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If you’re not careful, shoes can take over a closet. But while there’s probably a special place in your heart for each and every one, the truth is that you really can get by with just a handful or two of timeless styles. So if you need to trim down your wardrobe or are just starting out, pare down to the basics to make coordinating outfits easier. You’ll thank us later. From classy and elegant heels and sandals to washable shoes like sneakers and form-fitted booties, here are 10 essential shoes everyone should own.
Every wardrobe should hold a pair of comfy sandals. Whether it’s a cute strappy sandal or a slide, sandals are perfect for summer months or just stepping out for a quick errand. Versatile and breathable, sandals also show off a colorful pedicure and are a far cry from flip flops (although those have a place, too). Neutral sandals or black sandals are a wonderful staple, but a statement sandal in metallics or an animal print can elevate your look for evenings, vacay or the poolside cabanas.
Boots are the perfect go-to shoes. Whether you don a pair of cute rain boots for women in the drizzly spring months or some ankle booties, they will never do you wrong!
Black booties are also a great shoe that everyone should own. In the warmer months, you can wear them with no-show socks to show a little skin with your capris. And in the winter, you can tuck them beneath skinny jeans or long trousers. Black booties can also be dressed up or down, paired with midi skirts, sundresses and much, much more. Block or pointed heel, it doesn’t matter — a black bootie is where it’s at! They offer extra length and support when a stiletto heel simply won’t suffice.
3. Knee-High Boots or OTK Boots
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If boots are your jam, then another essential boot style for your closet is a knee-high or an over-the-knee (OTK) boot. Knee-high boots and OTK boots might be a bit too much in the sweltering humid months, but in the autumn and winter, they are fabulous with just about any outfit! Choose a knee-high boot that hits right at the knee or a slightly longer over-the-knee style boot for a boss babe look. Pair with moto leggings for a rockstar ensemble or add a softer touch with a skirt. Of course, choose a neutral leather or suede in black, tan or whiskey that works with fall and winter color tones. These boots add a nice variety to your collection and especially your booties.
4. Simple White Sneakers
Never underestimate classic, simple white sneakers. From canvas Chucks to vegan leather high-tops, sneakers offer a cool and effortless vibe to an outfit and can downplay dresses, suits and more. Choose a plain white pair of sneakers to pair with statement pieces in your closet that you have a difficult time finding shoes for.
Save those crisp and clean white sneakers for stepping out in style. Instead, when you need to hit the gym or go running, grab your athletic sneakers. Sporty by design, athletic sneakers offer extra cushion in the arch and heel for hard-impact exercises and are designed to stand up to all sorts of abuse on the pavement, trail and then some. Luckily, athletic sneakers are extremely attractive and can tie together with your athleisure wear, leggings, hoodie or whatever you wear to break a sweat.
6. Statement Heels
Heels will always have a place in the shoe collection. From weddings to work interviews to date nights, a solid heel will save the day. However, while we preach a lot about neutrals that go with anything, here we invite you to do the opposite: choose a statement heel that makes you smile. A statement heel can be anything that catches the eye, from a vibrant red to a Tiffany-blue or animal print pattern. A statement heel could also be covered in embellishment or a stunning metallic fabric — whatever you love! Just remember to choose function over fashion and a heel that is comfortable and supportive, too.
7. Neutral Pumps
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For work, special occasions and semi-formal events, a pair of neutral pumps can come in handy. They look stunning with all sorts of ensembles, from slacks and blazers to party dresses and more. Plus, when you choose a neutral shoe, you can wear practically any color with it, even a sexy little red or black number that you want to be the statement piece. Unlike some stilettos, pumps also offer a wider support that make them perfect for dancing the night away while giving that extra leg length.
8. Neutral Loafers or Mules
Similar to how you need a pair of neutral pumps, you need some neutral loafers and mules, too. These supportive flats are there for you when you spend all day on your feet but want to look stylish. Loafers can elevate an ensemble or outfit or even create an understated and casual look, too. Add an extra touch of color with socks or mesh footies if you need some extra pizzazz.
9. All-Day Wear Flats
Flats are a wonderful addition to your shoe collection. Flats encompass a wide range of shoes, from mules to loafers and slide-on sandals, so the choices are endless. But the main objective here is to ensure they offer subtle support when you intend to stand for hours all day at work or plan to do a lot of walking.
10. Home Slippers
Last, but not least, get yourself some slippers for relaxing at home or a hotel. If you have ever walked around barefoot on hardwood floors all day, you understand just how essential slippers can be. Of course, feel free to have fun with it and choose some comfy, warm slippers that show off your personality. Faux furs, velvets and sheepskin — when you only wear them at home, you can go super luxe, too!