By Anne Bratskeir


The world is flat and fancy when it comes to shoes this summer.

Strappy, sky-high stilettos have given way to glorified shower shoes and gussied-up slip-on sneaks. The humble footwear has gone haute and can be utterly glamorous, funky and (whaaaat?) furry, even, with costs ranging from moderate to off-the-charts pricey.

“We’ve seen a complete transition in shoes,” says Amanda Astor, vice president of The Shoe Box chain. “A huge portion of our business is the slip-on and slide trend, to the point we’ve completely changed our buying strategy. It’s night and day compared to a year ago. Our clients want to be trendy, relay a message of power, but still be comfortable and practical.”

Comfort is queen, says Good Housekeeping magazine style director Lori Bergamotto. “There is this movement through all of fashion as comfort being chic.” Bergamotto views the trend as an evolution of those “ugly pool slides from college. The genius fashion operatives had an epiphany and started blinging them out with fur, pompoms, embroideries, jewels, embellishment,” she says.