Spring Styles: Shoes with attitude
Spring Styles: Shoes with attitude

This summer, daintily-clad toesies are morphing into so-called “caged feet.”

Leather straps are radiating over arches, thrust forward by towering, heavy heels and thick shanks. Platforms made of punishing wood are back and in abundance. Heels come shaped like inverted triangles or hefty cylinders.

It’s part medieval armor, part 21st century Don’t Tread On Me.

And with the gladiator style still in full force since last summer, even flats are managing to look aggressive.

Laird Borrelli-Persson, senior features editor at Style.com, says she saw a lot of “hard and studded shoes” on spring/summer runways and that they’re probably here to stay.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that continuing as a trend because maybe, psychologically, when times are tough they help you feel like no one can beat (you) up,” Borrelli says.

But as anyone who’s ever shopped knows, for every trend there’s a counter-trend. Floral printed canvas shoes are also in vogue, although many are less delicate than in years past.

In haute circles, the “shoe as sculpture” persists, with “a lot of molded heels and sort of inventive platforms,” Borrelli said, citing those at Giambattista Valli, Christian Louboutin, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton.

Tribal motives, too, are still hot. Snakeskins real and faux are showing up in high volume. Leather fringes are making appearances here and there.

Overall, don’t expect your feet to have an easier time of it anytime soon. “I don’t see comfortable shoes becoming fashionable,” Borrelli said.

“They seem to be getting higher and higher and higher.”

— McClatchy Newspapers