text by Nicole Spellman + Fiona Clarke
photos by Ronald Stewart styled by Daniella Mangakis

With the Valley’s toasty temps stretching well into October, barely-there footwear has an extended life span. No longer just restricted to summer, these selections range from stilettos to chunky options, animal prints to glittery, jeweled numbers. Pair distressed jeans, an easy-breezy chiffon mini or an ankle-length slip dress with the perfect heeled sandal and you’re good-to-go. From omnipresent to niche, the fashionistas at Barneys New York have identified the top five heel trends to work into your show-some-skin shoe rotation.


The divisive toe thong is reminiscent of two things: 1). The early aughts and the It-girls that wore them, and 2). A generic rubber sandal. Though the latter is historically far from fashionable, its sleek, heeled cousin has resurfaced and looks surprisingly sexy on today’s style stars. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying this exposed heel is here and the pedicure is non-negotiable.


Above: GUCCI Eleonor Patent Leather & PVC Pumps

This trending shoe offers ease and comfort, while simultaneously adding sophistication to midi-skirts or an unexpected twist to vintage denim or biker shorts. We also love that they conjure grandma-chic in a kitschy-cool way, especially when reimagined by brands like Gucci. Seen frequently on the Instagram feed, the style is available in multitude of types from slingbacks to mules.


Whether leopard or zebra, wild spots and stripes have become a neutral and year-round styling staple that every wardrobe needs. This season, the perennial prints come in many forms, from wedges to block heels. Mix them with other patterns like pretty florals or add edge to a monochromatic look.


Above: MANOLO BLAHNIK Lurumpi Lace & Satin Mules

The term “day-to-night” is used liberally in the fashion world, but in this case, it accurately describes the potential of an embellished heel. Wear an ornate pair to dress up boyfriend jeans at the office, then pull them out again over the weekend at a summer wedding. When in doubt, just ask yourself, how would Carrie Bradshaw style them?


Minimalistic, “barely-there” sandals have become one of the most popular shoes of summer. The ‘90s trend re-emerged in 2018 with Old Céline’s “Nude Sandals,” and now footwear designers are amping up the effortless appeal with bright colors and sculpted designs.