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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Textured and embellished shoes that extend all the way down the heel like this Vince Camuto style have become quite popular. (Credit: www.nordstrom.com)

Combining many comeback styles into one style, Nordstrom sells velvet-buckle and retro platform shoes. (Credit: nordstrom.com)

Shoe spending in the United States is a $48 billion industry annually, and obviously women have the largest share in that, though men are definitely catching up. According to data compiled by Global Industry Analysts, the average woman owns 17 pairs of shoes, but wears only three on a regular basis, with one woman out of twelve admitting that she owns more than 100 pairs of shoes.

For anyone who thought they were not old enough for their high school styles to have come back into fashion, check again. Many of the latest shoes seen on the runways are a throwback to ’90s fashion.

Block Heels

Pack away those stilettos (well, not really). Chunk heels, also known as block heels, have returned to the runway, bringing comfort and fashion with them. As with most styles of heels, the sky’s the limit, but with block heels a short heel adds height without killing everyone’s feet. They were very popular over the summer with sandals and open toes, but with the colder weather everyone has adapted the style and they are still found in many styles.

Buckle Up

Nineties icon Cher Horowitz wore these like no one else in “Clueless.” Whether it’s one buckle, three buckles or buckles up to the knee, these shoes are showing up everywhere. For people who find it hard to get a good fit with dress shoes, buckles help keep shoes on the wearer’s foot, and now it is fashionable besides being utilitarian.

Socks and Shoes

These two items are not mutually exclusive. Socks are being worn with heels. Yes, Cher wore these too. As did her best friend, Dionne. They rocked their high school with buckle heels over their socks. Though the socks style from the ’90s went over the knee, many of today’s styles are crew height and hit midcalf instead.

Platform Heels

Anyone “Wannabe” a shoe trendsetter? Snag a pair of platform boots (or pull them out of a closet from decades ago) and channel the inner Spice Girl that’s been dormant since their band broke up. Of course, platforms do not need to be worn sole-ly as boots. They work fine as a shoe inches high off the ground, too.

En Pointe

Not quite as ’90s, but fashionable nonetheless, to add a dressy look to any shoe, nothing achieves that result like a pointed toe. True, there may be no toes left after an evening in this gorgeous style, but at least the elegant footwear will be worth it. A pointy toe looks chic on high heels and flats as well.

Keep in mind that many of these styles can be combined. There are chunk heels with buckles and pointy toes with buckles too, and platforms that have pointy toes. Socks are being worn with platforms and with other types of shoes too. Wooden heels have become popular too, and the look was seen with block heels, artistic heels, on platforms and buckle shoes.

Not all upcoming shoe styles came from the past, though. Newer looks hitting the style runway this year also feature illustrated shoe patterns and furry heels. Velvet has been a staple of winter fashion this year, and shoes are no exception.

Keep in mind that whether seeking a look outside a comfort zone, or just updating with the styles, own the look and be comfortable with the choice.

By Jenny Gans