outdoor recreation gear, sporting goods and clothing including shoes. Manager Kelly Murphy says REI’s fall inventory includes hiking, backpacking, trail running and road running shoes. As for styles, he says: “The lighter, the better.” He says that the backpacker’s best bet for achieving ankle stability is not a longer boot shaft but a stiffer midsole. “It keeps your foot on a level platform,” Murphy explains.