The perfect pair of shoes should not only tie an entire outfit together, but they should be as comfortable as they are fashionable. Whether it’s a cozy slipper to glide around the house in, a sporty sneaker to channel an effortless look, or a classic nighttime heel, shoes are the cherry on top of any ensemble.
If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of shoes and don’t know where to start, consider us your personal shoppers. We researched hundreds of shoes across a multitude of categories while also considering factors like comfort, support, design and versatility. After consulting a personal stylist, and considering dozens of different types of styles and brands, we landed on the following best in show to help you build your outfits from the feet up.
From sleek loafers to supportive sneakers, here are the best shoes for women.
Cariuma IBI Knit Sneaker
Our top pick is the Cariuma IBI Knit Sneaker. The shoe comes in an expansive size range with lots of different colors, so finding your perfect match is simple. The goes-with-anything shoe is extremely lightweight with a removable memory foam insole, so they’re ultra-comfortable for long days. The sneakers are also made sustainably from bamboo, sugarcane, and recycled plastics. And, for every pair purchased, Cariuma will plant two trees, making them a great eco-friendly choice as well. Plus, you can throw them in the washing machine whenever they need a refresh.
Price at time of publish: $98
Size Range: 5.5-12.5 | Material: Bamboo, sugarcane, recycled plastics | Colors: 17
Best Everyday Sneakers
Veja Venturi Sneaker
For a sneaker you can wear all day, every day, we are huge fans of the Veja Venturi Sneaker. With a retro athleisure feel, these kicks pair well with a workout set, or a weekend ensemble like jeans and a sweater. They’re also an eco-friendly shoe that is designed with a sustainable Amazonian rubber sole. This sneaker is a timeless staple that delivers high quality comfort that is sure to last you for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $195
Size Range: 36-41 | Material: Suede, rubber, mesh | Colors: 5
Sam Edelman Lorraine Bit Loafer
You can never go wrong with a classic loafer, and our favorite pair is the Loraine Bit Loafers from Sam Edelman. The sleek silhouette comes in a selection of 32 colorways with materials including leather, fabric, and velvet. The dainty buckle adds an elevated touch to the classic shoe, with a gold or silver hardware finish depending on the style. The loafers also have a sophisticated structure to them, with an almond shaped toe and subtle .5 inch heel. They’re an excellent choice for any type of ensemble, whether you’re sporting jeans and a sweater or an elegant dress, you really can’t go wrong.
Price at time of publish: $150
Size Range: 4-14 | Material: leather, velvet, fabric | Colors: 32
Best for Running
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 Permafrost
New balance makes some of the most popular sneakers, with celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Jennifer Anniston incorporating the brand into their style. And after trying several pairs of running sneakers over the years, we love the way these New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 Permafrost’s support the foot. They are a lightweight sneaker featuring a high-rebound foam, making them an ideal choice for workouts and long distance runs. The neutral colorway also makes them easy to pair with any outfit– workout set or not.
Price at time of publish: $140
Size Range: 5.5-10 | Material: Rubber, mesh, FuelCell foam | Colors: 1
Best Fashion Sneakers
Sorel Kinetic Breakthru Tech Lace Sneaker
The Sorel Kinetic Breakthru Tech Lace Sneaker is our favorite shoe for channeling our sporty side. We love the cool streetwear design, lightweight feel, and the fact that they’re made with Bloom, an eco-friendly material made from repurposed algae. The shoes not only have a stylish 1-inch platform, but also have high-traction rubber soles, so they keep you on your feet, even if the ground is a bit slippery. And, on top of all that, they have a cloud-like cushioning.
Price at time of publish: $68 to $135
Size Range: 5-12 | Material: Textile, EVA | Colors: 6
Best for Hiking
Sketchers Trego Rocky Mountain Hiking Boot
Our top pick for the best hiking shoe is the Sketchers Relaxed Fit Trego Rocky Mountain boots. We dubbed these the most comfortable hiking shoes, perfect to wear for your next outdoor adventure. These shoes are designed with an air-cooled memory foam sole, which delivers great support for the feet. Plus, they’re waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about the elements ruining your shoes while exploring.
Price at time of publish: $66
Size Range: 6-11 | Material: Suede, Synthetic, Rubber | Colors: 4
Best for the Office
Rothy’s The Driver
When choosing a pair of shoes for the office, you want to go with a style that is sophisticated yet comfortable—after all, you’ll be in them for hours at a time. For the best office shoe, we love The Driver loafers from Rothy’s. Created from recycled plastic water bottles, these shoes are breathable, comfortable, and not to mention, machine washable. They also come in lots of different colors, so you can find a pair that goes with anything in your work wardrobe (and maybe another pair for the weekend, as you’ll probably love them that much).
Price at time of publish: $189
Size Range: 5-13 | Material: Recycled plastic water bottles | Colors: 13
Steve Madden Vala Pumps
When shopping for a pump, you want to ensure that they are simultaneously comfortable and stylish (which unfortunately can be hard to find). For this category, we are all about the Steve Madden Vala shoes, which have 12 different styles and are designed with a 4-inch heel and a pointed toe. We love these because they’re versatile enough to wear with a range of outfits— style them with a casual ensemble or dress them up with a date night dress. You can opt for a solid black pair for a timeless look or step up your heel game with a pop of color.
Price at time of publish: $80
Size Range: 5-12 | Material: Leather, suede, synthetic | Colors: 12
Dr. Martens Sinclair Platform Leather Boots
Dr. Martens makes some of our favorite platforms, and we love this chunky streetwear style the most. The Sinclair Milled Nappa Leather Platform Boots are made from durable leather with a one and a half inch rubber elevated sole. The ankle boots feature chic detailing including the classic Dr. Martens yellow stitching, as well as a vertical zipper that conceals the shoe’s laces for a funkier fit. They’re a shoe you’ll not only want to stomp around in, but a high-quality pair that will last long enough to become vintage.
Price at time of publish: $200
Size Range: 5-11 | Material: Nappa leather | Colors: 4
Melissa Possession Sandal
Jelly sandals are back, and Melissa has the classic strappy style we all know and love. These are not only cute, but they are durable, comfortable, and waterproof, making them incredibly versatile across the board. The sandal comes in a variety of designs, ranging from transparent pastels to bright matte finishes. You can’t go wrong with these lightweight retro sandals, and not to mention they’re hypoallergenic and certified vegan.
Price at time of publish: $69
Size Range: 5-13 | Material: Vegan plastic | Colors: 12
Badgley Mischka Sacred Stiletto Pointed Toe Heel
There are so many different bridal shoes out there that it can be stressful to narrow it down to just one for your big day. However, we love the Badgley Mischka Sacred Sacred Stiletto Pointed Toe Heel. The design combines a timeless pointed toe with modern crystal embellishing. And we love the detailing of the double diamond bow on a veil-esque bed that adds a unique touch to an elegant style. The silk satin bridal shoes have a 3.34-inch heel, plus an adjustable ankle strap so they stay secure on your soles while you walk down the aisle and dance the night away.
Price at time of publish: $245
Size Range: 5-11 | Material: Silk | Colors: 6
Best Kitten Heels
Vaneli Aliz Slingback Pump
You can never go wrong with a slingback kitten heel, and we absolutely adore this polished pair from Vaneli. The classic heels are the perfect everyday shoe, with an easy-to-walk-in 1 ½-inch heel and an elegant two-toned cap toe block. For even more comfort with each step, the shoe comes in four width sizes for any type of foot. We’d pair them with some high-waisted mom jeans for a night out or with our favorite pair of slacks for days consisting of commuting into the office.
Price at time of publish: $160
Size Range: 5-12 | Material: Leather | Colors: 5
Best Outdoor Sandals
Teva Women's Original Universal Sandals
The Teva Original Universal is the ultimate outdoor sandal that delivers a slight dad vibe (in a good way). With a comfortable rubber sole and adjustable heel, ankle, and foot straps, the sandals are made to stay comfortably on your feet while you explore the great outdoors. Speaking of which, these sandals are also eco-friendly and made from recycled polyester material, so you can feel good about wearing them. There are also so many different colors and patterns to choose from, so it’s simple to find a pair that speaks to your style.
Price at time of publish: $55
Size Range: 5-11 | Material: Recycled polyester, rubber | Colors: 25
Larroude Blair Ballet Flat
We researched dozens of ballet flats to find the best ones, and the Larroude Blair Ballet Flats were our top pick. We love these flats because they’re extremely versatile, comfortable, and not to mention, stylish. The functionality of these shoes is unmatched, with adjustable straps and a memory foam insole to make your foot as comfortable as possible. This ballet flat is the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble– whether you’re sporting a skirt and tights moment or a casual jeans look, any of the five sleek and minimalist styles are sure to amp up the outfit.
Price at time of publish: $315
Size Range: 5-11 | Material: Leather, Denim | Colors: 5
Hoka Bondi 7
When we reviewed the most comfortable shoes, HOKA Bondi 7 was an easy top choice for us. They come highly recommended by Dr. Brad Schaeffer, a board-certified foot surgeon and podiatrist, because of the amount of support they provide, especially to those with ankle injuries and back issues. The shoes are also a favorite amongst HOKA customers who rave about the style, comfort, and high-quality construction. The cushioned platform feature of the sneaker is versatile and not just exclusive to workouts (I personally love wearing my Bondi 7s to run errands).
Price at time of publish: $128
Size Range: 5-12 | Material: Mesh, memory foam, rubber | Colors: 4
Best for Wide Feet
Vans Old Skool Sneaker
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes for wide feet, iconic skate brand Vans is where it’s at. They are our top pick for the best shoes for wide feet due to their roomy shape. Plus, they are super-stylish and go well with virtually anything ranging from baggy jeans to a dress and blazer. We are long-time Vans fans for their unbeatable price point, quality construction, and various colors and patterns. The Old Skool Sneaker is one of our favorite styles in our wardrobe that we are always going back to.
Price at time of publish: $70
Size Range: 5-14.5 | Material: Rubber, textile | Colors: 26
Celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Shanina Shaik have been spotted in these trendy UGG slippers, which boast the same comfort and warmth as our favorite pair of fur-lined boots from the brand. We love that you can wear these while lounging around the house like a traditional slipper, but also take them for a stroll. The clog-like shape makes them perfectly acceptable to wear with jeans and a button down (or even a cool pantsuit, Shanina Shaik style). In addition to its cool-girl aesthetic, the platform slippers are also eco-friendly and made from recycled polyester and upcycled wool. The celeb-loved shoe is both a streetstyle and cozy favorite.
Price at time of publish: $120
Size Range: 5-12 | Material: Suede, recycled polyester, rayon, upcycled wool, lyocell, EVA | Colors: 3
& Other Stories Heeled Leather Chelsea Boots
Every year we inevitably find our way back to some variation of the Chelsea boot, and this pair from & Other Stories is a modernized take on the classic look. The mid-calf height and 2.9-inch block heel is an ideal combination for an all-around boot that can be paired with anything in your closet. This boot comes in a variety of styles including a matte, lacquer, suede, and even a crocodile skin pattern.
Price at time of publish: $199
Size Range: 4-11 | Material: Leather, suede | Colors: 5
Jeffrey Cambell Clogge
The clog is another throwback style that has had a revival in recent years, and we are obsessed with Jeffrey Cambell’s nod to the classic mule. The silhouette has an ultra rounded toe and boasts a chunky two-inch platform for an elevated look. Another major perk of this affordable shoe is its 10 different colorways, so you’re sure to find a match for any type of outfit.
Price at time of publish: $60
Size Range: 6-11 | Material: Synthetic | Colors: 10
Meet the Expert
Samantha Brown is a personal stylist based in New York City
What to Look For in Women's Shoes
Your shoes must be made for walking, so comfort is key. If your shoes aren’t comfortable, “You can end up doing damage to your body, like throwing your back out of alignment or getting blisters on your feet,” says Samantha Brown, a personal stylist in New York City. “Look for ankle support when applicable, a sturdy sole, and good quality materials,” she adds. And, when shopping for heels, she says to “make sure you feel balanced and can walk with control.”
If you’re investing in a new pair of shoes, you want them to last. Look for quality in designs by considering the type of material, stitching, seams, and even how versatile the shoe is. Consider shoes where the insoles can be removed and replaced with orthotics. It also helps to look at reviews to see how well the shoes held up for other customers.
How to measure shoe size
“The most accurate way to measure your shoe size is in a store’s shoe department, where they can use a professional tool for this,” says Brown. “If you need to measure at home, place your foot on a piece of paper and trace the outline of your foot. With a ruler, create a box around the foot, touching the edges to the longest and widest lines of the foot tracing,” she explains. To determine your actual size, measure the length and width of the foot against those lines.
What shoes to wear to the office
“Every office has a different dress code, and the appropriateness of a shoe depends on the work environment,” says Brown. When in doubt, she recommends a closed-toed shoe, which is always better for more conservative workplaces. To determine whether or not certain shoe styles are appropriate for work, Brown says to “take your cues from the higher-ups and management.”
How to clean shoes
“Leather shoes can be cleaned at a shoemaker and shined with shoe polish at home,” Brown explains. For sneakers or other shoes with lighter soles, she recommends using a Magic Eraser or a little bit of dish soap on a toothbrush with warm water.
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor's degree in fashion journalism. She has worked in the fashion closet at NYLON Magazine and writes about the best style trends for various publications. When researching the best shoes for women, Jessie poured over third-party reviews and investigated stylist recommended options.
Jasmine Hyman is a commerce producer for Dotdash Meredith’s beauty and travel publications. She graduated from Columbia University’s Journalism School in May of 2022 with an MS in Journalism and writes for publications including InStyle, People, Byrdie, and more.