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FN Platform Recap: Top Shoe Trends for Spring 2020 Lean on Familiar Styles

At the FN Platform trade show in Las Vegas this week, spring footwear stalwarts were reworked in an attempt to reinvigorate the styles.

While some brands took chances with bright color ways and unexpected silhouettes, the floor’s overall feel was familiar. Espadrilles and athletic-inspired slides and sandals dominated Spring 2020 offerings, infused with fresh details, like studs, stitching and new takes on the squared-off toe.

Kicking off the show at a trend seminar with NPD, Leslie Gallin, president of UBM Fashion Group, admonished brands who have shied away from taking chances. “There’s a moment now where the consumer wants to spend money, but the industry has gone to sleep,” she said.

“Everyone has been so worried about what’s going to happen,” she said, referencing the distracting trade war with China as a factor inhibiting outside-the-box thinking. Gallin cautioned that brands have “gotten away from design and providing the next new thing” for consumers.

Looking out across a packed showroom floor, Gallin’s words rang true. In a swelling sea of thousands of shoes, selection still somehow seemed sparse.

Here are some of the standouts for Spring 2020 footwear trends.

Colored metallics

In a nod to the return to ‘80s glamour that promises to rock apparel, next spring’s footwear selection brings jewel-toned brights in shimmering metallic finishes.

French brand Arche brought impossibly bright fuchsia and Kelly green to its line. “The inspiration for these colorful metallics and brights is urban living and night life,” said Kevin Quach, the brand’s VP of sales. “They’re for the city girl who might not traditionally go against the grain too much; who wears blacks and neutrals. But she wants to add a little brightness, fun and life to her wardrobe.”

White outsoles

The favored feature of athleisure silhouettes is back with a vengeance, this time making its mark on casual and classic styles, instead of just slide sandals.

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Though she admits that trends come and go, Beth Goldstein, NPD’s executive director and fashion footwear and accessories industry analyst said, “as long as the athleisure trend is still out there, fashion will follow it…The thick white bottoms really just give that athletic look.”

Espadrille styling

Next spring’s espadrilles will get a full-on face lift. Funky heel shapes and all-over jute stitching revitalize this omnipresent spring style.

“It allows you to freshen up and give the same wedge styles a different face,” Charles David president, Bruce Moore, said of the braided jute-wrapped heels and stitched details that punctuate the brand’s forthcoming line.

Appealing to consumers of all ages, espadrille styling is a spring-summer staple that continues to bring brands happy returns.

Short heels

“Low heels deserve to look good too,” said William Clark, national director of sales for Valentina Rangoni, who told Sourcing Journal that the migration away from sky-high stilettos in favor of reasonably low heels is all about how they make wearers feel.

“With the consumer now, it’s all about comfort. We’re trying to integrate fashionable designs and sophisticated looks with comfort,” he told Sourcing Journal. Valentina Rangoni featured kitten heels and short, lucite block heels for its Spring 2020 collection.

Modern, architecturally-inspired shapes and clean lines bring visual interest to the season’s shorter silhouettes.

Unusual toe shapes

The Spring 2020’s most daring trend will hit sandals with full force next spring, and some shoppers may question its wearability.

The season will see a slew of dress sandal styles with unusual, geometric toe shapes. Points, square toes and some options that defy geometric classification are expected to take the market by storm, displacing round and almond-toe options as the industry standard.