12 essential shoes every woman should own

September 19, 2023

12 essential shoes every woman should own

Ever find yourself standing in front of your closet staring at a sea of shoes only to feel like you've got absolutely nothing to wear? 

Let's be honest: A woman's relationship with her shoes is complicated, filled with both long-term love and that feeling of, “What new cute pair is going to show up in my life today?” 

And regardless of your style or what your lifestyle’s like, the right pair of shoes are what you need to feel like you.

In this article, we'll saunter through the must-have styles that promise to put that sparkle in your step. From trusted flats to killer heels, we've got your feet covered. Slip into something comfortable and grab a cup of your favorite brew. Ready? Let's take a stroll through our list of must-have shoes for women.

What makes a pair of shoes “essential”?

Think of essential shoes as the supporting cast in your wardrobe's blockbuster film. They're versatile performers that don't just act as pretty accessories, but elevate your entire ensemble. They match seamlessly with different outfits, are comfortable enough for daily wear, and, most importantly, make you feel downright fabulous. 

Essentially, these shoes are the tried-and-true favorites you'll reach for time and time again.

Why do essential shoes matter?

Essential shoes aren’t just a fleeting fashion whim; they’re about connecting comfort with style. When you’ve got that meeting at 10 a.m. and a lunch date at noon, the right pair of essential shoes can carry you through without a second thought. It’s about crafting a shoe wardrobe that allows you to glide through life's ups and downs with grace and confidence:

Versatility is key

Why limit yourself to shoes that only match one or two outfits? Essential shoes are all about adaptability. They harmonize with various styles and occasions, giving you the freedom to mix and match. Imagine a classic pair of beige pumps or faithful white Kiziks; they can effortlessly take you from a casual brunch to an elegant dinner party.

Investing in quality

The phrase "you get what you pay for" rings especially true in the world of shoes. Investing in a pair of essential, quality-made shoes means you're investing in your daily comfort and style longevity. These are the shoes that won’t let you down when you’re rushing to catch that bus or standing on your feet all day.

The best essential shoes for women

Now, with a better understanding of what makes a pair of shoes truly essential, let’s dig into our list of ten must-haves. Spoiler alert: You might already have a few of these tucked away in your closet!

1. Ballet flats: Every girl's best friend

Every woman needs a trusty pair of ballet flats. Effortlessly chic and undeniably comfortable, these shoes provide a polished touch to any get up. 

Whether you're running errands, heading to the office, or enjoying a weekend brunch, ballet flats are your go-to. Their minimalist design ensures they complement almost any outfit, making them a staple in every woman's shoe collection.

2. Sneakers: From the gym to brunch, they've got you covered

In our fast-paced world, sneakers are no longer just for the gym. They’ve boldly stepped into everyday fashion, giving women a comfortable yet stylish footwear option for those days that feel like marathons. Whether you're darting around the city or enjoying a leisurely brunch, a chic pair of sneakers is essential. 

Beyond just fitness sessions or jogs in the park, today's sneakers serve as fashionable staples. Pair them with jeans, flowy dresses, or even tailored pants, and you've got a look that's both effortless and on-point.

3. Nude pumps: The unspoken heroes of looking fabulous

The power of the nude pump cannot be overstated. These heels are the unsung heroes of the shoe world, elongating the legs and adding an elegant flair to any look. 

Perfect for meetings, weddings, or dinner dates, their neutral shade ensures they blend seamlessly with any color palette. Every time you slip into these, you're guaranteed a boost of confidence. 

4. Ankle boots: Cool vibes for cool days

Ankle boots, the unsung heroes of the footwear world, are your answer to transitional dressing. Perfect for those cooler days or when you want to sprinkle a bit of edginess to your ensemble, they're versatile and oh-so-stylish. 

Think of them as your favorite leather jacket but for your feet: They're timeless, trendy, and incredibly adaptive. Whether you’re channeling a boho look with flat variants or glamming up with high heels, they’ll instantly elevate any outfit.

5. Kiziks: Like stepping into the future, but comfier

If we were to talk about a shoe that's all about innovation and comfort, Kiziks would steal the limelight. Step into the future with shoes you can slide into without bending, pulling, or fussing. With their patented Unified® heel tech is a dream for anyone on the go. 

Plus, Kiziks are about more than just convenience; they're a fashion statement in themselves. They embody that playful, adventurous spirit that says, "I'm ready for anything, and I'll look good doing it."

6. Espadrilles: Beach vibes, no matter where you are

When the scent of summer wafts through the air, espadrilles make their rightful appearance. With their earthy jute soles and lightweight design, they carry a hint of beachy bliss, even amidst the hustle and bustle of city streets. 

Perfect for those warm-weather frolics, they blend casual flair with a dash of elegance. Rock them with a breezy sundress or ankle-length jeans, and you're ready to let the summer vibes roll.

7. Chic loafers: Smart and sassy, just like you

Loafers are like that one friend who's both whip-smart and irresistibly charming. With their clean lines and minimalist appeal, they bridge the gap between casual wear and formal attire. 

Slide into these for an instant boost of smart chic, whether you're tackling a day at the office or heading out for coffee. From tassels to sleek leather, loafers have that chameleon-like charm, fitting in yet always standing out.

8. Over-the-knee boots: Where daring meets darling

They're the showstoppers, the head-turners, the boots that aren’t afraid to make a statement. Ideal for those chilly months, they provide warmth while exuding a fierce style statement. 

Pair them with a mini dress or over skinny jeans, and you've got a look that screams confidence. Embrace the aura, elegance, and undeniable allure of these towering beauties.

9. Strappy sandals: The best shoes for sunshine

When the sun shines bright and your feet want to feel free, strappy sandals come to the rescue. With their intricate designs and open structure, they offer a delightful blend of style and comfort. 

Be it a casual beach day or a garden party, these sandals add a touch of feminine grace to any outfit. Paired with a flowy skirt or cropped pants, they're a nod to those carefree summer moments we all adore.

10. Kitten heels: The perfect balance of poise and comfort

There's a certain magic about kitten heels. They lend that touch of elegance a heel offers without the daunting height. Ideal for occasions when you desire a lift but prioritize comfort, these are your middle ground between flats and stilettos. 

Whether you're attending a seminar or a soirée, kitten heels have that understated charm that complements just about any ensemble.

11. Timeless Mary Janes: Retro vibes meet modern chic

The iconic strap, the unmistakable silhouette: Mary Janes are a nostalgic nod to timeless fashion. Yet, they've evolved, gracefully transitioning from schoolyard favorites to modern-day chic. 

Wear them with a pencil skirt for that retro office look or a playful dress for a day out. Their unique style seamlessly pairs vintage vibes and contemporary trends.

12. Edgy platform shoes: Elevate your style (literally)

For those who desire a bit of elevation without the pinch of high heels, platforms are the answer. With their thick soles, they add height while ensuring comfort. They’re the wild child of the shoe world, brimming with attitude and flair. 

From chunky sneakers to sandals, platform shoes are all about making a bold statement while keeping your feet happily grounded.

Tips and insights for your essential shoe collection

Selecting the perfect shoe ensemble is an art. It's not just about trends but how each pair reflects your personal style and fits into your daily life. Here are some pearls of wisdom to keep in mind:

  • Fit before fashion: No matter how stunning those heels are, if they pinch and prod, they'll be spending more time in your closet than on your feet. Always prioritize comfort. After all, the best shoes are the ones that allow you to walk with ease and grace.
  • Maintenance matters: Just like any prized possession, your shoes demand care. Regular cleaning, using shoe trees, and rotating between pairs can add years to their lifespan.
  • Seasonal storage: Protect those delicate summer sandals or suede ankle boots by storing them appropriately during off seasons. Consider breathable bags or boxes that keep dust away without causing moisture buildup.
  • Sizing up and down: Our feet can swell during the day or with changes in weather. If you're between sizes, opt for shoes that offer a tad more room. This is especially true for closed shoes. Remember, with styles like Kiziks, you can enjoy the flexibility of slip-ons without compromising on comfort. We even offer wide sizes so that you can ensure your shoe is the perfect fit.
  • Versatility is gold: Shoes that seamlessly transition from day to night or work to play are invaluable—that’s why we design Kiziks with versatility in mind, ensuring that you're prepared for any occasion that comes your way.

Step into confidence

Navigating the world of footwear can be a dizzying endeavor with its endless styles, colors, and designs. Still, at its heart, shoe fashion is deeply personal. It's about finding that essential shoe that resonates with who you are and allows you to move through life with confidence. 

At Kizik, we believe in merging innovation with style and to be that reliable favorite you reach for time and time again. As you curate your shoe collection, may each pair reflect something about you while also representing where you want to go in life.


Importance of Wearing Good Shoes | OSF HealthCare 

Storing Clothes to Last: How to Store Your Seasonal Items | MyWardrobe 

6 Possible Reasons Why You Have Swollen Feet, Ankles or Legs | Keck Medicine of USC 

Written By: Chris Fry

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