12 shoes every woman should have

The 12 Shoes Every Woman Should Own

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward us a small commission – at no extra cost for you.

Have you been feeling like your shoe collection is a little lacking lately? Your shoes can take your outfit from day to night and completely change your outfit aesthetic. If you’re struggling to put together outfits, it could be that you don’t have the right pairs! Shoes are a girl’s best friend and life-long investment. I believe there are 12 shoes every woman should own that will provide you with endless outfit ideas for every occasion. Here they are!

1. Sneakers

Athleisure is one of the biggest trends in fashion right now. Thanks to COVID-19, all of our pretty high heels are sitting at the back of our closets. They’re waiting for the day when they can attend a graduation party or hit the dance floor at a wedding again. Until then, sneakers are the must-have.

Maybe you’re like me and find that you gravitate more towards a classic style over a sporty one. Yep, you still need sneakers! You want a pair that you can style with classic jeans and a t-shirt look or throw on with a midi-dress when you want to keep things casual. If you’re looking for versatility, choose a pair of white sneakers that you can wear with anything.

Shop white sneakers: investment option | budget-friendly option

2. Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots are a fall and winter go-to. When the weather changes and your sandals go away for another year, your Chelsea boots need to go to the front of your closet.

As one of the 12 shoes every woman should own, you’ll want to choose a pair in a classic color that can see you through to spring. Chelsea boots are easy to pair with tights if you want to wear them with dresses to give a masculine twist to your outfit!

Shop Chelsea boots: investment option | budget-friendly option

3. Block Heels

Not a fan of sky-high heels? Or maybe you want a good in-between height for the events that are nice but not too fancy. If you’re someone who values comfortable shoes but still wants a bit of height, block heels are your friend.

When you find the perfect pair, you can walk in them all day long. Block heels are more stable than their thinner equivalent, and you don’t have to worry about getting your shoe stuck in the pavement either! If you’re not confident wearing heels, block heels with a rubber sole are the best way to start. 

Shop block heels: investment option | budget-friendly option

4. Loafers

Among the list of the 12 shoes that every woman should own, I had to have a few comfortable options. Loafers started their life as a driving shoe, and while they might remind you of your Grandpa or what you used to wear to prep school, they’re a chic shoe that never goes out of style. 

Wear with anything from jeans to shorts to dresses. Yes, they will look good with everything!

Shop loafers: investment option | budget-friendly option

5. Knee-High (or Ankle) Boots

When the leaves fall or the snow hits, you need more than just high heels or sandals in your closet. A pair of knee-high or ankle boots means you’ll always be ready for the cold in style.

If you’re not a fan of heels, opt for a flat style and always try to find a pair with little to no details. Though boot designs will come “in and out” for what’s trending, I believe simple boots will always be a staple and worth having in your closet!

Shop knee high boots: investment option | budget-friendly option

12 shoes every woman should own

6. Ballet Flats

A list of the 12 shoes that every woman should own wouldn’t be complete without a chic pair of ballet flats. If you’re always on your feet and constantly on the go, you’ll want to have at least one pair of these shoes on hand.

Ballet flats are synonymous with their feminine shape, and you can find them in every color and print under the rainbow. If you want comfort without prioritizing chic style, you need a pair of ballet flats.

Shop ballet flats: investment option | budget-friendly option

Related: Wondering What Shoes Look Best With Wide Leg Pants? Here’s the Answer!

7. Strappy Sandals

You can thank Bottega Veneta for putting these shoes back on the list. Strappy sandals have never gone of style, but they’re having a resurgence thanks to the Italian fashion house.

Strappy sandals are the go-to warm-weather shoes, with their minimalistic design and slim straps. You can show off your tan and your fresh pedicure with these open-toe shoes. If you live in a warmer climate or are heading off on a tropical vacation, you’ll want to pack a pair of strappy sandals in your carry-on. You could have strappy heels or flats, depending on your comfort level and preference!

Shop strappy sandals: investment option | budget-friendly option

8. Slides

Every woman needs a pair of these as they’re the perfect pair to reach for during the summer or when you just want something easy to slip on! You can find styles ranging anywhere from simple to statement.

You can find slides in every shape and size, and we think they’re a must-have for days when you want to be comfortable!

Shop slides: investment option | budget-friendly option

Related: The Shoes That Go With Everything (Yes, Everything!)

9. Mules

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that have dug into the back of your feet? If you’re someone who frequently deals with blisters or struggles to find comfortable shoes, you need to meet the mules.

These are one of my favorites because they feel effortless to wear, yet you’re not lacking in comfort or style.

Shop mules: investment option | budget-friendly option

10. Stilettos 

I couldn’t write a list of the 12 shoes every woman should own without mentioning the stiletto. Though it’s not an everyday shoe, it’s a staple when it comes to fancy night outs and black-tie occasions.

The trick to make stilettos work for you is to figure what height you’re comfortable with. While Christian Louboutin might be making his heels higher in every way, you don’t need a skyscraper heel. You can take on the world in the perfect pair of stilettos that you feel comfortable in! 

Shop block heels: investment option | budget-friendly option

11. Running Shoes

Whether you’re a fitness pro or not, you’ll want to have a separate pair of workout shoes from the sneakers you wear every day. It’s a good idea to buy your running shoes from an activewear brand such as Nike, Adidas, or Underarmour.

Even if you don’t intend to work out a ton, it’s great to have a pair on hand! Otherwise, you’ll reach for your white stylish sneakers and you’ll find that they’ll start to look really run down really fast.

Shop running shoes: investment option | budget-friendly option

12. Statement Shoes

Every woman’s closet needs at least one pair of statement shoes. The shoes that you reach for when you want to put an extra spring in your step. This style will be a personal choice, but it should reflect your personality.

They should be a pair of shoes that make your heart flutter and spark joy into your day. Statement shoes can include reptile skin, glitter, and/or any color under the rainbow!

Shop block heels: investment option | budget-friendly option

Now that you know the 12 shoes every woman should own, it’s time to keep building your wardrobe. Curious about what other wardrobe staples your closet needs? Keep reading!

Up Next: Capsule Outfits That Build a Timeless Wardrobe
Getting Started With the Perfect 10 Piece Wardrobe

shoes every woman should own
Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.