Mary Janes are one of the most iconic shoe styles. In fact, they’ve been making the fashion rounds for over 100 years. Now, with the Y2K trends of the '90s and early 2000s making a comeback, the timeless close-toed strapped shoes have had a recent style resurgence with everything from ballet flats to chunky platform heels drawing inspiration from the classic silhouette.
If you’re looking for the best Mary Janes, you’ve come to the right corner of the internet. From everyday Mary Janes to loafers inspired by the shoe style, we took it upon ourselves to find the best options for every style preference, considering stability, comfort, and heel height. We also consulted wardrobe stylist Samantha Brown for her style expertise.
Keep reading for our guide to the best Mary Janes on the market.
Meet the Expert
Samantha Brown is a professional personal stylist and celebrity stylist based in NYC. She has been working with clients to refine their styles for over a decade.
Best Overall: Reformation Abalonia Chunky Maryjane
For the best overall category, we searched high and low for a pair of Mary Janes that boasts a classic silhouette with a modern take. These from Reformation are our top choice for their platform style, lug sole—which adds some nice texture, too—and adjustable T-strap. The best thing about these shoes, though, is that they are designed to get better with time, making them a great wardrobe investment piece.
Construction: Bovine leather upper | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Budget: CYBLING Round Toe Mary Janes
For a budget-friendly shoe, we love these Round Toe Mary Janes from Amazon. These faux patent leather shoes have 4.4 stars from over 1,000 customers with rave reviews for their style, comfort, and value. With their classic style, these Mary Janes are a good choice for a more affordable option—just be sure to size down as some report they run a bit big.
Construction: Faux leather upper and rubber outsole | Size Range: US 4–11
Best for Work: Intentionally Blank Serif Platform Mary Jane
You can probably get away with almost any shoe on this list for work; however, we loved these high-heel Mary Janes the most for this category. The platform shoes feature a fun twist on the classic Mary Jane style with a vintage-style tie and keyhole. They pair well with everything from trousers, power suits, and skirts to casual Friday denim and sweater vests.
Construction: Leather and rubber | Size Range: US 6–11
Best Everyday: Everlane The Mary Jane
For an everyday Mary Jane style, you want something comfortable, versatile, and durable. We love The Mary Jane from Everlane for everyday wear because they are made from high-quality Nappa leather and have a minimalistic ballet flat look. The buttery soft shoes are also designed to mold to the foot, upping the ante on comfort with every wear.
Construction: 100% leather upper and recycled rubber sole | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Designer: Prada Venice Mary Jane
For the best designer category, we love these Mary Janes from Prada. The shiny calfskin leather shoes boast a 1.75-inch block heel and are topped with the classic triangle Prada logo on top of a square-toe silhouette, giving it dimension and flair.
Construction: Leather upper, lining, and sole | Size Range: US 7–10
Best Lug Sole: Urban Outfitters UO Indie Mary Jane
Mary Janes are traditionally a more feminine shoe style, but a lug sole gives them some slight edge. These are the perfect lug sole Mary Janes for their classic silhouette and chunky sole. And what makes them even more unique is their traditional loafer style stitching for added detailing.
Construction: Polyurethane and rubber | Size Range: US 6–10
Best Platform: Ganni Platform Mary Jane Loafer
Platform Mary Janes also add some edge. For this category, we selected the Platform Mary Jane Loafer from Ganni because how could we not? The thick rubber sole adds a textured contrast to the sleek leather uppers, which are anchored by an oversized buckled T-strap. While these Mary Janes are a good goth option, they can also be styled with flowy prairie-style dresses or even a pair of light mom jeans and a white button-down for an elevated look.
Construction: Leather and rubber | Size Range: EU 36–40
Best Patent: KOI Tira Black Mary Janes 'Patent Edition'
For this category, we chose the Tira Black Patent Mary Janes from Koi. Not only do they have an ultra-shiny patent finish, but they also have an edgy platform 3-inch heel. And, although it’s a small one, one of the things we love most about these is the buckle. Most options on this list have a silver or gunmetal buckle, but these are gold.
Construction: PU patent upper | Size Range: UK 3–11
Best Square Toe: Sam Edelman Michaela Mary Jane Flat
A round toe isn’t the only Mary Jane style. For the best square toe Mary Janes, we went with these flats from Sam Edelman. These shoes come in nine colors, including traditional black, pistachio green, rusty yellow velvet, and a soft rose, and have a padded leather insole for added comfort.
Construction: Leather or velvet | Size Range: US 5–11
Best White: Dr. Martens 8065 Smooth Leather Mary Jane Shoes
The best white Mary Jane shoes are those from Dr. Martens. Designed with a double strap and loafer-like detailing, they are made to be worn polished or scuffed up, making them an excellent versatile option. When it comes to these shoes, it’s all in the detailing, which includes the signature Dr. Martens yellow welt stitching.
Construction: Leather | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Brown: Brother Vellies Picnic Shoe in Maya
When we think of Mary Janes, we typically think of a pair of crisp black shoes, but the black hue isn’t a requirement for Mary Janes. If you’re looking for a pair of brown Mary Janes, our top pick is the Picnic Shoe from Brother Vellies. We love the rich brown leather finish, but beyond that, the flats have a classic silhouette and are complete with a dazzling heart-shaped buckle.
Construction: Leather | Size Range: US 5–12
Best Green: Jeffrey Campbell Piper Platform Mary Janes in Olive
In addition to brown Mary Janes, green Mary Janes are another under-the-radar color option that add something different to a look. These olive-colored platforms from Jeffrey Campbell made our list for their rich green hue, chunky lug sole with a 1.25-inch platform, and sleek design. The edgy shoes also feature a hook-and-loop closure, providing a perfectly snug fit, and a cushioned footbed for added comfort.
Construction: Leather and rubber | Size Range: US 6–10
Best Sustainable: Rothy’s The Square Mary Jane
If you want a pair of Mary Jane shoes with a traditional look and a sustainable touch, The Square Mary Jane from Rothy’s is for you. Designed with knit material made from plastic water bottles and available in a range of sizes, these textile Mary Jane flats are a good option for every day; plus, since they are Rothy’s, you can toss them in the washing machine to freshen them up as needed.
Construction: Signature knit thread spun from plastic water bottles | Size Range: US 5–13
Best Chunky: Jeffrey Campbell Reine Platform Mary Jane Pump
Make a statement with a pair of these chunky platform Mary Janes from Jeffrey Campbell. The 1-inch platform heels are inspired by a 1990s club girl and feature a 3.5-inch stacked heel with a hook-and-loop strap closure, so you can customize your fit for maximum comfort. The square toe also adds a touch of dimension and is a fresh take on the more traditional round toe silhouette.
Construction: Leather upper and lining and synthetic sole | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Black: Prada Leather Mary Janes
These Prada Mary Janes are the best black Mary Janes because they are the perfect crossover between shiny and matte leather, feature a classic rubber heel sole, and have a stylish T-strap, which adds subtle detailing. Also available in white, we love these Mary Janes because they go so well with everything from dressy ensembles to casual looks.
Construction: Leather upper and lining and rubber sole | Size Range: US 5–11
Most Unique: About Arianne Charlie Vichy Marrone Mary Jane Shoes
Leave it to About Arianne to design a pair of unique Mary Janes we love. These gingham Mary Janes feature a block heel and square-toe silhouette with an oversized buckle, which is covered in gingham fabric for an all-around textile feel.
Construction: Cotton fabric upper | Size Range: EU 36–41
Most Comfortable: Sketchers Stretch Fit: Arch Fit Cleo Wedge
The Arch Fit Cleo Wedge shoes from Sketchers are a Mary Jane style flat designed with the brand’s air-cooled memory foam insole and podiatrist-approved arch support, making them the most comfortable Mary Jane shoe out there. In addition to the insole and arch support, these shoes also have a contoured footbed, which molds to the feet and helps support weight distribution, too.
Construction: Knit mesh | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Loafer: Freda Salvador Wilde Mary Jane Loafer
For a Mary Jane shoe that moonlights as a loafer, we love this ultra-luxe style from Freda Salvador. The flat T-strap loafers have a 0.75-inch heel and are made from 100 percent Italian leather with sleek loafer detailing. And while they are on our list for their sleek and solid black option, we also love the vanilla-embossed croc option, which brings something unique to the traditional Mary Jane style.
Construction: Leather upper and rubber sole | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Y2K: dELiA*s by Dolls Kill Hopscotch Kid Mary Janes
Mary Janes were a staple in the 1990s and 2000s. And these, from the iconic Y2K brand dELiA*s, boast a nod to this era. The chunky Mary Janes have a 3-inch block heel with a T-strap and fun heart-shaped cut-out on the round-toe silhouette. They’re great for pairing with a pair of fun, sparkly leggings, a mini dress, or even with a pair of jeans and a sweater.
Construction: Faux leather upper and synthetic sole | Size Range: US 5–11
Best Heeled: UNIF Dot Mary Janes
If you want a pair of Mary Janes that will stand out, this chunky-heeled style from UNIF is our favorite. We love the shiny leather finish, extra-large block heel, and adjustable strap for added comfort. On top of that, the round toe silhouette boasts a more traditional style, giving them a vintage feel.
Construction: Leather | Size Range: US 5–11
What to Look For in Mary Janes
Stability and Comfort
“Make sure the strap across the foot is adjustable so that they are comfortable,” wardrobe stylist Samantha Brown recommends. For added insight into how comfortable the shoe is, she also suggests “walking around in them before purchasing to be sure they’re stable.” Another option we suggest is buying the shoe in multiple sizes online and returning the ones that don't fit (just be sure to keep the brand or retailer's return policy in mind).
“Be mindful of heel height and how balanced you feel in the shoe,” says Brown. Keeping heel height in mind can also help you get a better idea of how you will style the shoes with your wardrobe.
What are Mary Jane shoes?
Mary Jane shoes are close-toed shoes with “at least one strap across the top of the foot,” says Brown. While many have a distinct look, their styles vary, with different heel heights and detailing.
How do you style Mary Janes?
“Mary Janes have a vintage, feminine feel,” Brown notes. “They pair well with equally girly items but also look cool when they’re juxtapositioned with menswear-inspired pieces like a strong blazer or a trouser,” she adds, explaining that they are “surprisingly versatile.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor's degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON Magazine to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. When sourcing the best Mary Jane shoes, Jessie looked for shoe styles made with stability and comfort in mind, as well as a variety of heel heights for all style preferences.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15 percent of products in our newly published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough Mary Janes from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business to meet this percentage. If you know of some we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.