Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated October 20, 2021)
Women are often stereotyped for owning bounties of shoes, for all being Imelda Marcos. I willingly admit to possessing an extensive shoe collection, but my own shoe closet is relatively modest, especially when compared to other women's shoes. Regardless of the size or extent or expense of your shoe collection, there are a few types of shoes that every woman should own. There are a few classic shoes that should be in every woman's closet.
To start breaking down the types of shoes a woman should own, we need to determine the positions women hold at various points in the day, the week, the month, the year. Women in the Twenty-First Century are superwomen most often: they play mom, wife, chauffeur, housekeeper, nurse, chef, businesswoman, exerciser, teacher, counselor, washwoman, church patron, and a whole slew of other roles. With so many responsibilities, women need a shoe collection that can keep up with them.
Take a look inside your closet and take an inventory. Once you know what you have, check to see if you have the following: at least one pair dress shoes (preferably black), at least one pair of casual shoes (this does not mean tennis shoes), at least one pair of athletic shoes (some kind of running shoes), and at least one pair of grubby-who-cares shoes. These are the categories of shoes every woman should own, and within these categories you are more than welcome—and yes, I even encourage you—to build your collection within each of these shoe subsets. More often than not, you need more than one pair of dress shoes.
To complement a fashion-forward wardrobe, you need black and brown pumps for a start, and while you may not need red pumps, they sure are fun to wear! Casual shoes are pretty open to interpretation. I have a few pairs of shoes that I consider casual, all-around universal. These are the shoes you wear on a day-to-day basis, the shoes you can wear with just about any of your everyday outfits. My favorite brand of this type of shoe is Dansko. Shoes from this company are on the more expensive end ($115-$145), but they last forever, are unbelievingly comfortable, and go with just about everything.
Athletic shoes, even if you aren't very active, are always good to have on hand. Especially if you exercise, a good pair of running shoes is essential. If you don't exercise, you'll still never be disappointed to have that pair of tennis shoes handy in the event you ever need them. Athletic shoes are just one of those staples that you should always have in your closet, regardless of how often you actually wear that particular pair of shoes.
So, while you don't have to have an entire room devoted to shoes, you do need to have some shoe staples to be fashionably and functionally successful in today's on-the-go world. You have so many responsibilities as a woman, and build your shoe collection so it helps you, rather than drags you down.
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