Three footwear trends to watch in 2013

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Footwear is generally seen as a more utilitarian fashion item as opposed to other men’s accessories. But men’s shoes are just as susceptible to trends like bags, hats and clothing. Recently at the MAGIC Market Week trade shows, I checked out the Footwear News Platform to analyze the biggest and most important trends for the coming seasons. Three trends that are worth investing in for your shoe wardrobe for the coming seasons are all over prints, mixed materials and the re-interpretation of the chukka boot.

All over prints are everywhere these past few seasons for both men and women. But for those that want to try out the trend without wearing it on their backs, printed shoes are much less intimidated way to wear these styles. Southern California brand radii footwear is known for their allover patterned styles in a variety of silhouettes – from hightops to lowtops to more skateboarding, performance-orientated sneakers. Classic florals, especially with dark backgrounds, is one of the hottest patterns this season and was used by brands like cult streetwear label Supreme to high fashion designer 3.1 Philip Lim. Radii offered their take on the trend by using the print everywhere but the laces and the white soles to punctuate the pattern. Japanese standouts UBIQ mixed high end materials like suede with pops of print, for a more subtle take on the pattern trend. Suede lowtop wingtip sneakers with camouflage tongues and orange laces stood as the perfect pair to wear with khakis, denim or shorts. Other popular prints that were all over the tradeshow floor included polka dots, animal prints like cheetah spots and tiger stripes, floral Hawaiian blossoms, baroque, camouflage and quite possibly the most on trend – the marijuana leaf. Doc Martens engineered their own prints on a bevy of styles – form their classic boots to creepers and other hard soled shoes.

Much like all over printed styles, mixed material models are hot because brands can pick a few silhouettes and customized then in myriad of ways. For the coming seasons, exotic skins are continuing to be hot, much like fitted caps and snapbacks. Gourmet has done a great job of mixing in and out different materials on their well-known silhouettes, like animal print ponyhair and leather and flannel and patent leather. Gourmet also capitalizes on the patterned shoe trend by using interesting textiles like a patterned, woven yarn and vintage canvas camouflage with nappa leather. Android Homme is another brand that is staying ahead of trends thanks to their innovative, and sometimes extravagant use of materials. Much like Gourmet, they stick to a range of silhouettes and swap out materials like stingray, suede, ostrich, and printed velvet. Mixing and matching these luxurious leathers and textiles with clear and white cup soles creates sneakers that equally casual and catwalk ready – no small feat.

The chukka or desert boot has been classic in men’s footwear, ever since they raised to popularity in the 1940’s. Often, chukka boots are seen as simple, basic footwear that comes in only calfskin and suede. But for 2013 and beyond, brands are reinterpreting the chukka silhouette thanks to an interesting fabrics, colors and textures. Nike’s new FlyKnit technology is changing the way woven textiles are used in footwear. Using knitted textiles balanced with a Lunarlon sole marry lightweight, state of the art technology in a classic silhouette using that works well dressed up or dressed down. Cole Haan, recently sold off from Nike, is moving on from their successful Nike collaboration entitled the LunarGrands into new territory by using hits of bright color on the outsole and classic leathers and suedes on the upper for a sophisticated but playful take on the chukka.

All three trends are worth trying and will carry you through multiple seasons. Which will you try this spring? Let us know in the comments.

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