Footwear trends this fall stress toughness for women and pride for men, with hints at a swap in traditional gender roles. Walker heel boots, which resemble military footwear, are fashionable for women, while men are wearing 6-7 cm heels, once thought to be the monopoly of women.
Leading shoe brands have launched masculine walker heel boots for women. The lace-up boots have been gaining popularity since last year as women's clothes are becoming more masculine.
Men's shoes, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly feminine, with high heels the most conspicuous feature. No longer the preserve of men with a height complex, heels are worn with confidence. The international press has dubbed the phenomenon the "Sarkozy effect," after the famously height-conscious French president. High heels became popular for men after Sarkozy appeared in 6 cm lifts during recent visits abroad.
Celebrities have already embraced heels, with designer Marc Jacobs of Louis Vuitton appearing in 7 cm heels last year and James Bond star Daniel Craig and singer Cliff Richard confessing they love heels.
Feminine designs are popular as well. Actors Sean Penn, Tom Cruise and Mark Anthony recently appeared in Mary Jane shoes at movie premieres, and menswear designer Tom Ford has launched shoes with ribbons to wide acclaim. According to the Times of London, styles that cross the gender line are gaining popularity as the roles are becoming increasingly blurred.