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How to Build a Shoe Wardrobe: The Basics

There are numerous articles, books and websites devoted to helping women build a functional and fashionable wardrobe. But what about shoes? Most women I know own an average of about fifteen pairs of shoes but how often do they wear them? Are they appropriate to the season and style of clothing she owns? Besides all this, you should also invest in best insoles for your shoes. This is a good way for to you get comfortable shoes that you can wear all day long. These comfortable insoles are also going to help your feet as well.

Here is a guide to building a shoe wardrobe that is fun and compatible with your fashion sense and comfort. Here are the basics every woman should have in their closet.

Ballet Flats

The flat is all about combining comfort and effortless style. Whether you only wear them around the house or running errands flat shoes can give your tired feet a break from heels without sacrificing style. Not to mention adding an elegant ballet to formalwear creates a unique and sophisticated look. If you love wearing flats feel free to fill your shoe wardrobe with as many as you like. If, however, you are only going to have a single pair they should be in a neutral color, especially black, to give them the most versatility.

Summer alternative: Flip Flops such as

Classic Pumps

A must for attending a formal event or any dressy outfit, every woman should own a least two pairs of pumps in her shoe wardrobe. Basic black of course to pair with the little black dress or elegant suit but no shoe collection should be completely monochromatic. Add a pair of red pumps to any outfit when you want to be noticed or when a little flair is appropriate. The best material is for classic pumps is leather but suede can also be a nice choice.


A separate pair of work shoes is necessary for your shoe wardrobe. Since they will be worn most days of the week they will acquire too much wear if you use them for both work and play. Comfort is also a key factor, even if you spend much of your day at a desk traveling to and from, at lunch and even visiting co-workers will cause blisters if your not wearing something easy on your feet. A short chunky heel can be just right for a business casual look and won’t be to taxing on toes and heels,

Stiletto Party Shoes

You should have a special pair of stilettos in your shoe wardrobe for a night out with the girls, a date or a romantic dinner. These can be any style or color and you must absolutely love them.

Again, keep this pair aside for a special occasion to avoid any damage to them and to keep them looking perfect for your perfect night.

Casual Shoes

A wedge heel can be a great pair of shoes for a shopping excursion or going to a movie. This pair does not have to be kept in pristine condition and can be fun for any activity where you want to look stylish but not overdressed.


Besides the pair you where to the gym, I mean. Unfortunately there are some activities in life that will require you to wear the most casual of shoes, the sneakers. A trip to an outdoor carnival, a walking tour of a city, doing volunteer work, and taking children to the park just to name a few. A pair of converse all stars are a classic sneaker worn by celebrities and fashion icons the world over. If they still are not your style many designers make athletic shoes in various colors and styles that do not resemble your basic pair of nikes. You should add at least one pair to your shoe wardrobe.


Cowboy, over the knee, ankle booties, the choice is yours. Boots have been a stylish addition to a women’s shoe wardrobe for centuries and can complete a specific look in way many other shoes can’t. For example a pair of suede booties says rock and roll while a western look demands a classic cowboy boot.

Snow Boots

Unless you live in Florida, Hawaii or anywhere else is doesn’t snow, a pair of winter slip proof boots are essential for a shoe wardrobe. Uggs are a popular brand and very cozy. They also now come in a great range of colors and designs. Despite their trendiest there are those who feel Ugg stands for Ugg-ly. Alternatives created by designers such as Steve Madden and Marc Jacobs may be more to their taste.


There is nothing more miserable than arriving somewhere after being caught in the rain and having to spend the day with wet, cold pants cuffs. Wellies are the ultimate rain boot and you can solve this problem by neatly tucking your pants into them. You can even carry another pair of shoes to change into once you reach your destination. If you care about your comfort and your style Wellies make a great item for your shoe wardrobe.


Every woman needs a pair of luxurious pair of slipper in her shoe wardrobe. Avoid light colors like pink, white or baby blue. Even the cleanest of floors with leave their mark over time. Steve Madden make a gorgeous pair of cozy and warm slippers covered in fur. They even come in black which will retain their appearance much longer than a pastel pair.

Summer Alternatives

The same rules apply to your shoe wardrobe during the summer but here are few alternatives you can add to make the heat more bearable.

Flip Flops

Flat Gladiator Sandals

Peep Toe

Strappy Sandals

Any of these features applied to the suggestions above will complete your summer shoe wardrobe.

Once you have completed adding the basics to your shoe wardrobe feel free to go wild and continue collecting shoes in all shapes, styles and colors.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.

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