Over the past year and change, as many folks began working from home, comfort-first footwear rose to become a daily wardrobe staple. That was especially true of the mule, the hybrid shoe-slipper that quickly became a favorite of menswear dudes everywhere. Soon, the slip-on kicks were all over the place, from flashy (and furry) designer styles from the likes of Italian label Marni to more down-to-earth fare like the Reebok Beatnik. Yet, as summer gave way to fall and the winter loomed ahead, you might have worried about giving up the fantastical and cozy footwear for the year. Fear not: designers and labels are revamping the mule to better tackle the cold weather ahead.
First up is JW Anderon’s ultra-lavish Chain Loafer, the wild-style shoe that wooed fashion’s inner circle right from the start. (It isn’t the first time the design’s gotten a seasonal makeover, either.) This time around, the style gets a cozy shearling lining, offered in chocolate brown suede and sleek black leather. Elsewhere, designer Matthew Williams added a similar interior to the sought-after “Mono” silhouette from his Alyx label and unleashed a total winter-ready stomper at Givenchy. The rotund, chunky-soled Mallow Mule that debuted earlier this year gets hit with plush faux fur.
That’s not all, either. The design-forward Japanese label Suicoke offers one of their flagship silhouettes with a soft and warm interior lining; Dries Van Noten’s current season includes a puffy and padded nylon mule. This week also marks the release of one covetable collaboration between sneaker store Concepts and legendary cozy footwear makers Birkenstock. (The two have been working together since 2014, and their limited-edition clogs sell out in a flash.) The latest collaboration centers on the Boston silhouette and comes in four colorways, finished with felt and leather accents.
This is all excellent news for those attached to the ease of slipping into a stylish shoe. Mule madness marches into another season thanks to this latest crop of cozied-up styles. All the shearling lining in the world won’t save your mule-wearing feet from the worst of winter weather, but for now, you can have your cake and eat it too. At least, until the real snow comes.