16 Shoes Women Can Wear From College to Retirement



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If you've ever seen a shoe trend and thought, I'm too old (or young) to wear those, you've come to the right place. We're not here to talk about the worst or best shoes for every age group. We're here to talk about the shoes that women of every age group can wear, from college to retirement. We narrowed it down to eight specific shoe styles—a mix of flats, heels, casual, and dressy picks—that any woman can wear and should have in her wardrobe.

While some of these shoe styles may seem a bit more like trends than classics (e.g., backless mules), we still find them to be quite worthy of an investment. They've stood the test of time and are sure to be around for seasons to come. As a bonus, every one of these shoe styles is quite comfortable (think sneakers and block-heel ankle boots). So without further ado…

Read on to find out which eight shoe styles can be worn by every woman, and shop our picks for each!


The market is saturated with sneakers of every type and color, but the one style that's perfect for women of any age group is a pair of clean, classic white sneakers. You simply can't go wrong.


There's a reason we're still wearing the flats that Audrey Hepburn loved—ballet flats are elegant and feminine, which are two ageless qualities, sartorially speaking.


We love block-heel pumps because they give your look the same amount of polish that stiletto pumps do, but they're infinitely more walkable and still feel fresh. They're a foolproof way to dress up any outfit.


Forget flip-flops—slides are officially the number one sandal style for women of any age. They're effortless and comfortable and can actually be worn just about anywhere, unlike their thong counterparts.


Loafers undoubtedly are having a moment as of late, but we're of the thinking that they're always having a moment. They look just as cool with a pair of denim cutoffs as they do with a power suit—proof of their versatility. 


Every fashion girl's favorite shoe style is another effortless option that footwear designers across the board currently endorse—and will continue to do so. The options are endless, so whether you're looking for something youthful and fun like embellished mules or more understated and classic option in flats, you're sure to find it.


Oxfords are a menswear-inspired style that never seems to not be on trend. Similar to loafers, they're versatile, classic, and cool—three qualities that women of every age seek in their shoe collection.


Low block-heel ankle boots of any variety are always a safe bet, but Chelsea boots are particularly crucial, in our opinion. Their close-to-the-ankle fit feels just cool enough, and it makes them the perfect match for any type of jeans.

Next, find out which shoe styles you should ditch to upgrade your style.