There’s nothing wrong with owning a handful pairs of shoes, especially since most women’s lives demand different footwear styles. But this doesn’t mean you have to expand your closet or take over another room to house your collection of kicks – just a few well-selected pairs of shoes can go a long way.

Here are the eight pairs of shoes you’ve got to get your hands on and feet in.

1) Pumps

Not to be confused with stilettos, a basic pair of pumps is easy to walk in and can transition easily from day to evening wear. Black is a solid colour option, but nude can also work as a key option.

2) Running Shoes

These are the shoes you will actually run in – or at least do extended physical activity in and not just for show. Your running shoes should be quality athletic gear that has been properly fitted to your foot and chosen to complement your gait. They are what stands between you and a future of chronic knee pain. Invest in a good pair – no bargain brands here.

3) Sneakers

Not to be confused with running shoes, sneakers are your option for when you want to meander around town while still looking fashionable (i.e. not like you just stepped off the treadmill). The lace up or slip in variety are equally cool, and can be worn with jeans, shorts, shirts, capris, yoga or lounge pants and even casual dresses.


4) Flip Flops

Flip flops have gotten a bum rap recently, but this isn’t because anything is wrong with the footwear itself: it’s just that some people are too anxious to wear them with everything. Flip flops are great, but they have a distinct place as uber casual wear. Don’t try to dress them up with more formal attire: you can’t. Own at least one pair, and wear them when a total chill is the name of the game – and only then


6) Killer Heels

You’ve already got your basic pump, so now you need a shoe that takes things up a notch. Your killer heels can be open-toe, close-toe, peep-toe or pointed toe. The heel itself can be any width or colour you choose. The only stipulation is that they are sensational, and everything but basic. These are the ones you own because you absolutely love the way they look, and how they make you feel: practicality be damned.


7) Knee Boots/Over the Knee Boots

Whether or not you want a knee boot or over the knee boot is strictly a matter of personal taste, but you’ve got to get a pair of these tall beauties. They look incredible with dresses, over skinny jeans or leggings, with skirts and shorts, and scream-in-your-face confidence and sex appeal.


8) Ballet flats

Ballet flats run a gamut of style, from round toe to pointed toe. From cut-out sides to full coverage. You can pick whatever you like, in whatever colour, texture or pattern you like, but a good quality pair of flats completes any repertoire of shoes. Like the pumps, if you’re only going for one pair, make it a pair that gives you a lot of wear. This means those neon yellow and green flats that you love should take a back seat to the black and white alternative – unless you can get them both, of course.

After this, any other type of footwear is just a modification on what’s already been mentioned. Sure, if you play soccer you might want cleats, and if you cycle you might want clips, and if you regularly hike you’ll probably want hiking boots, but all that is pretty specialised. The eight pairs of shoes included in this list are the ones any woman should have, regardless of her interests.