Shoe manufacturers from all over the world exhibited their latest spring '05 collections at the bi-annual World Shoe Association's (WSA) August Market in Las Vegas. The 4-day trade show, ending August 8, is the largest footwear trade market in North America and attracts over 26,000 attendees. The event was held at three separate venues: Mandalay Bay Convention Center--featuring contemporary and better women's, young men's, junior and childrens, Sand Expo Convention Center--men's/athletic, comfort and volume, and the Venetian Hotel--collections, couture and designer.

From sneakers and strappy sandals to washed leather and wedge heels, this season's key trends cover the gamut of style. For women and juniors, styles are anything but simple. Ethnic inspirations and ornamentation--think Morocco, India or Africa--decorate sandals, slides and slippers. Intricate embroideries, mirrors and beads, shells and natural materials can all be found here. Crochet is also popular. Seen mostly on flat ballerina styles, the look is either boho-chic or cutesy and sweet. Riding on the latter, gingham is helping to bring back a sense of innocence. The pattern looked best on lady-like mules, easy slides and farmer's daughter-like wedges.

Speaking of wedges, the popular '70s heel style is officially back. And whether it's a dainty pinch-heel version or heightened with a platform for a retro flair, ladies can definitely look forward to a variety of fun styles come spring.

Birkenstock continues to be a source of inspiration for other fashion footwear brands. Its signature contoured footbed sandals--particularly its "Gizeh" style--remain a knock-off favorite. Last seasons popular metallics have given way to happy colors and punchy prints.

There's an earthy air in men's styles. Distressed leather on sneakers and casual shoes are a favorite, as are leather huaraches-style sandals and slides. Apple green is the accent color of choice on sneakers. And whether its white with green, brown with green or gray with green, the color combo's will no doubt complement the season's overall obsession with leafy color.

The next edition of WSA is scheduled for February 5 - 8, 2005. For more information, visit