It’s easy to settle into a shoe rut at this time of year – when wool socks feel like a must-have accessory and the snow banks only seem to be growing higher – but a weekend trip to NYC gave me the perfect excuse to kick off my boots and try some of the hottest shoe trends of the season.

Sneaker wedges: I really wasn’t sold on the concept of heeled sneakers (even after Beyoncé rocked them in the Love on Top video) – until I tried them on. Not only are they super comfortable and easy to walk in, they look effortlessly cool with both pants or bare legs. I wore these black suede lace-ups with an oversized camouflage jacket, tights, and a black minidress for a low-key night out.

Spiked pumps: These nude spiked pumps are definitely not for the faint of heart. I love them because they’re a bit more subtle and easier to pull off in the office than their metallic counterparts, but are still on-trend. If you haven’t completely warmed up to the look, try a style with a cap-toe or spiked heel.

Pop of color: These turquoise suede platform pumps are perfect for achieving a head-to-toe colorblocked look. I paired these puppies with another bright on top – try coral or fuchsia – and had all eyes on me.

By Grace Romanowsky of Valenki By ACE, Staff Writer

How did your road test fare? Share in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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February 23, 2013

BLG-1290 Boutique Support Ballet Flats

With a new season comes a fresh set of trends to master, but when they’re a bit more daring than your comfort zone, it’s easy to dismiss them. However, leaving yourself in the fashion dust is not an option. Rather than decking yourself head to toe in colorblocked duds or everywhere beading, let your shoes display your stylish prowess, and keep the rest of your wardrobe as “you” as possible.

Slightly less provocative than the dress or shirt variety of this trend, these flashy flats let you rock the look from the office to cocktail hour seamlessly.

Bold Stripes
So much more than a nautical statement, stripes are making a comeback this season. Whether multicolored or single-hued, their structural presence lends an air of laid-back cool to every look (from the bottom up).

Black & White
A hot trend in both the clothing and home-decorating worlds for spring, this color pairing was practically meant to be. Treat like a neutral and mix with colorful denim to complete the look.

Like any embellishment, beading can be a hard detail to balance – especially when there’s a lot of it. To pair with jewelry or not? But when you leave the fancy stuff to your feet, competing baubles are no longer an issue.

Our Always Ready: Wear-Anywhere Flats Boutique opens Saturday, February 23, at 11AM.

By Abigail Kuzia, Editor

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February 23, 2013