Stretch Kicks off Fall Footwear in New York

To buy boots or not that was the question at FFANY, the New York Shoe Show, the first of a string of footwear trade fairs presenting Fall/Winter 2016/17 collections. Many retailers complained that tall-shafted boots did not perform this last season, and everybody lamented about the weather: either too warm, too little snow, too much snow, etc. However, there was consensus about one thing: anything with stretch was successful. So naturally, there were plenty of new stretch footwear options at all price points.


Footwear trends are still on a casual track, and stretch implies instant casual comfort. Lightweight, flexible ath-leisure bottom units were the basis for many easy pull-on boots and slip-ons in subtle croco prints at Impo or rustic rub-off leather finishes at Børn. A tailored Chelsea boot got a contemporary update at Firenze.Studio with double goring across the foot and high on the instep, an effortless way for busy urbanites to pull these boots on and of.

1. Børn 2. Firenze.Studio

The return of the trouser suit, pencil skirts and longer hemlines is a trend that will be embraced by career women all over. The look is professional and pulled together but lacks the serious structure of the past. This new tailoring is softer, comfortable and easy to wear. Up-front pumps on substantial high heels that almost resemble booties will be an ideal footnote, and Firenze.Studio showed some with a lot of Italian “Alta Moda” flair. Lasts were softly rounded; leathers were always luxurious, smooth or suede. And stretch-goring details on the side and around the top line guaranteed a comfortable fit.

3. Firenze.Studio 4. Firenze.Studio

Rumour has it that dress shoes are aiming to reclaim their fashion status. The truly feminine customer never actually gave up her dressy little shoe booties on slim high heels. There will be new ones next fall. We liked Impo's versions. One featured an open weave upper, and, yes, it stretched because the weave was made of elastic. The other was an inexpensive little sock boot in a dark winter bloom floral print on black in a stretch nylon– the ultimate way to be on trend and get attention by just wearing a LBD (little black dress) with all eyes on the shoes! 

5. Impo 6. Impo