As New York’s Fashion Week begins, many students hope to get a glimpse of the runways.However, they may be dreading what attending show after show in high heels might do to their feet.
Luckily, with trends introduced during the Haute Couture and Resort Spring/Summer ’14 seasons, jazzing up any outfit with a comfortable pair of shoes is possible.
Many brands and stores have been following in the footsteps of Chanel and Dior after both premiered a line of sneakers at their Haute Couture S/S ’14 shows this past January. While their sneakers are out of a typical college student’s price range, a pair of Chanel sneakers can be swapped out for a less expensive pair such as the Brown Leopard Print Runner Sneakers from River Island ($50).
Many stars, including Rihanna and Alexa Chung, have also been embracing their New Balance sneakers. Chung was seen at February’s NYFW in a pair of the brand’s WI574 Black Blue Trainers.
Those looking for a clean and comfortable sandal will be surprised to learn that the summer shoe of 2014 is the Birkenstock. The German company’s leather Arizona sandal has been embraced by celebrities, models and stylists, and has also been recreated by companies including Steve Madden, Asos, Topshop and countless others around the world. It is not so surprising that the shoe has become massively popular — few people can turn down great arch support.
Those not willing to break a foot can easily replace a high-heeled boot or stiletto with a flat boot or kitten heels. The Chelsea boot, a flat leather ankle boot, has been welcomed by the elite of street style with open arms. Its chic design can easily dress up any outfit, and its almost nonexistent heel allows for constant comfort. As an alternative to the Chelsea boot, the combat boot, which reemerged in mainstream fashion in 2013, is big, bulky and adds texture and depth to any outfit without pain.
Thanks to its continued presence on runways, the kitten heel offers an almost life-saving replacement for the back-breaking stiletto. With the heel typically less than two inches, the kitten heel is safe to walk in while still adding the bit of height many desire. Several high-end designers have embraced them in their 2014 collections, including Stella McCartney and Giorgio Armani.
With the fast pace of fashion week, no one wants to get left behind. Thankfully, comfort has become a major presence in this year’s footwear with the flat boot, the high-fashion sneaker and the trendy, leather sandal.
While trends of painful stilettos have caused suffering for the uncoordinated, there are few protesting this year’s new relaxed craze. Here’s hoping this comfortable trend is here to stay.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 4 print edition. Email Jennifer Neufeld at [email protected]