I'll be the first to acknowledge that putting the word "cult" before something fashion-related is a bit overdone, but I'm doing it anyway because there's no better way to describe the 20 shoe brands that I'm here to discuss. There are a lot of definitions for cult out there (most of them pretty creepy, as you'd imagine), but the one that best suits the meaning when it comes to fashion is this: excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. In this case, the thing is shoe brands.
When I think of a cult-favorite brand, I don't really put extremely well-known brands in that category, as it's a little obvious. Of course, Gucci and Prada shoes are adored and coveted by all. And while you've probably heard of many of the shoe brands highlighted below, your grandmother probably hasn't. Many of these brands are new, others fly under the radar but are always selling out, and others still may be experiencing a resurgence as of late. (I'm looking at you, Bottega Veneta and Dr. Martens.)
Regardless of the reason for being cult favorites, these brands are all in a league of their own, and the shoes they make reflect that. Since there are so many incredible options to choose from, I reviewed every pair I could find on the internet and chose the one that I think you should buy. It was hardly a chore, but you're welcome.