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They are punched with grommets and closed up with buckles. And they are created from such fun new fabric prints as kitchen checks, mattress ticking stripes, florals, black and white gingham, graffiti, and French provincial.

Important trend colors from last season (including tan and red) move into a new category of important neutrals. Red takes on a purple cast and becomes deep and strong. Fresh new shades start with all tones of blue (from turquoise to nautical navy, a core color from fall) and lead to yellow, apple green and coral.

Men's shoes take on techno themes with high-tech construction. High fashion dress shoes offer something fresh and different (and a nod to the trendy bowling shoes from last season) with spectator looks in two-tone combinations of navy and brown and burgundy and black. Contrasting stitching, velcro closures and retro athletic styling round out the men's category.

Kids footwear is fun and flashy all the way, especially in girls casuals. Old school sneakers utilize such materials as glitter, sequin stripes, rhinestone appliqué and sparkle fabrics. Footwear colors include pink and lavender for girls, camouflage for boys and white sneakers for everyone.

Footwear for spring is fun, fresh and exciting. It takes its inspiration from the world, looking to Japanese Kimonos, African prints, "Bali-wood", Americana and Euro comfort. Another form of inspiration comes from Hollywood and its over-the-top French Cancan girls, tailored military looks and Cinderella Lucite heels. There are dice, roses, flags and denim galore. Silhouettes are lighter and classic. It is altogether a season that is pared down and at the same time embellished, a season of darks and lights, a season of contrasts.

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