10 Shoes Every Woman Should Own

Capsule Wardrobe: 10 Shoes Every Woman Should Own

I’ve mentioned several times about my ongoing closet overhaul. The internet boasts a few methods to help us achieve a cohesive closet: capsuleminimalist, the uniform and my personal favorite, The French Five. Essentially, your closet consists of basics (your essentials) and each season you add up to five new pieces. Over time, the need to add five won’t be as necessary because everything in your closet will be well-loved, high quality pieces.

I still find myself in the pruning process. Last summer, I shared five pieces I would like to add to my closet, four of which were bought over the rest of the year. The key is spending time deciding what five pieces you need and/or want instead of walking into the mall only to leave with random items that don’t fit into your life. I like to call my strategic method “purpose driven shopping.”

When Jordan and I traveled to Europe a few years ago, I noticed the women wore quality shoes with basic outfits and minimal hair/makeup. Shoes have been the easiest part of my closet to whittle down. Up to that point in my adult life, I hadn’t fine-tuned my shoe game. When I stood in front of my closet to assess the situation, I realized how un-curated my shoe collection was. Donating a big bag of random shoes was a breeze.

The very minute after I drove out of the Goodwill parking lot, I’ve been on a mission to create what is essentially a shoe capsule wardrobe. Here is my list of 10 shoes every woman should own. I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with my list and if you would add anything else!

Trainers | Even if you’re not a hard-core runner or regularly spend time on the elliptical machine, everyone needs a pair of trainers. They come in so many bright colors and designs — trainers are a chance for us to be a little cheeky! I currently rock a pair of Nike Revolution 2s but I’m eyeing some Roshe Runs.

Sporty | There was a period of time when it never crossed my mind to own a pair of sporty sneakers. In high school, I had white and red striped Adidas Superstars. Once I graduated college though, flats were the walking shoe of choice. My feet and style has evolved and I now see the value of owning a slim pair of stylish sporty sneakers (which are much easier to bring when traveling compared to trainers). I’ve wanted Chuck Taylors for a while now and recently purchased a pair of crisp white hi-tops that I love!

Well-Constructed Sandals | Flip-flops are practical for quickly running to your car or taking the garbage out, but they really aren’t great for our feet. I used to buy flimsy, albeit cute, sandals every summer (usually from the clearance rack) until I bought my Saltwater sandals. They are three summers in and still look brand new!

Short Booties | When I first saw this style of shoe in fashion magazines I didn’t think they were for me, that is until the cut of my pants started slimming. They look great with slim pants, skirts and dresses. I wear my Madewell pair all year round.

Riding Boots | My first high-end shoe purchase were some silky leather, camel colored J.Crew riding boots. I saved for months and, after adding in birthday money, I bit the bullet. I typically wear these boots with dresses in the winter to keep my feet warm!

Rain Boots | I found my pair of Hunter Boots five years ago on a fluke at Nordstrom Rack. I wasn’t familiar with the brand (this was before they became ubiquitous), but they were exactly what I had been looking for. I’m so glad I decided to buy them that day. When I worked in Chicago, I needed a pair of shoes that hit high enough on my legs to accommodate the snow piles that grow along the sidewalks. I still use them all the time.

Nice Flats | I have a tendency to buy a pair of shoes and wear them into the ground. I never get holes in my pants, but I have in my shoes! My current pair of gold flats have seen better days and I really need to replace them. I personally like to have my flats in gold/taupe because they go with black, brown or navy based outfits.

Black/Nude Pumps | If you aren’t a heel gal like me, keep it simple with at least one pair of quality black or nude heels. I don’t own a quality pair (yet!), but I see the value in good construction and am on the hunt for some killer ones. Any suggestions?

Summer Wedges/Clogs | If I wear heels in the summer, I want them to be lighter in feel. I can’t wear fingernail polish at work, so I love the opportunity to show off a good pedicure. I still have my eye on a pair of Sweedish Hasbeens, but my Old Navy $15 knock offs were too good to pass up!

Wildcard | Once your bases are covered, it’s time to find a pair of shoes that play with your personality: lace up Doc Martens, colored heels, espadrilles etc. I’ve had a few different pair of canvas printed boots over the years.


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36 thoughts on “10 Shoes Every Woman Should Own”

  1. I lived in the classic black and white Converse high tops all through high school and college and they were seriously the best. I would wear out one pair and buy another. I could even walk around cities for hours without my feet hurting, which no one seemed to believe. It’s high time I grab another pair!

  2. This is a brilliant list!! I’d agree with it all – I practically live in my Cons ! I am looking to whittle down my closet, clothes and shoes. Too much stuff that doesn’t get worn. And I know the shoes that match your list are the ones I’d keep, they’re the ones I wear most.

  3. This is a great list – so true how essential a curated shoe collection is to a wardrobe that works. And definitely agree on the sandal one especially – flip flops are okay for the beach, but otherwise I just don’t think they’re adult footwear. Luckily it’s not hard to find a great but easy sandal. Also last year I changed my definition of “nice flats” to be pointed-toe ones because they really make all my outfits feel more polished and grown-up. Since I rarely wear heels, I went ahead and did them in nude and black to cover all my bases!

  4. Yep, you covered them all! I am finally to the point where I’m just done with the flat, thin sandals from Target. I’m going to order my first pair of Rainbows this week! Also, the rain boots are 100% necessary and one of my favorite purchases because they double as snow boots.

  5. I really need to build my shoe collection. I currently have one pair of flats, four pairs of converse and five pairs of Doc Marten boots. No sandals, no dress shoes.

    Thank you for this list! It has inspired me to go shopping 🙂

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