5 Basic Shoes Every Fashion Person Owns

Given that we all have different personal styles, no two shoe wardrobes are completely alike. You may favor offbeat statement heels while your best friend may stock her arsenal with toned-down, minimal silhouettes. That said, there are a select few shoe styles that we all probably do have in our closets, despite footwear preferences. These are what we call the basics. You know what we’re talking about—those classic shoes that have become universal essentials thanks to their go-with-everything, never-going-out-of-style nature. Think black pumps and white sneakers.

Below we’re showcasing the five shoe styles that prove to be common threads throughout just about every fashion person’s wardrobe. Keep scrolling for a little visual inspiration and shopping recommendations if you’re looking to refresh those basic silhouettes.


1. Black Pumps
(Image credit: @darjabarannik)

It may seem like a no-brainer, but a pair of classic black pumps are one of the most versatile pair of shoes you can own. They will literally work for every occasion. 


2. Ballet Flats
(Image credit: @adenorah)

It's always smart to have a timeless pair of ballet flats on hand for those days when you need to look put together but also need to stay comfortable. 


3. Black Ankle Boots
(Image credit: @aninebing)

While patterned or colorful booties are also a hit, black ankle boots will always remain the staple in the boot realm thanks to their wear-with-anything nature. 


4. Strappy Sandals
(Image credit: @ada_oguntodu)

A pair of strappy sandals will bring a fashion-forward element to those more elevated ensembles.


5. Classic Sneakers
(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Sorry, "ugly sneakers," classic kicks like Converse, Vans, or all-white leather trainers will always reign supreme. They will never go out of style. 

Next, check out spring's next It shoes

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.