Why mules are the new sandal of choice

The versatile mule drove sandal presence in stock

The British summer is a temperamental beast, rain one minute and sun the next; but it is also the time of year that consumers start to think more about their footwear. Boots are swapped for sneakers and on really warm days, such as last weekend, sandals make an appearance, with consumers opting for stylish shapes that help their feet to breathe.

And this summer we’re seeing a new footwear contender, the mule is becoming a key footwear item, thanks to its silhouette. Unlike traditional sandals which leave a lot of the foot exposed to the temperamental weather, the mule shape offers more coverage.

The ranging styles of mules help emphasize its versatility, with both high and low heel offerings in stock, as well as a range of fabrics, from suede to metallic and even clear, perspex block heels. Mules are a key closet item, because they can take the consumer from the office to after work drinks to a beach holiday. The catwalk is also feeding the demand for this style with designers Mansur Gavriel and Phillip Lim putting a version of the mule on their runways.

“The versatile mule drove sandal presence the weekend of June 4th, as the contemporary low-block heel posed as a shoe hybrid, weather proofing the silhouette,” said WGSN’s Instock Editor Jessica Fioriti. “The mule is growing as a transseasonal staple, up from 5% to 9% of new-ins year on year.”

“Overall we’re seeing the sandal presence grow in store at this time of year too, key retailers include: Fat Face, with a 93% sandal mix vs 43% in 2015, Brantano at 65 % vs 38 % and Miss Selfridge at 76% vs 32%, ” she adds.

The mule is a key shape to invest in now as the sandal style it will stay relevant into S/S17 too.

“For S/S17 the chunky mule will become a key commercial driver with metallic styles being key, as the 1960s influence brings metallic to the fore again,” says WGSN’s Sidney-Morgan Petro, Senior Editor of Retail and Buying.

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