Execs from Saks, Nordstrom Talk Men’s Shoe Trends for Spring 2025 + Most Surprising Moments from Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks

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After a whirlwind June filled with fresh fashion from Florence, Milan and Paris, there is a lot to digest from last month’s spring/summer 2025 European men’s shows.

And while loafers, mules and sandals ruled the runway, the reality is most men are still focused on buying sneakers. According to recent data from Circana’s retail tracking service, top men’s footwear categories this spring were running and sports lifestyle sneakers. Unsurprisingly, running sneakers were driven by the much larger road running segment as well as trail. And when it came to sport lifestyle sneakers, this segment was driven mainly by retro sneakers with tennis, soccer, and training roots.

Together running and sport lifestyle made up about half of men’s footwear sales this spring and gained share versus last year, Circana noted. Interestingly, the fashion shoe category overall was down and lost share during the period. However, the retail analytics firm noted that there was some growth in flip flops – which were up 2 percent in May over last year.

So, what’s next? To find out, FN caught up with executives from Saks and Nordstrom to discuss what shoe trends dominated the spring 2025 European runways last month, this season’s most talked about shows and more surprising moments from Paris and Milan.

What shoe trends stuck out the most this season while at the European shows?

Reginald Christian, senior fashion manager of menswear at Saks: “This season, the boat shoe undoubtedly stood out the most throughout Europe. Its uniqueness came from interesting colorways, updated fabrications and quality construction. Valentino offered a floral printed style. Santoni showcased them in beautiful, soft, pastel blue suede that felt fresh. Loewe added their signature round toe to the boat shoe, bringing playfulness to this trend. Mules also made a strong appearance with sleek silhouettes and elevated suede. The refined sandal was an additional key trend this season, seen in fisherman styles from Church’s and embossed croc and leather sandals from Isaia that presented practical trends for both formal and casual gatherings.”

Jian DeLeon, men’s fashion director at Nordstrom: “Plenty of low-profile sneakers and fisherman sandals were on the feet of people who attended the shows. On the runway, there were plenty of great dress shoes, with lower profile brogues and colorful sneakers from Prada to patent leather brogues at Junya Watanabe, to easy-wearing derbies and slip-ons like Lemaire.”

What surprised you this season? Was there an unexpected silhouette or material that popped up frequently?

Christian: “I am not surprised, but I am happy with this season’s footwear, which paired perfectly with the more relaxed ready-to-wear styles shown on the runways. The retro-runner sneaker, a 1970s-style sneaker with ultra-flat soles and suede and nylon uppers, was a rising trend this season, seen at Prada, Valentino, Dries Van Noten and Loewe. This season, suede was a hot material, and pastel color iterations resonated the most with seasonality.”

DeLeon: “Both Grace Wales Bonner and Undercover put forth two versions of the collapsible heel shoe—with Wales Bonner remaking the Adidas Country into a low-profile silhouette and Jun Takahashi softening the patent leather derby with a louche edge. There was a good amount of super soft leather bringing newness to the sneaker world, from Prada’s colorful interpretations to Adidas collaborations with brands like Song For the Mute and Brain Dead reimagining silhouettes like the Stan Smith and Superstar through the lens of lived-in comfort.”

Dries Van Noten, mens, shoes, mens shoes, Paris Fashion Week, spring 2025, June 2024, final show
Shoes from Dries Van Noten’s final show.

Are there any new themes or influences in the designer sneaker market that you’re seeing?

Christian: “Travel and stylish outdoor wear were the overachieving themes of the season, and designers addressed the demand for versatile and comfortable styles that did not comprise design. Dior showcased a more artisanal and eye-catching take on the trail sneaker, and Gucci supported this theme with eye-catching tonal lilac, slate and brown styles; both iterations will offer excitement to our clients.”

DeLeon: “Shoes continue to get lower to the ground as shapes become more voluminous, giving breathable tailoring a contrast while letting clothing become more of the focus of an outfit. The new statement shoe is one that ties everything together in a harmonious way, rather than being the focal point of a look.”

What’s the new non-sneaker style for men? Are loafers still the go-to for spring 2025?

Christian: “Loafers remain relevant to modern men’s spring 2025 wardrobe styles, especially in flexible silhouettes. However, we were excited to see strong sandals, mules and boat shoe styles add a much-needed update to men’s wardrobe rotations.”

DeLeon: “The boat shoe and similar moccasin silhouettes are poised for a big comeback if this season is any indication. Just as casual as the loafer, but with a seaside-inspired touch that looks great in the city and not necessarily dockside, especially in elegant colors like all-black and chocolate brown.”

Gucci, spring 2025, mens, Gucci mens, Milan Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week Mens, shoes, sneakers, loafers, slip ons, mules
Gucci’s newest sneaker.

What was one of the most talked about shows this season from your travels?

Christian: “Gucci and Prada were also exceptionally buzzy and talked about throughout Milan. Rick Owens stayed on top of our minds throughout the market for his epic production and message of unity. Dries Van Noten’s final runway show was impactful and created a space for us to champion fashion and our admiration for such a talented designer.”

DeLeon: “Definitely Rick Owens’ ‘Hollywood’ show, featuring phalanxes of models all wearing similar outfits. The tonal ivory take on his massive Geobasket sneaker is definitely one that will be appreciated by Owens’ acolytes old and new.”

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