I’m a Shoe Fanatic—These Are the 17 Designer Brands I’d Hand-on-Heart Recommend
If you’re the type of person who considers blowing it all on a new pair of shoes come payday, you’re not alone. Who could forget the immortal words of icon Bette Midler when she said that “I firmly believe that with the right footwear one can rule the world”, reason enough to invest in a a pair of special shoes to make getting ready in the morning help you feel that little bit more confident.
With that in mind, shoe lovers–this is a guide for you. Settle down for 10 minutes of required reading, as below we give you our comprehensive shoe designer list. From the big names we’ve loved for decades (cough, Manolo) to the new brands making our feet look more fashionable. Keep scrolling to see—and shop—the best designer shoes making a real impact this year.
When Carrie Bradshaw was mugged in New York in an episode of Sex and the City, she famously said “Please, sir, you can take my Fendi baguette, you can take my ring and watch, but you can’t take my Manolo Blahniks.” We don’t blame her, as Manolos are arguably the most beautiful shoes in the world.
A classic pair of Manolos never go out of style, and although the Maysale mules first debuted in the 90s, they still look as new today.
Thanks to Carrie (again), Manolos have now become synonymous with being the fashion girl’s bridal shoe of choice. So whether you’re a traditionalist, or just a luxury shoe devotee, these are the perfect choice.
Shoe lovers won’t need to be introduced to Aquazzura—this brand has an A-list following and is Meghan Markle’s go-to label. Markle wore these for her engagement photograph and with her second wedding dress by Stella McCartney.
Looking for the perfect party shoes? Aquazurra needs to be top of your list. Beautifully crafted (and comfortable) shoes that always sport glamorous detailing.
There are also sleek, minimal pairs for everyday too–just add cropped leg jeans and an oversized shirt.
Inspired by architectural and sculptural shoe shapes, founder Alfredo Piferi launched his eponymous shoe line after celebrated stints at Valentino, Versace, and Jimmy Choo (some of the best credentials in the business). And, just when you thought the brand couldn’t get better, all of the shoes are vegan and sustainably produced, so you can shop, wear and enjoy them–guilt free.
If there was ever a shoe version of the little black dress, it’s this. A slick, refined sandal that will quite honestly go with anything and remains a timeless classic that will never go our of style.
Bottega Veneta had a revival last year which, if you use Instagram, we’re sure hasn’t passed you by. Although you might have seen the bags on the street style set, the shoes are perhaps the most covetable items from the new collection, and anybody who is anybody will have a pair of these soon.
Only Daniel Lee could take a statement acid bright, and elevate it to such status that it will be forever known as ‘Bottega Green’.
These have to be some of the most photographed accessories of the last year, well, next to the Jodie bag of course.
If you’ve seen a pair of statement sculptural shoes in a street style image, chances are they’re by cult label Neous. And if this shoe brand only had one thing going for it, it would be the wearable heel height. Goodbye party feet.
Everyone should have a good ankle boot in their wardrobe for autumn, and the sculpted heel and pointed toe makes this one of the chicest on the market.
The kitten heel was the shoe of the summer, but I have a feeling we aren’t ready to retire it quite yet, so consider these an investment.
Instagram-famous brand By Far creates shoes around the £300 price point, and it’s largely to thank for the square-toed sandal trend. Don’t miss out on their great boots this autumn though.
It’s a toss up between these pretty mules, or the practical Alister Chelsea boots for shoe of the season.
For the chilly days when a mule won’t suffice, the chunky Alister looks just as good with a satin slip dress as it does with a pair jeans.
Inspired by women who aren’t afraid to take risks, 10th Floor’s statement shoes are designed with standing out in mind. Founded in 2020 by a former fashion buyer and shoe designer Fiona and Kim, you can expect expressive shoes that are a work of art.
Channel 90s New York in the vintage inspired Soho Mule. The only accessory you’ll need is a Cosmopolitan.
Barbiecore fans, eat your heart out. Pink pumps are a must this season.
Tabitha Simmons launched her label back in 2009 and is loved for her feminine colours and silhouettes—Alexa Chung is a big fan of her elegant ballet flats, the easy way to do French girl styling.
We’re calling it now, Mary Janes are making a stylish comeback, and any trend that celebrates easy-to-wear flats is one we can get behind.
And while we’re on the subject of stylish flats, the Kittie are proof that shoes don’t need to be skyscraper heels to make an entrance.
Son of Italian designer Sergio Rossi, Gianvito Rossi launched his own shoe label in 2006 and has become one of the most beloved names in the industry. There are over 60 steps involved in making a pair of Gianvitos, so you know the final product is a finely crafted labour of love.
A sky-high 105mm stiletto heel that embodies Gianvito’s key design principles: elegance, femininity and modernity.
If you’re looking for something a little more Instagrammable, these crystal ankle-tie pumps are double-tap worthy.
Parisian label Roger Vivier has been creating dream shoes since 1937, and is one of the most esteemed names in the industry. Even the queen has worn Viviers, a testament to each pair of shoes regal finish.
These might not be the exact pair as seen on Queen Elizabeth II, but they do showcase just how versatile Roger Vivier can be. Wear these flat sandals with jeans, or a pair of the leather pumps with an elegant midi dress.
It’s tough to land on just what makes this sandal so good. Between the minimal silhouette, crystal buckle and comfortable heel, this shoe is ticking plenty of boxes.
London Fashion Week brand Dorateymur is another relative newcomer, and it’s beloved for its celebrity approved ankle boots and loafers with statement buckle detailing.
Although almost every piece of the current collection is sold out, act fast to get some of the brands wardrobe staples in the sale now ahead of the next collections launch.
Since Kendall Jenner was spotted in the Stainless Boot they have been sold out–but here’s to hoping this unmissable style makes a speedy return.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh is another name that exploded on Instagram, and certainly lives up to the hype—the colourful pumps, plastic mules and leather boots are worthy of every single like.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh knows how to make PVC look expensive, and these glossy wedges are a clever nod to the Y2K trend.
The new Amina sandals are exactly the kind of open-toe style you can wear all summer and into autumn too.
Alexandre Birman is our go-to for romantic wedding sandals, and the bow-adorned Clarita sandals come in several heights and colours, meaning there’s a pair for every single dress.
The leather blush Claritas are a classic, but there’s something special about this glossy gold to help elevate the rest of your look.
Perfect in its simplicity, the Kiss boot is a square-toed, mid-heeled wonder for everyday wear.
British brand Malone Souliers is another London Fashion Week favourite, and it’s our go-to for bold heels. You can spot the Maureen heels on the red carpet at least once a week on the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Olivia Palermo.
Malone Souliers mules are an influencer favourite, and the new collection are slip-on shoe lovers dream. Expect everything from sparkling PVC Cinderella shoes, to leather slippers with the brands ubiquitous leather straps.
I just realised how much my wardrobe needs a pair of gold flats.
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Jimmy Choo have always been the obvious go-to for event dressing but we can’t not give them credit for creating the most perfect knee-high boot of the 2020s in the ‘Karter’.
Yes, the come in classic black too–but the rich, burgundy red couldn’t be more perfect for autumn.
I haven’t stopped thinking about the new-season wonders since I first saw them. Prepare to see these everywhere during Fashion Month and Christmas party season, especially in the mirrored gold colourway.
Newcomer Amina Muaddi has set the standard for glamorous party shoes that stand out from the crowd. With feathers and crystals galore these are shoes that are guaranteed make you feel special.
After being spotted on Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Beiber and Rihanna, Amina Muaddi slingbacks have reached icon status.
Classic shoe fans might prefer some of the brand’s slick, black styles over the bright pops of colour, but even in neutral shades, the impact is still as strong.
Founded in 2015 by Annamaria Brivio, Paris Texas is Inspired by the modern international woman who embodies the Parisian spirit of stylish sophistication and the Texan fun attitude. Signatures include eccentric details, head-turning colours, and feminine silhouettes that will upgrade any outfit.
Paris Texas do have a number of brown, cream, black and white knee-high boots for the minimalists, but the Holly boot might just be the best introduction to the playful side of the brand.
The cowboy boot is back, and if aren’t sure how to wear a bold pair of leather boots, try these subtle suede ankle boots with plenty of denim.
Up next, Autumn/Winter 2022 Trends: The 15 Fashion Looks You Need to Know About
Main Image: @Deborabrosa
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