Five shoe trends I regret buying into
It’s more than just impulse shopping.
As a fashion enthusiast and a shoe hoarder that had more than a hundred pairs at one point, I’ve tried many trends over the years.
Some styles, like the chunky boots first seen on Prada’s runway, remain well-loved in my wardrobe. But others have simply collected dust, untouched for one reason or another.
Here are five shoe trends that I regret buying into and why.
1. Quilted leather boots
I have a penchant for heeled boots, so when I saw these Bottega Veneta-inspired bad boys from vegan label Z_Code_Z, it was love at first sight. This pair is insanely comfortable because of the skinny block heel, which feels like a cool and innovative design.
But since the material is extremely soft— it’s usually pleather or lambskin— wear and tear will show up in no time.
Within a month of wearing them, patches of leather began rubbing off, making them virtually unusable (apart from photoshoots). Unless you like babying your shoes, stay clear of the quilted shoe trend.
2. Sock boots
Popularised by Balenciaga and Vetements (who are both helmed by the same creative director), sock boots were praised as the “cosiest trend of the season” by Glamour.
So I bought into the hype – only to find out they made my feet sweat in Singapore’s tropical heat, and that they are better for people who live in colder climates.
This Pimkie pair isn’t the best quality either – while they look sleek and modern, the shape isn’t the most ergonomic. If you have bunions but love the style, opt for a shoe with a flexible base instead, like sock sneakers.
3. Vivienne Westwood-inspired heels
The recent revival of 2000s trends of late has been spearheaded by vintage Vivienne Westwood fashion, the iconic British designer who helped make punk style mainstream.
Her logo of a sovereign orb and the rings of Saturn represent British regality and outer space, an interesting juxtaposition which has captivated Gen Z.
When I saw this dupe from House of Avenues on sale, I immediately bought them without thinking of comfort or practicality.
While they are indeed beautiful, with the Saturn-esque heels reminiscent of Westwood’s style they are virtually unwalkable, as they dig into my heels and make my walking stilted. Save them for special occasions instead.
4. Lolita Mary Janes
This number from LA MODA is an homage to alternative subculture that was made popular by Harajuku Lolita fashion. I especially love the chunky sole, which gives these Mary Janes a grittier edge.
The term ‘lolita’ originates from Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel of the same name, but this street style draws on pastel colours and exaggerated femininity.
While this pair is very popular on social media, they are not very well made, and even the heart embossing is stitched on wonkily. The soles are super stiff too, so it makes me feel flat-footed even when I’m not.
5. Nike Huarache
Hear me out – I know the Nike Huarache has a huge cult following, and for good reason. They look stylishly weird, less mainstream than the Air Max, Air Force, or Cortez lines, and durable.
But this hero shoe’s fatal flaw? They don’t let your feet breathe.
The neoprene fabric works disastrously in humid weather, and becomes way too hot to wear- especially with socks on. I usually wear these Air Huarache City Low sneakers when I travel overseas, but since the pandemic started, I find myself not reaching for them.
While these shoes are fun to style and pair with outfits, one design flaw or another led me to regret buying (and keeping) them. It was hard to learn from these mistakes, but it taught me to be more conscientious before hitting the checkout button.