Every woman should have a variety of shoes in her closet to suit different occasions and styles. These include white sneakers, black booties, classic loafers, slide sandals, knee-high boots, neutral heels, statement booties, comfortable heels, versatile flats, ballet flats, and strappy sandals.

Even though women’s shoes come in many styles, shapes, sizes, and colors, it always happens that the perfect pair is nowhere to be found when something comes up.

But, with a little forethought, savvy shoppers can ensure that they’re prepared for whatever life throws at them, at least when it comes to their shoes.

Below are the basics, the must-haves, and the staples. Whatever you want to call them, most women should own these top ten shoe styles.

Black High-Heeled Dress Shoes Shoe

Black High-Heeled Dress Shoes Shoe

Nothing too strappy, nothing too trendy. Remember, these are the basics, but a pair of black, dressy high heels are definitely essential.

This will be your go-to pair of evening shoes, so you’ll want something that goes with dress pants, a cocktail dress, or pretty much any other evening outfit.

I like the look of satin, velvet, or suede on the top of evening shoes, even if they’re just simple ones. Smooth leather is usually less dressy.

Regarding heel height, choose something at the medium-to-high end of your comfort range to ensure they feel dressy enough but are still comfortable.

This will be between 2.5 and 4.5 inches tall for most women.

Neutral or Nude Pumps

Neutral or Nude Pumps
(Photograph: @brenna_anastasia/Instagram).

Even as versatile as black pumps are, they will not go with everything.

Add a neutral-colored (not white) pump to your collection, and the “basic pump” category of women’s shoes will be covered.

Your best bet is to choose a classic design that will work no matter the season or year. Even though Christian Louboutin’s nude collection is pricey, it comes in a range of colors that look good on many skin tones.

Semi-Casual Flats

Semi-Casual Flats
(Photograph: @ vanillashopperu/Instagram).

You’ll want a pair of shoes that will look cute with jeans but are more casual than if you couldn’t wear nicer slacks.

You can look for unique colors, patterns, or textures to keep things from getting too boring. But really, any simple, somewhat dressy flat will do.

Low Heeled Black Pumps

Low Heeled Black Pumps
(Photograph: @ danividas/Instagram).

A pair of low-heeled, comfortable black pumps is essential to every woman’s shoe collection.

They’re perfect for all those times when a strappy sandal or an overly-glamorous shoe is inappropriate or too dressy, like an early dinner; an impromptu business meeting; or even a funeral.

Basic pumps can be worn with almost anything, and their heels are very low and easy to walk in.

Feel free to go higher if you prefer, but don’t go much taller than 3 inches for this particular must-have. Anything more would be inappropriate for this essential.

Comfortable Everyday Sneakers

Comfortable Everyday Sneakers

The choice is yours, but whether it’s a little white knicker or an edgy, retro high top, every wardrobe needs a pair of comfortable sneakers.

Metallic High Heels

Must-Have Women's Shoe Styles: Metallic High Heels

Some special occasion outfits won’t work well with black shoes. You’ll want a pair of dazzling metallic evening shoes for those situations.

They can be open-toed pumps or strappy sandals; it doesn’t matter as long as they’re dressy enough for evenings since that’s really the only time you’ll be wearing them.

Metallic heels are ideal for pastels, light neutrals, and whites, but they will also work well with black dresses.

Heeled Casual Shoes and Booties

Heeled Casual Shoes and Booties

Nothing can dress up a casual outfit and make you feel better about yourself, like adding a bit of height. It doesn’t matter how high or low the heel is; it’s just about getting out of flats for a bit.

Look for casual booties, sandals, or shoes with a bit of a heel for times when you want to be chic, even in jeans. But remember, comfort still counts, so don’t go too crazy.

Tall Boots

Must-Have Women's Shoe Styles: Tall Boots

Whether it’s a high-heeled fashion boot or a warm and comfy casual style, colder weather screams for boots. Plus, depending on the boots you choose, everything from skirts to jeans can look fantastic with them.

Every woman’s wardrobe should have at least one pair of basic boots in brown or black. I like tall boots with low heels that can go casual or dressy.

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