Formal shoes may make come-back as sneaker obsession wanes

Formal shoes may be poised to make a comeback following a return on global catwalks to glamorous formalwear over streetwear such as sneakers and hoodies, according to trend commentators.


International fashion trends indicate the start of a shift away from sneakers to “80s power suits, sharp tailoring, and glamorous formalwear,” writes global footwear commentator, Chris Danforth, in a blog headlined “high fashion’s obsession with sneakers might be coming to an abrupt end”.


SA fashion blogger Lee Fraser says while sneakers and streetwear are popular in South Africa this could change slightly over the next year or two as South Africans followed international trends: “Although some will still embrace the informal look, I anticipate a shift towards more formal wear”.


Top designer Devan Odayan from leading SA shoe company, Bolton Footwear, says casual footwear will always be popular in South Africa due to the country’s climate and lifestyle. However, he noted that formal shoes made a strong showing at the recent SA fashion week where designer suits were largely complemented by formal footwear.


“If there is a global trend towards formal footwear, we hope it will take root in South Africa where Bolton Footwear produces some of the country’s top formal brands,” he said.


Odayan said high quality formal shoes offered both style and comfort and advised consumers to choose good quality shoes that fit well and which are crafted from genuine leather.


“Wearing good quality footwear contributes to a sense of confidence and style, indicative of a discerning individual. Bolton Footwear is renowned for its formal styles, particularly the Crockett & Jones and Barker brands which remain perennial favourites among South Africans of all ages.


“Our formal ranges comprise a host of styles to suit all tastes and all occasions. As part of our evolution we are constantly introducing new features which underline our commitment to be leaders in fashion and comfort, and to ensure optimal foot health,“ he added.


Barker and Crockett & Jones shoes are available online or at selected retailers.


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