Every woman has different feelings about shoes. There are those who consider footwear a fashionable work of art and have a collection that would impress Imelda Marcos. And there are others who see shoes as a torture device, only stepping into a shoe store when it’s an absolute necessity (or, more accurately, shopping online because being the store actually gives them hives). Regardless of your footwear feelings, shoes are a necessary for going out in public, and there are certain shoes every woman should own.
For someone who dreads a trip to DSW, this may sound scary. But I promise you won’t have to acquire a Carrie Bradshaw-level collection to meet your footwear needs. Yes, you have to branch out beyond the basic sneaker and sandal, but you don’t have to go broke doing it. With so many affordable styles – not to mention variety – you can create a collection that fits your budget and fashion needs.
From the perfect date night pump to a casual, comfy work flat, here are the 12 shoes no woman’s closet should be without.
1. Black Pumps
Basic black heels may be the most versatile shoe you can own. They add an extra layer of class to a cocktail dress and turn jeans and a T-shirt into an elegant ensemble. They match almost anything in your closet, all while elongating your legs and making you feel sexy. And black heels aren’t as uniform as they may sound. They come in a variety of shapes and styles, from cap toe kitten heels to peep toe stilettos. Find a style (or two) that works for you, and your wardrobe will be better for it.
When you need a casual, comfy shoe, nothing fits quite like a sneaker. But a pair of pumped up kicks shouldn’t be limited to lounging around. These days you can find a sneaker for every occasion and style, so don’t afraid to add a little variety to your collection. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with rocking the iconic Converse Chuck.
3. Workout Shoes
If you try to embark on a serious run in your decidedly not-so-serious chic laceups, you’re opening yourself up to a world of pain. “Runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and early-onset arthritis are just a few problems that arise from exercising in the wrong sneakers,” podiatrist Louis Pack tells Real Simple. Get to know your feet and choose a sneaker that’s right for your particular athletic endeavors.
4. Comfy Kicks
Everyone needs a pair of shoes they can shoot the sh*t in, so to speak. The dog-eared furry slippers you got for Christmas five years ago might be your foot’s idea of heaven, or maybe it’s a worn-in, slightly smelly Birkenstock. Whatever the style may be, it’s important to find a shoe that makes your feet feel like their being nestled in a fluffy cloud. After all they do for you, they deserve a little R&R, don’t you think?
5. Ballet Flats
Ballet flats add a classic, elegant touch to your outfit without sacrificing comfort – perfect for the days when you cannot bear to put on heels. Although nude and black are great go-to colors, you may also want to experiment with bright, bold shades that’ll add some pop to your outfit.
6. Ankle Booties
Ankle boots add a little edge to your outfit, and a few extra inches to your height. Unlike boots, these ankle-height shoes are the perfect shoe to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall and winter to spring.
Shoe novices may think that all sandals are created equal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, ankle-strap sandals lengthen your legs and are great for formal suffer affairs, while a flat sandal serves as a staple for more casual outings. Grab the style that best suits your needs. Or, if you’d rather be prepared for any occasion, then get both. The beauty of sandals is they don’t take up too much room in your closet.
8. Thigh Boots
Over-the-knee boots have made a comeback in the last few years. Ideal for fall, these shoes are the perfect blend of glam and boho. If they feel a little too Pretty Woman for you, test them out with pants before rocking them with a dress.
9. Riding Boots
These equestrian knee-highs are sturdy, sophisticated, and look especially chic when paired with a blazer and form-fitting jeans. Plus, there’s something kind of empowering about slipping on a pair of riding boots – like you’re wielding an invisible riding crop.
10. Snow Boots
You treasure your beloved leather boots (or their vegan equivalent), but they won’t do you any good when there’s 3-feet of snow on the ground. If the winters are extra harsh in your area, you’ll want to invest in a sturdy pair of snow boots. Look for a pair that’s water-resistant, insulated, and tall enough so that snow doesn’t slosh over the tops and make its way into your socks.
11. Rain Boots
You may want to streamline your shoe collection, but don’t think you can get away with making your snow boots and your rain boots one and the same. Snow boots are fine for trudging through the snow, but the weight makes them totally uncomfortable on a warm rainy day. And the right pair of rain boots will be a big plus for your spring style.
12. The Wild Card
So what’s your pair of wild card shoes? Is it a pair of insanely ass-kicking Lisbeth Salander boots? How about ballet flats in fire-engine red? Metallic or floral statement heels? Make sure to deviate from the classic shoe lineup so that there’s a pair in your closet that just make you feel happy to put them on, practicality be damned.
Images: Unsplash/Pexels; Steve Guzzardi, Carol VanHook, Maria Morri, Jessie, Heather, spera-designerschuhe/Flickr; TheSilverKickDiaries,mlle.brunette, theshoediares, dianataune, alexandrapainter, stevemadden/Instagram