2012 was a year that really broadened our fashion horizons, and in footwear terms we've never seen so much innovation taking place in so short a space of time: flatforms started off as a minority style that everyone feared then went thoroughly mainstream, slipper style footwear became a huge hit, we went crazy for kitty faces on our toes, and even heelless shoes started to look a bit passé. The question is, where can we possibly expect shoe design to go next?

We've taken a look over the spring/summer 2013 shows and high street press previews to get a glimpse into the future of footwear, and can predict that the following five trends will be big in the next year. So why not get into them now?

Five Big Footwear Trends for 2013

1. Metallics


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Metallic detailing became a tentative trend in 2012, with silver and gold trim making an unusual summer appearance in some of the more innovative high street collections. In 2013 we expect this look to get even bigger, with fully metallic styles becoming popular across the board. We've seen more silver than any other metallic shade in our observations, but there will also be a good deal of rose gold, bronze and yellow gold to enjoy, too. Sometimes in controversially clashing combinations - as seen at Jimmy Choo, below.

Where these metallics were contrasted in 2012 with wild neon hues, we are tending to see them alongside more neutral colours in 2012, particularly beige, tan and apricot. Seen at: Marni, See by Chloe, Prada and more.

2. Single soles


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If you love your platforms, '13 may be an unlucky year for some as a great many of our favourite retailers have spoken of a return to flatter 'single' soles in 2013. These are beginning to replace the chunky styles we've seen so much of in recent years, often with a pointed toe and heralding a return to more classic and feminine footwear shapes. Fortunately for our feet, heels are tending to be a little lower too, so there will not always be too much height to balance out. But expect to see less stacking at the front of your shoes, particularly in more formal styles. It will, however, remain a bit element of heels, some of which will be blocky and chunky as before!

3. Clear Sections

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Perspex (or plexiglass for our US readers!) has been gaining appreciation in footwear for a while now, thanks to creations like Maison Martin Margiela's wedges and their H&M equivalent. In 2013, designers will continue to play with this very versatile and futuristic element, in many cases creating fun trompe l'oeil 'floating' effect by introducing transparent sections between solid, substantial ones. Check out the creative use of perspex at Christian Siriano for Payless Shoesource, below:


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4. Monochromes and stripes

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Nobody could miss the prominence of monochrome style (often '60s inspired) at many of the S/S 2013 shows, with the likes of Marc Jacobs and also Dries Van Noten leading the way. It was obvious that this look would be translated into footwear, and indeed we're seeing a lot of black and white stripes on court shoes both in the designer sphere and in high street collections for S/S 2013. There are also stylised flowers, checks, op-Art influences as well as lots of patent and Mary Jane styles buddying up with this look.

5. High Backs 

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Shoes will creep further and further up the ankle in 2013, in the summer styles as well as the winter ones. Time to stock up on blister plasters now if you're not used to wearing this look! But it's not all bad: these high backs allow all sorts of fun features at the tops of the shoes, including multiple straps (both wide and ribbon-like), snake bangles, pearl anklets and decorative ties. A more dramatic variant of this look creeps right up the leg, like a summer knee high boot.

In addition to these newer looks, many we've come to love in 2012 will continue to be on-trend, including flat or high-heeled slipper style shoes, candy coloured brogues, square heels, ethnic prints, futuristic geometric styling and flatform soles. And as ever, we expect some entirely unforeseen trends to step in and surprise us!

Here's to a stylish 2013...