So here’s the thing. Fashion is sometimes weird. But the quirky, out-of-the-box thinking of unexpected fashion trends often adds some color to our usual fast fashion looks and department store buys. But one trend might have taken it too far. A big toe shoe trend exists, and it takes an open mind to process it.
Coined by Refinery 29, “big toe shoes” have been popping up everywhere from runways to editorials. But the real question is whether we will see them out in the wild. The shoes in question look like peep-toe shoes, but rather than having all of your toes on display, the big toe only peeps out. Then there is the reiteration that reverses the formula: only the big toe is hidden, and all your smaller toes peek out like usual.
While it might sound alarming at first, I guess you need to pause and wonder how all new trends were received when they first came out. Peep toe shoes are essentially stiletto heels with the fronts cut off, so was that a weird look when it first debuted? Chances are it looked just as strange as having just your big toe covered.
According to Refinery 29, the originator of this shoe trend is the closed-toe Margiela Tabi boot, which came out in the late ’80s. The boot mimicked Japanese tabi socks, which were worn with sandals. The leather boot created a hoof-like effect on the wearer, making one look like they spawned from the gates of hell. It’s up to you to decide whether that’s cool or not.
For the big toe-hiding shoe genre, there have been a handful of designers that walked the new style down their runways the last couple of years. During the Y/Project Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show, the big-toe shoes were seen in simple brown and black leather pumps. At first glance, the shoes almost looked like they were a normal peep-toe heel.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Y/Project also walked down the big toe concept during its 2018 Paris Fashion Week show. You might remember this catwalk as the moment that Y/Project debuted its iconic Ugg heels, which looked a lot like Shar Pei dogs.
While everyone was taking in the fact that stiletto Uggs now existed, the audience missed that there were also big-toe-hiding red pumps on the catwalk.
Celine also has a version of this shoe, except the label decided to cover the big toe completely rather than give it center stage. With the launch of these pink sandal heels in 2018, Vogue wondered if this was the new ugly shoe trend to finally replace dad sneakers.
The shoes are called the Pirate Leather Sandals. The shoes come in the silhouette of chick block heels with ankle straps. Celine tastefully described the peep toe as a “square half open toe.”
Since Y/Project and Celine are luxury labels, you might think that those who subscribe to a budget are safe from the avant garde peep toe. Not exactly. In 2018 Jeffrey Campbell made “bandage sandals,” which were heels that made it look like your big toe was bandaged up after stubbing it.
Peep toes are getting a new formula — are you ready for it?