Square Toe Shoes, Boots, Booties, and Oxfords or Women

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Some of the most iconic shoe styles were originally designed less for fashion and more for function. Take, for example, square-toed shoes.

This particular style of shoe was once considered a “peasant shoe,” but now? It’s one of the most popular trends this season.

Lana Del Rey shows off her feet in square toe Gucci sandalsLana Del Rey shows off her feet in square toe Gucci sandals (Ivan Nikolov / WENN)

Square-toed shoes, boots, booties, and oxfords rose to popularity in the 1960s, and have continued to dominate the runways on-and-off ever since.To keep this style feeling fresh, designers have been quick to update the overall silhouette with fresh textiles and colors.

However, the basic design of this shoe style remains the same: a toe box that’s squared off either dramatically, or just at the tip.

Naomi Watts wearing square toe Sergio Rossi loafersNaomi Watts wearing square toe Sergio Rossi loafers (Credit: Dan Jackman / WENN)

Every designer has seemingly partaken in this trend, ranging from high-end label Bottega Veneta to millennial budget-friendly footwear club ShoeDazzle.

So, where exactly did this former “peasant shoe” come from? While the overall design dates back to medieval times, square-toed shoes really gained traction in the 1960s, when they were considered a necessary part of professional conservative fashion.

The trend saw a resurgence in the 1990s, when blocky silhouettes and chunky soles came back into fashion.

Mary-Kate Olsen's square-toed leather heelsMary-Kate Olsen’s square-toed leather heels (Credit: WENN)

Now, these unorthodox shoes are back. If you’re wondering how to wear them, it turns out that this style is actually quite versatile.

You can wear them casually — with denim and a tee — or more formally — think vintage ’60s office style.

There’s seemingly a pair of square-toed shoes for everyone. You can go minimalist with sleek silhouettes in simple colors, or go for something a little less traditional by picking a pair with chain embellishments, fur coverings, or funky coloring.

You can find plenty of square toe boots and shoes at Nordstrom and Zappos. These Codie booties are from Sam Edelman:

A square toe updates an ultra-sleek bootie finished with glimmering logo hardware at the gently flared heelA square toe updates an ultra-sleek bootie finished with glimmering logo hardware at the gently flared heel

Because squared-toe shoes don’t really follow the natural contour of the human foot, these styles are usually open-toed. It’s also recommended that the wearer size up one size.

Showcasing an architectural bamboo-inspired heel and transparent straps, these square-toe sandals from Schutz are available at Shopbop and Saks Fifth Avenue.

A square toe brings a trendy angle to this stiletto sandal featuring rolled leather straps that arc, intertwine and curve beautifully around the footA square toe brings a trendy angle to this stiletto sandal featuring rolled leather straps that arc, intertwine and curve beautifully around the foot

We have a feeling that thanks to both the versatility and the classic retro style of this shoe design, we’ll be seeing square-toed shoes, boots, booties, and oxfords on runways and store shelves on-and-off for years to come.

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