I'm a High-Heel Sceptic, But These 6 Shoe Trends Will (Quite Literally) Elevate Your Wardrobe

Before you say it, I know—we thought we were sworn off heels for good. All of the major shoe trends of the past two years have prioritised comfort first: it was all about Birkenstock clogs, chunky Chelsea boots, ballet flats and the return of the kitten heel. But if you’re looking for a pair of shoes that always packs a serious punch, you’re going to want to start with a statement heel. After all, who ever set foot on a red carpet in trainers? Well, Serena Williams, Kristen Stewart and Millie Bobby Brown all have, but it’s definitely not the look we remember them best for.

So, what place do high heels have in our wardrobes in 2024? You’ll be happy to know that although we’re fashion-conscious editors, team Who What Wear UK still aren’t willing to compromise on comfort in the pursuit of style. Until we’re ready to wear heels to work every day (a highly unlikely prospect), we’re ultimately focusing on the fashion-forward shoe trends that we can pull out for really special occasions. You know—parties, birthdays, weddings, good outfit days. With the promise of sunshine and good weather right around the corner, what we’re wearing on our feet now extends beyond sensible boots, making this the perfect time to talk about the exciting new shoe styles we can’t wait to step into, and boy, is there a lot to discuss.

Below, you’ll find our pick of six of the very best heeled-shoe trends to grace the runways and be worn by the street style set over the past six months, setting the tone for the year ahead. Expect old favourites, new styles and one styling hack you might not have thought of, but will wish you had. Enjoy, shoe fans.

1. The Pointed Toe

heeled shoe trends 2024

Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images

(Image credit: INDIGITAL.TV Courtesy Alexander McQueen; @anoukvye; Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images)

Style Notes: Just when we thought the square toe was the coolest kid on the block, the pointed toe has made a triumphant return on the back of the “mob wife” aesthetic. Imagine big faux-fur coats, sharp blazers and pencil skirts—the pointed toe is the only shoe shape that makes sense, and even when paired with a plain T-shirt and wide-leg trousers, this exaggerated silhouette can take even the simplest outfit somewhere special.

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2. The Slingback

heeled shoe trends 2024

(Image credit: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com Courtesy Saint Laurent; @piamance; The Style Stalker)

Style Notes: Okay, so this isn’t strictly new, as the slingback has been quietly gathering traction over the past year at least, but we would be remiss not to include what is undoubtedly the biggest shoe trend of 2024 thus far. Every brand from Miu Miu to Marks and Spencer is proudly showing off their slingbacks, and this once-considered “dated” style is now the hottest on the market. Do as the Italians do and pair your slingbacks with a slinky skirt and bare legs, or (until the weather gets a little warmer), take tips from the runway and add some sheer socks.

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3. The White Court Shoe

heeled shoe trends 2024

(Image credit: Paolo Fichera Courtesy Fendi; @nlmarilyn; Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images)

Style Notes: We called it long before they broke onto the street style circuit, but white shoes are officially trending again. They might not be designed with a long day of trekking around in mind, but one thing they are good at is immediately catching the eye, so dark and monochrome outfits will benefit from the unexpected pop of clean white in the form of a sleek shoe. Score extra points by incorporating two trends in one with a pointed court shoe in fresh white—there’s something very Mad Men about secretarial shoes with clever tailoring.

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4. The Heeled Loafer

heeled shoe trends 2024

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images; Courtesy Gucci; Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Style Notes: From the moment Gucci’s Horsebit Platforms stomped their way down the runway, it was clear we had a controversial, conversation-starting shoe trend on our hands, but the evidence has been in front of our eyes all along. First, the penny loafer gradually developed thicker and thicker soles, transforming from a subtle wardrobe staple to a chunky-soled trend, before sprouting a kitten heel (thanks to a Miu Miu breakout shoe and plenty of high-street dupes). Surely it was only a matter of time before we fell for high-heeled loafers with preppy appeal in spades? According to the runways, that time is now.

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5. Sculptural Shapes

heeled shoe trends 2024

(Image credit: Courtesy Versace; @Sobalera;  INDIGITAL.TV Courtesy Alexander McQueen)

Style Notes: If you’re going to make an entrance, make it in the kind of statement heel that leaves a lasting impression. Whether it’s blocky heels, cut-outs and curves, architectural angles or unexpected details, these shoes are walking works of art and deserve to be celebrated as such. Don’t panic—the majority are far more comfortable than they look, and the key to pulling off the trend is keeping the rest of your outfit relatively stripped back to let the shoes do the talking (just be sure to opt for a heel height that you’re already comfortable walking in).

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6. High Heels and Hoisery

heeled shoe trends 2024

(Image credit: @nlmarilyn; Isidore Montag / Gorunway.com Courtesy Ferragamo)

Style Notes: What would have once been considered a fashion faux pas has managed to become a major trend for 2024—that’s right, wearing open-toed stilettos with a pair of tights or socks doesn’t feel like it should make sense, and yet it somehow does. If the runways are to be believed, the strappier and skinnier the sandals, the better, especially with heavy-duty opaque tights. Just add a calf-skimming skirt or dress with a generous slit to showcase your new styling hack, there you have it: a runway-ready look that won’t leave you in the cold.

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