9 Pairs of Shoes Every Modern Woman Should Own

...do you?

white shift dress-wellesley and king-@wellesleynking | 9 Must Have Shoes for Women featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: image of a woman wearing rockstud heels

After years of following fashion and trends, I am convinced that there are truly only 9 pairs of must-have shoes for modern women. That’s it. Really. I promise. If you’ve got these nine pairs of shoes in your closet, there is no event that you will not be prepared for.

Every time I think of purchasing shoes, I’m reminded of this quote from the movie In Her Shoes, which couldn’t be more accurate:

When I feel bad I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good… food just makes me fatter… shoes always fit.

It’s true. Shoes are one of those accessories that can instantly make us feel better and we never have to worry about whether or not they’re going to flatter our curves or hug in the wrong places.

9 Must-Have Shoes for Modern Women

Neutral Pointed Toe Flats

Looks great with: Jeans, Ankle Trousers, Casual Dresses and Skirts

Best Place to Buy: Rothy’s (Click here for $20 Off)

Pointed-toe flats create the illusion of longer legs, similar to heels. They are great for those situations where heels are not practical. Rounded-toe, not the other hand, have a tendency to make legs look shorter and more stout. Almond toes are a nice compromise for something in the middle but, as someone who is only 5’2″, I prefer the pointed-toe. Rothy’s has been my favorite retailer for shoes since I purchased my first pair. All of their shoes are made from recycled plastics, require literally zero wear-in time, and can be thrown in the washing machine when they get a little too fresh.

Leopard Block Heels

Looks great with: Denim, trousers, dresses and skirts of all kinds

Favorite Brand: J.Crew

Block heels are a great option for occasions where you want to be dressed up but not too formal. A leopard version is the perfect option that can seamlessly transition from formal to casual outfits. For example, wear these with a leather jacket, pair of jeans, and graphic t-shirt for an edgy night out look. Or, wear them with a pair of trousers, classic white blouse, and a blazer for the office. I cannot express how versatile these can be.

Winter Boots

Wear with: Anything when the temperature is below freezing

Favorite Brand: L. L. Bean

If you’re from Western, PA., you know there’s no question that winter boots are a must. I’m not above wearing these with my work clothes when commuting to and from work. I would rather save my good shoes and be prepared for the elements. (I was always taught to dress as if your car might break down on your way home in bad weather, so that’s what I do!). Finding a pair that is waterproof and lined with a warm fabric, like shearling, is recommended.

Short Rain Boots

Wear with: Rain Coats and Wet Weather

Favorite Brand: Alice + Whittle 

Rain boots are a must-have for those rainy days. No one likes to be sloshing around in wet sneakers or sliding out of sandals when the rain hits. I specifically recommend a shorter pair because tall boots can be difficult to wear with professional trousers, which is important for commuting in all sorts of weather. Tucking trousers into tall boots is not a good look, and neither are rain-splattered work pants. The shorter style covers your ankles and protects feet from the wet weather. I actually wear these boots all the time, even when it’s not raining. They are so chic.

Strappy Heeled Sandal

Wear with: Formal Looks or Fancy Nights Out

Favorite Brand: Steve Madden

A simple heeled sandal is all that you need for formal events. I like this one in a neutral because it can be worn with anything. Ideally, you want to find a pair that blends in with the color of your skin so that your legs look very sleek and long. In a nude color, a pair of strappy heeled sandals will look incredibly chic. Don’t be afraid to wear these with skinny jeans, either. They can really dress up your look!

Leather Flat Sandal

Wear with: Shorts, Jeans, Casual Dresses, Skirts

Favorite Brand: Madewell

A simple pair of leather flat sandals is a more put-together option than rubber flip-flops for days when you really just need something low-key and casual. I love a pair that can slide on without any fussing over buckles or straps.

All-White Casual Sneakers

Best for: Just about anything!

Favorite Brand: Converse or Rothy’s (Click here for $20 Off)

In the summertime I live in sneakers. I prefer an all-white pair for two reasons: (1) they go with everything, and (2) they are classic. A sleek pair of all-white casual sneakers, like Rothys or Converse, will never go out of style. I like the higher top versions but I’m also a big fan of the low ones for easy slipping on and off in a hurry (usually the case when I’m running after a toddler).

Casual/Dressy Ankle Boot

Best for: Professional events, casual nights out

Favorite Brand: J.Crew

J.Crew has truly perfected a casual/dressy ankle boot in their Sadie ankle boot. The almond toe and block heel are both timeless, and the lack of detailing keeps the whole style looking crisp and classic. If I’m being honest, I own this particular boot in the leopard and the suede brown because I think it’s that good. The sleek silhouette always leaves me feeling totally chic and put-together. I really love them in the snake print, but I’m going to reign myself in on getting a third pair.

Classic Pump

Best for: Any Corporate Setting, Professional Events, Dressy but Conservative Occasions

Favorite Brand: Kate Spade

You’ve seen me in these a few times (see here, here and here). In my opinion, there is no shoe more classic or versatile than this one. It is an absolutely beautiful shoe. I even had a cobbler comment on how well-made they are!

Phew! That’s a lot of information! What are your must-have shoe picks?

Was this post helpful for you? Share your thoughts on these must have shoes for woman in the comments below! 

Loving these must have shoes for women? Click here now for more wardrobe essentials!!


9 pairs of shoes every woman should own | 9 Must Have Shoes for Women featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: image of a woman wearing rockstud heels


I'm Lauren, a wife, mom, and corporate manager turned entrepreneur. I'm obsessed with organization, love a great vintage mid-century find, and only cook no-fuss meals that take under 30 minutes. In a world of excess, I'm doing what I can to have less and enjoy the simple parts of life. If you're a modern woman who wants a simplified, yet beautiful, life, you have come to the right place. This blog is meant to inspire you, the modern woman, to have a "fewer, better" mentality, and to live with style in all areas of your life.

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Wellesley & King works with several affiliate programs. By clicking through and purchasing items on sites I link to, I may receive a commission. Wellesley & King also occasionally partners with brands on sponsored posts or gifted items.  Sponsored posts are indicated by language similar to “thank you to ‘brand name’ for sponsoring this post.” Gifted items are indicated by “c/o” meaning “courtesy of.”


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I also work with other small businesses to make an unforgettable first impression. My business, Wellesley & King Creative, is dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs take their brand to the next level with standout photographs, simple web designs, and compelling online marketing. Learn more about W&KC!

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9 Join the Conversation!

  1. 1.8.15
    Tara said:

    I really need to check out Nine West, dress shoes are really lacking in my closet. I think I might have one pair of heels and one pair of heeled sandals :/
    That being said, I spend a great deal of time outside and one of my favorite brands for field shoes is Patagonia. I’m also in love with Birkenstock sandals because they are so comfortable. For winter/rain boots I really like Bogs, they have fun designs and are truly weatherproof. My new brand obsession is Bedstu. I got a great pair of leather boots at a very reasonable price from Amazon a few months ago. I just love their cobbler series styles. If I had to pick one more brand it would be Timberland, they have some really great boots too. I really love their eco friendly EarthKeepers line.

    • 1.8.15
      Lauren said:

      These are great brands. I’ve recently been introduced to Patagonia and Bogs sounds like a really reliable option for Western, Pa walking! Timberland is definitely great–I have a pair for work when we’re in the field that are so durable. Great feedback!

    • 1.9.15
      Lauren said:

      Really liking the Bogs options, especially this one: http://www.bogsfootwear.com/shop/style/71423-001.html#ReviewHeader. They say waterproof, but are they snowproof? I am hesitant to order them with the fabric?

  2. 1.10.15
    laurenmazzotta said:

    I love the ankle bootie! I’ve been wanting one, but I have a hard time committing to shoes sometimes. Do you wear them out in the winter? I’m always hesitant to buy suede shoes in western PA…

    • 1.10.15
      Lauren said:

      I hear you! Suede and snow do not mix. I got the black leather pair, which can be weatherproofed. I think the style of these pair works especially well for petite frames because of the low cut ankle, to elongate the leg. These are perfect for a wide leg dress pant, skinny pant or tights. All of these options would elongate a shorter a frame if paired with a black pant.

  3. 4.4.19
    Jada said:

    Love this post! I recently bought my first pair of leopard heels and I feel like a new woman every time I wear them!!


    • 4.5.19

      That’s awesome!! I love the feeling of purchasing something that makes you feel awesome! Thank you for reading! ☺️

  4. 1.2.20
    Stava Basham Thomas said:

    I am tall(5’9″), therefore I need the opposite ideas for shoe and leg fashion options.

  5. 2.19.20
    Mrs David Leticia said:

    I am interested and want to order and be Agent in aTanzania . Can you do something to let it happened?

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