Why your new winter wardrobe staple is actually an open-toe sandal

Holiday season parties always fall in the cold month of December, and while shoe departments are normally stocked with closed toe heels for the festive season, this year things are changing.

Open-toe high-heeled sandals are leading the pack when it comes to key festive footwear.

In fact the consumer demand for minimalist two-strap styles has helped to drive sandals to eat into the shoe market share, which fell a whopping 10.1 percentage points year on year.

Open-toe heels started to make headway in November, when sandals grew new-ins by 2.1 percentage points and held 20.8%, but it was the introduction of key holiday styles like embellished heels, pom pom, feather and fringe details that helped to push sales of this unlikely shoe trend even further.

As consumers opt for sparkly heeled options, closed toe styles like court shoes and pumps have been left to suffer on the shelves, according to WGSN INstock data.

And what does the future of festive footwear hold? Embellishment is here to stay, but your sneakers might get a look in too.

“Casual footwear makes its way into the party circuit for A/W 16/17, with embellished sneakers, man-tailored oxfords and open-toe booties emphasising Holiday dressing. Heel interest remains key and encrusted jewels dress up casual silhouettes,” says Jaime Cohn-Barr, WGSN Senior Editor of Footwear and Accessories.

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