Flash-fashion events are like lightning, only lasting a hot second before disappearing into the seasonal ether — but even such fleeting fads can leave a lasting mark. Welcome to Micro Trends, where we explore the latest and greatest of these blink-and-you’ll-miss-them style moments.
We have officially stomped our way into a new guard of footwear: the Mary Jane platform. She’s chunky and she’s tough, and she’s also sweet and demure — but on her own terms and in her own twisted way. You could say the mary jane lugsole is the fitting lovechild between 2021’s two biggest shoe trends — the ballet flat and the chunky loafer — and it’s no surprise that fashion folks are clamoring for these strapped-and-stacked shoes. Not only do they instantly Y2K-ify any look with that late ’90s sky-high flatform construction, but they also make whatever you’re wearing a tad playful and girly. (But not too girly.) And, judging from the wide variety of styles out there, this ladylike platform is rising to new heights for spring.
“Grown-up” Mary Janes are nothing new — designer heel brands like Carel or the French dance-wear brand Repetto have been buckled into this aesthetic long before the “tomboy Lolita” look emerged this year. Street style icons like Alexa Chung have also been repping the doll-like shoe for years. But, what sets these new wave of Mary Janes apart from their more modest predecessors is their decidedly rugged girth and almost anti-heel ethos, led by the likes of Nicole Saldaña and even longtime trend-driven footwear imprint Jeffrey Campbell. In other words, we’re seeing bottom-heavy soles giving off the same energy as your most deeply treaded combat boots. These are shoes that can, and should, be proudly worn down to the ground. The uppers are supremely refined and tough, as well — wide straps, substantial hardware, and a polished leather finish. Ahead, we round up some of our favorite chunky Mary Janes made for stomping your best foot forward this spring.
A doll’s take on the ’90s combat boot.
Circus by Sam Edelman Emelia Mary Jane Loafer, $110 $49.97
Snatch these girly lugsoles while they’re half off at Nordstrom Rack.
An under-$100 option stacking impressive height.
Also available in black, white, and leopard print.
It’s only fitting that long-in-the-game chunky shoe brand Jeffrey Campbell has got the mary jane platform on lock.
This highly rated shoe on Urban Outfitters has “the perfect amount of chunk,” according to one lugsoled reviewer.
Want more “heel” but without any actual heel? Cut yourself a thick wedge.
Talk about a mary jane that has some traction.
A double strap means quadruple the fun. (Check out the product page on Amazon for 19 other stellar options, all at a $30 price point.)
Boho fashion retailer Free People have gone rugged.
NICOLE SALDAÑA Nadia, $375
Don’t sleep on the long-awaited restock of this best-selling Nicole Saldaña mary jane.
A little patent leather shine goes a long way.
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