The ONLY Pairs of Shoes You Need in Your Wardrobe

Okay, so, here’s the deal. I love shoes. I am THAT girl who buys a pair of shoes in multiple colors once I find a style I like. Recently, however, I’ve been inspired by Sherry of Young House Love to create a “uniform,” aka a minimal wardrobe of staple pieces that are decent quality and never go out of style. Because of this, I’ve really been narrowing down my clothing collection and keeping only the pieces that I am continuously wearing over and over again—shoes included. Here are the shoes that I reach for the most to complete my outfits.

The Chelsea Boot


This pair was the first “staple” piece I picked up when I decided to build a “uniform,” and they have been my go-to pair of booties all winter long. They are this beautiful, shiny black leather and slip on easily due to the elastic incorporated by the ankles. They have my favorite type of heel—the one that clicks on a hardwood floor and make you feel like a million bucks. I’ve worn them with both dresses and jeans, so they’re versatile and can be styled up or down, depending on the occasion. I’ve got about ten pairs of boots, but the classic style, sleek look, and flat heel make these my first choice. I have the “Jara” boot by Nine West, which is sold out online. #sadface. Some other options are The Modern Chelsea Boot by Everlane or the Westbound Chelsea Boot by Joules.

Leather Vans Slip-ons

These shoes right here (and the ones I’m wearing in Seoul, Korea in the cover photo) are my GTS (go-to shoe). They are the only pair of shoes that I have ever worn-down completely—they ripped in the toe when I was in the Philippines and it was an incredibly devastating moment. I got my second pair gifted by my group of girlfriends and was so grateful to be reunited with my GTS! Like the Chelsea, they match everything and are so easy to slip on and off. The perforated leather gives it a step up from the original canvas material and are also easy to wipe clean when your dog (#ahem) steps on your foot with his muddy paws.

Birkenstock Arizona Sandals

I had a pair of these with the heel strap in high school as we were required to wear brown leather shoes with our plaid skirts, and I still have those sandals to this day—that’s how long these babies last. Besides having to resole and reseal them every few years or so, Birkenstock sandals will last a lifetime. I invested in a pair of black slip-ons before I went to Belize last year, and lived in these shoes last summer. They are super comfortable (once you get past the breaking-in period), and were easy to slip on and head to the pool. Also, they’re black, so they match everything I own. #win

The All-White Gym Sneaker

I raved about these in my 2018 Amazon Favorites and still love them, especially now that they’re washed and sparkling white again. Having a pair of all-white tennis shoes gives my regular black and gray gym outfit that punch I need to get excited about working out. I replaced the laces in mine with a set of Hickies, so I can easily slide them on and off (I’m all about easy shoes, if you haven’t noticed). Bonus: I usually work out at 5 am, so this bright white helps with the early morning wake-up process. I have the Adidas Swift Run in White/Crystal White/White, but I love my Adidas Edge Lux if I’m going to do sprints on the treadmill.

Chunky-Heeled Sandals

I bought these for to match a bridesmaid’s dress for one of the thousand weddings I attended last fall, but was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and versatile these sandals are! I was able to wear them for almost twelve hours without any type of discomfort, and that’s including walking all over the place for pictures, and tearing up the dance floor at the reception. They can easily dress up a casual outfit—my outfit of choice with these shoes is skinny jeans, a white tee, and my black leather jacket. Here’s the best part—they were only $30 on Amazon.

And of course, I have to add some honorary mentions that are second tier to my five staples…

Converse Chuck Taylor II

I have these shoes in both hi and low tops and they are my footwear of choice on leg days at the gym (Audrie’s too). The flat bottom helps ground me closer to the floor and help me reap the benefits of all those leg day staples (squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc.). I’m always a heck of a lot more sore the next day when I choose to wear chucks for leg day over my regular cushioned sneakers! Also—I opted for the Chuck II version because the footbed is squishier than regular chucks. :)

Heeled leather booties

I love these for all the same reasons as my Chelsea boots, but these have that 3 inch heel that gives my 5’6” self a little extra oomph. I’ve had this pair of BCBG booties for years and they’re falling apart, but they still look good and I will wear them till the heels fall off!

Fur-lined slippers

I got these J. Crew slippers for the holidays one year and I’m always wearing them around the house. The fur lining keeps my feet warm in the wintertime with or without socks, and make it much more bearable to walk around our hardwood floors first thing in the morning.

What are some of your footwear staples? Comment below so I can add a few more pairs to my “uniform.” :)

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