9 Shoes I'm Ditching to Upgrade My Style


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

Now that you're familiar with a few general things Who What Wear editors are giving up to be more stylish, it's time to get a little more specific and talk about the item that can make or break a look: shoes. We all have those shoes we hold onto for a bit too long (I know I do), whether it's for sentimental reasons or simply because we loved them once (probably a little too much, based on their worn-out appearance), but the truth is they're taking up space that could be used for shoes that are in style. Cue my trip to Goodwill to donate them, so they can go to a new home and be saved for the next time they inevitably come back around. 

Frustrating as it may be shoes can go in and out of the trend zone in the blink of an eye, and wearing an "out" pair can instantly make my entire look feel dated. Accordingly, I came to the conclusion that there are nine styles in particular that no longer have a place in your wardrobe in 2022—and that I don't think will be back in anytime soon. On the bright side, there are nine alternate styles that either lean more classic or are trends that have proven their staying power. Ready to join me in upgrading your style via your shoe collection this year?

Find out which shoes I'm tossing and keeping (or adding to my closet) below.

DITCH: Wedge-Heel Boots

KEEP: Block-Heel Boots

I know wedge heels are trending, but they're personally not for me. Block heels are equally walkable as wedge heels but look much more polished and forward than wedges ever did.

DITCH: Platform Pumps

KEEP: Single-Sole Pumps

While pumps will always be classic go-to's when seeking polished shoes, the thick platform pumps that everyone used to teeter around in are (hopefully) gone for good.

DITCH: Gladiator Sandals

KEEP: Naked Sandals

Gladiator sandals had their moment in the sun, but the complicated, typically unflattering style has since been replaced by something refreshingly simpler: the celebrity-approved naked sandals.

DITCH: Dirty, Damaged Shoes

KEEP: Well-Made Classics

If a pair of shoes is damaged beyond repair or isn't worth the money or hassle required to get it repaired, ditch it and invest in quality shoes that will last and become wardrobe staples.

DITCH: Cheap Flip-Flops

KEEP: Slide Sandals

Flip-flops are definitely back but those old rubber iterations I was fond of in college have hit the discard pile. On the other hand, you can't go wrong with a pair of slides, whether sporty or sleek.

DITCH: Peep-Toe Shoes

KEEP: V-Neck Shoes

While peep toes of any heel height are currently passé, V-neck options have stuck around, thanks to their foot-flattering capabilities and modern look. 

DITCH: Wedge Sneakers

KEEP: Simple, Clean Sneakers

The same as I did with my dated wedge-heel boots, I'm swapping my wedge sneakers of seasons long past for ones that are much more classic and minimal.

DITCH: Flatforms

KEEP: Mules

While "ugly" sandals are still a thing, but I predict the flatform iterations won't be forever. On the flip side, mules are still going strong and have become a classic in every woman's shoe collection.

DITCH: Goofy Printed Rain Boots

KEEP: Sleek Rubber Boots

Looking polished in inclement weather is no small feat. I'm maintaining polish by swapping cheap-looking printed boots for a more elevated, neutral-hued pair.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Next, TikTok Is Obsessed With These Affordable Shoes, so I Test-Drove 4 Pairs

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.