BEST OF 2017

The Craziest, Most Fabulous Shoes in 2017, from Elf Sneakers to Platform Crocs

Balenciaga : Runway - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018
Victor Virgile/Getty Images

The crystal-covered Saint Laurent slouch boots that Rihanna wore days after they made their debut on the runway—unsurprisingly launching a wait list within a matter of weeks—might be some of the most memorable shoes of 2017, but they’re certainly not the most out-there ones that designers churned out over this year. While Comme des Garçons kept its footwear relatively simple—lest it drew attention away from the label’s bulbous, amoeba-shaped designs—Jonathan Anderson took their 21-inch lead from a few years ago by upturning the toes of his sneakers for Loewe, essentially turning them into elf shoes. And, whether we like it or not, it was once again a big year for Crocs: Christopher Kane lined his usual ones with fur, and Balenciaga worked directly with the brand to create a platform edition for Spring 2018. Take a look back at those and more memorable pairs, like Versace’s over-the-knee, Marilyn Monroe-covered boots, here.


Jonathan Anderson delighted some fans, and confounded others by sending out sneakers that curled up at the end, thereby undeniably resembling elf shoes, at Loewe’s spring 2018 during Paris Fashion Week.


Then again, the elf shoes at Loewe shouldn’t have come as such a surprise given that Anderson had already debuted these mop-like, macramé-covered shoes at his eponymous label J.W.Anderson’s fall 2017 show during London Fashion Week Men’s.


A trendsetter when it comes to the world of high-fashion Crocs, Christopher Kane returned once again to his favorite footwear, this time lining them with fur for his fall 2017 show during London Fashion Week.


Kane also kept things interesting at his fall 2017 show by throwing some kitchen sponges into the Croc pot.


Fret not—Kane once again kept Crocs in mind when it came time for his spring 2018 show during London Fashion Week, where he debuted a water shoe-like version of the footwear topped off with glittery gemstones.


These fuzzy slippers, which made their way down the runway at Dolce & Gabbana’s fall 2017 show during Milan Fashion Week, might just be cute and cozy for us to forgive Stefano Gabbana for all his politically incorrect comments this year. (Emphasis on might.)


The reunion of everyone’s favorite supermodels wasn’t the only showstopper at Versace’s spring 2018 show during Milan Fashion Week: As part of Donatella Versace’s tribute to her late brother Gianni, she also recreated prints from his era at the house, giving her customers to cover themselves in Marilyn Monroe’s face from head to toe.


Thom Browne, imaginative as ever, made the case for ice skates as everyday walking shoes at his fall 2017 show at New York Fashion Week.


Even those with absolutely no interest in fashion or footwear likely wouldn’t be able to stop themselves from gawking at the collaboration between Balenciaga and Crocs that led to a platform edition of the shoe, which debuted at Paris Fashion Week in unapologetically bright in colors like yellow Pepto-Bismol pink, complete with pug faces and avocado accents.


Whether they were in hot pink, bright green or purple, the full-length boot-tights hybrids at Balenciaga‘s fall 2017 show during Paris Fashion Week that are no doubt difficult to slip off have also proven quite difficult to slip from your memory.


Though quite tame in comparison to the Crocs, these spiky stilettos that also showed up at Balenciaga’s spring 2018 show during Paris Fashion Week are definitely not ones to wear on a crowded subway.


What appeared at first glance to be a battered old shin guard from your soccer days on the runway at Balenciaga’s fall 2017 show during Paris Fashion Week Men’s was in fact a logo-stamped, all-purpose boot hardy enough for those fashionistas who aren’t afraid of going on a hike.


If there’s anything Alessandro Michele has proven in his tenure at Gucci—besides, of course, giving an already storied house even more of a cult following—it’s that he has never come anywhere near being a minimalist. These snake-skin boots at Gucci’s fall 2017 show during Milan Fashion Week were just a minor detail in comparison to the rest of the collection, which included pearl-covered heads.


With Crocs so on the industry’s mind, it was only a matter of time before Tevas got a high-fashion, platform makeover, which came courtesy of Rick Owens at his spring 2018 show during Paris Fashion Week.


In addition to the show-stopping fur puff balls atop models’s heads at Miu Miu’s fall 2017 show during Paris Fashion Week, there were also some furry friends to be found on their feet, ranging from bright reds to greens.