12 Essential Shoe Styles That Belong in Every Woman's Closet

I’m the type of girl who likes to have all of her bases covered. I get a lot of flak from friends and family members when we go on vacation together, as my suitcase is perpetually twice the size of anyone else’s there. As a result, someone inevitably asks the question, “What do you have in there?” To that, my answer is, “The essentials,” because it never hurts to be prepared. (This goes double for the time my dad’s suitcase ripped wide open fifteen minutes before we had to check in at the airport for our return flight to America. The “Who brings a sewing kit to Italy?” teasing stopped real quick after that one.)

My point is, it's a good idea to have all your bases covered, and this fact is especially true when it comes to the essential shoes every girl should own. The right footwear can pair with any outfit and dress it up or down to fit any occasion. Take, for example, a simple floral romper: Pair it with stilettos, and you’re set for a night out. Pair it with flats, and you’ve got a no-fail Fourth of July picnic outfit. Pair it with slippers, and it’s “White Wine and The Bachelor Night” with six of your closest girlfriends. This is why we need an assemblage of the most essential shoes for every occasion, so here’s a list to help you find your staples.

Lace-Up The Fashion Sport Sneaker

Adidas Loop Runner , $60, Amazon

These bright Adidas kicks are just as ready to loop around the track as they are the conference room — doing so stylishly with foamy midsoles that cushion lightweight steps. Based off a retro '70s design, these shoes make everything old new again. With these pink and black shoes backing you up, that by-foot commute is starting to look way more friendly.

Or Slip On Your Stylish Sneaker

Vince Camuto Bimmy Sneaker, $98, Amazon

Eliminating one more step from the getting-dressed process is always welcome at 7 a.m. Slip into Vince Camuto's modern take on the slip-on sneaker: Padded footbeds makes for plush steps all day, while a thick rubber outsole means no need for being precious once you hit the streets.

Add A Pop Of Color & Texture To Your Look

Nine West Frolic Suede Dress Pump, $32, Amazon

A little pop of color looks great with a fun romper or LBD, and that’s where these Nine West Suede Dress Pumps come in. The design is classic and comfortable for a good fit, but the colorful quality suede adds dimension to otherwise-basic outfits. There’s definitely room for a little daring in the basic essentials category, and shoes do not have to perfectly match every outfit.

Defy The Odds With Comfortable Crochet Flats

Twisted Crochet Ballet Flats, $19, Amazon

These Crochet Ballet Flats by Twisted are breathable and easy to wear. They’re made from cotton, so no pinching or rubbing, and because they’re a beautiful lace design, your feet will look a lot more high-maintenance than they feel. That matters because with the wrong cut or fabric, it’s blister central. Ballet flats are incredible because they look adorable with any outfit, be it dresses or jeans.

Or Go Formal With Flat Sandals

Rebecca Minkoff Gladiator Sandal, $150, Amazon

For times when we simply can’t fathom wearing heels all night, but the invite still calls for formal, these Rebecca Minkoff gladiator sandals are a great thing to own. The black and white speckled lace-ups are the embodiment of beauty and class without the tumbling-down-a-staircase-head-first thing. Best of all, the versatile pattern and neutral colors mean they'll work with any look you've got.

Dress Up (Or Down) Your Chelsea Rainboot

Sam Edelman Tinsley Rain Boot, $55, Amazon

Style doesn’t stop just because it's raining, and that’s why I’m in love with these chelsea rain boots. These shoes get rave reviews because they’re ridiculously comfortable, a great fit, and don't rub uncomfortably like other plasticized alternatives. They’re casual enough to wear with pants, but polished enough to pair with a skirt, and they’re simultaneously fashionable ­­and ­waterproof – I know: not a likely combination in the shoe department.

Add Intricacy To Your Heels

Steve Madden Women's Sandalia Dress Sandal, $130, Amazon

Steve Madden came up with this open-toe high heel design, and people are loving it. The shoe is constructed with genuine leather and supportive ankle wrap ties, and they’re comfortable, despite the height. Both sexy and elegant at the same time, this shoe will be your go-to formal footwear from now on. For those warm summer nights out, a good dress sandal is imperative, and right now, intricate designs are really in.

Invest In A Great Pair Of High Boots

Anne Klein Women’s Wide Calf Leather Riding Boot, $86, Amazon

This Leather Riding Boot by Anne Klein is a top contender because it’s simple, but stylish. Reviewers are blown away by the quality of the leather, and the fit is ideal because it provides room for wider feet and tucked-in jeans while still appearing sleek and streamlined on the outside. This calf-high boot is durable, comfortable, warm, and best of all, it makes any outfit (even leggings and a sweater) look fashionable and put-together.

Realize Fashion And Warmth Are Both Possible

Sorel Women's Joan Of Arctic Boot, $170, Amazon

It’s not always easy to look fashionable while you’re shoveling the driveway. That being said, it’s definitely possible. Sorel Women's Joan Of Arctic Boot is made for warmth, dryness, and — you guessed it — style. It’s one of the highest rated out there in the category of women’s snow boots because they’re comfortable and cozy without being overly bulky. The faux fur cuff adds a stylish flair to your snowpants, and I didn’t even think that was possible.

Glam Up Your Pool Slide

Loeffler Randall, $68, Amazon

A shoe like this one from Loeffler Randall adds a fashionable spin to the beach sandal. The rubber soles mean zero slippage, while a wide vamp strap ensures the stone-embellished sandal stays securely in place. If you’re looking for a little extra statement for your poolside style, this would be it.

Get Polished & Professional, But Not in Your Mother's Kitten Heels

MICHAEL Michael Kors Kitten Pump, $108, Amazon

Kors is an expert at American luxury, and these embellished pumps are both comfortable and edgier than traditional kittens with smart studded detailing, supportive block heels, and soft suede uppers. Their cushy padded footbeds make them ideal for days when you’ve got 15 blocks to walk, and stopping to adjust simply isn’t an option. If you’re looking for something professional and fashionable — for, say, a job interview — these are not your mother’s kitten heels.

Slip Into Comfortable, Moisture-Wicking Slippers

ACORN Women's Acorn Moc Slipper, $42, Amazon

Every woman needs to invest in a pair of good-quality slippers, like these ones from Acorn. They come in a myriad of different designs and colors, and are made with a moisture-wicking lining and suede sidewall. These have memory foam to ensure optimal comfort, and a non-slip bottom to keep you firmly upright. Some reviewers admit they’ve worn them to the grocery store, and I say, “Good on you, girl.”

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (12)