Spring Shoe Preview

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by Allegra Dimperio, Fashion Editor

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Well, here goes: My name is Allegra, and I am addicted to shoes. I need small ones, tall ones, strappy ones and lace-up ones, loafers, stilettos, booties, and more. With a closet bursting at the seams with 63 pairs and one on the way you would think my collection overzealous, or at the very least, complete. For the moment you would be right, but come March 20 an update will be an absolute necessity – that is, of course, the first day of Spring 2011.

While designers showcased their Spring shoes last year, the more reasonably-priced versions are hitting stores now. As much as I would love to be able to spend two month’s rent on the new Lanvin wedges, my current shoe budget is in the double-digit range and as a college student, I’m sure I’m not alone. However, my lack of an Am-Ex Black card can’t deter me from having fashionable feet and it shouldn’t discourage you either.  Below are the hottest shoe trends for Spring, now available in budget-friendly form at a shoe-tailer near you.

Platforms: While 2010 saw the rise of platform stilettos this season’s trend gives aching arches a break. Chunky platforms graced the runways of Yves Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo, and Christian Louboutin, while Chanel and Prada took a different tack. These designers opted not for ankle-spraining heels but for flat platforms, or “flatforms.” While flatforms may take awhile to catch on with the masses, since many that I saw were as unappealing as their name, platforms of all kinds are in this season in a big way.

Wedges: A Spring wardrobe would be simply incomplete without a tall pair of wedges. The trend is a leftover from last year, but some new styles have been seen seen tromping up the runways. In addition to the strappy, buckle-laden wedge sandals of last year, we have wedge peep toes and mules (seen at YSL and House of Harlow 1960, respectively), as well as lace detailing from Valentino and atypical wedge shapes from Opening Ceremony and Leifsdottir. Wedges are sure to be a safe bet in whatever flavor you choose. (Pictured left: wedges by House of Harlow; photo from styleseendaily.com.)

Espadrilles: Another carryover from last year is the espadrille. This style, defined by its rope-like sole, can be found in wedges, slip-ons, flatforms and even platform stilettos. While kate spade (pictured below, photo from fashionfuss.com), Dior and Valentino held on to the espadrille wedge, slip-on espadrilles made the biggest waves on the runways. Seemingly designed after a Toms shoe, Chanel and Missoni showcased their versions, signaling that comfort and style can go hand in hand.

Bright Colors: In Spring flowers bloom in every color of the rainbow.This year, so too do shoes. From magenta to teal to orange and back, bright shoes were seen at Dior, Diane von Furstenberg, and Miu Miu. Not limited to any particular shoe style, this trend is the perfect way to add a shot of color to an otherwise dreary early Spring day.