Ever since Sex and the City introduced Middle America to Manolo Blahnik, shoe mania has dominated our closets and culture. Carrie Bradshaw may have inspired women to buy stiletto sandals they (1) might not be able to afford, and (2) clearly cannot walk in, but she didn’t convey any practical style advice.
To survive in the contemporary fashion conversation, you need more than a bunch of strappy heels. The modern woman needs a full selection of pumps, flats and boots in order to succeed. Stock your closet with these 10 footwear staples so you can strut the streets in style that works for any situation. We’ve chosen them in black, so they work for any outfit too.
1. Classic Pumps
A standard silhouette is first on the list. The Nouveau Pointed Toe Pump from Stuart Weitzman is crafted from goatskin leather. With a 4-inch heel, it offers year-round wear that never goes out of style.
When the weekend comes, you can kickback and relax in the Mule Slides by Jenni Kayne. Crafted from genuine lambskin and outfitted with elastic gores for easy comfort, they’re perfect for running errands and hanging around the house.
3. Ankle Boots
A pair of low shaft boots will take you from pre-fall through the last April shower. Crafted from genuine cowhide and styled with crisscross buckle straps, the Ellen Short Buckle Booties by Frye are a smart choice.
Sneakers aren’t just for workouts anymore. Made from fused knit fabric, the KENDALL + KYLIE Brandy Knit Sneakers are just what you need for athleisure looks that step from the street to the gym.
Something low and easy is essential. Crafted from genuine calfskin and outfitted with polished hardware at the vamp, the Salvatore Ferragamo Mason Loafers are what’s in order for low-key office days.
6. Slide Sandals
When summertime arrives, you need a pair of slides, like the Cooper Embellished Sport Slides from Marc Jacobs. With a calfskin upper, rubber sole and rhinestone embellishment, they offer poolside perfection.
7. Platform Pumps
Everyone needs to boost their confidence, and their height. The 1.5-inch platform sole and 5-inch heel of Charlotte Olympia’s Dolly Platform Pumps address both needs. This is a statement shoe, so try it in a rich emerald green over basic black.
8. High Shaft Boots
Tall shafts protect your legs from cold wind and splashing puddles. Plus they look great. The Jenni Kayne Riding Boots are crafted from calfskin leather into a knee-high profile. The back zip closure makes for easy on-and-off, while a rubber patch at the leather sole makes them resilient against wet conditions.
Perfect for when you want a masculine take on casual style, a pair of oxfords is absolutely essential. The Zane Oxfords by MICHAEL Michael Kors feature a cork platform and rubber sole, plus a genuine cowhide upper.
10. High Heel Sandals
A high heel sandal is just what you need for summer nights on the town. The Blake Sandals from Vince are crafted from smooth goatskin suede. An ankle strap and heel cup offer extra support, and the block heel makes it easy to keep your balance on the dance floor.
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