After trying and testing endless pairs of high-street and designer shoes here at Who What Wear UK, we know which brands are worth investing in, whether you're looking for new trainers or out-there party shoes. While we're all obsessed with adding to our shoe collections and trying new trends, we're all about buying a pair of shoes that'll have longevity.
We've thus put together a list of 21 shoe brands that have never let us down, from the designer classics still serving up timeless favourites to high-street brands our editors love. There's also an extensive lineup of new designers that have appeared on our radar over the past year. By Far, Neous and Cult Gaia are just a few of the contemporary designers that have taken over Instagram and sparked a number of new trends, including square-toe sandals and statement mules.
So to make things easier for you, we've narrowed down the best shoe brands for all your different needs, from flat shoes to boots and party shoes to the most affordable brands. Keep scrolling to shop all the categories and find your perfect pair.
Best For Trends
Cult Gaia was initially known for its arc-shaped basket bags that went viral last summer, and now it's introduced shoes that are just as special. All the pieces have a holiday feel, and range from super-high bamboo heels to leather gladiators.
Contemporary shoe brand Neous's styles are simple yet radical and are all at an entry-level designer price. These '90s mules are just one of its many cool styles.
Jacquemus has been creating many of the shoe trends you've seen all over Instagram for several seasons now. Sculptural heels? That's Jacquemus.
Rejina Pyo is known for getting slingbacks and mules oh so right. These perfectly ladylike shoes are always given an added cool-girl twist with metal sculptural heels, square toes and thong straps.
Best For Flat Shoes
Bally is arguably the best for flats. The supersized buckle makes these classic loafers distinctive, while the optional push-down backs ensure these give you all the comfort you want from flat shoes. The hardest choice is picking which of their endless colours is right for you.
St. Agni is an Australian brand launched in 2014 that reflects the care-free culture of Byron Bay. The super-comfortable woven leather flats and slides are the perfect shoes to wear day in day out when the warmer months arrive.
Jil Sander knows how to make flat shoes as desirable as statement stilettos. With the addition of the ankle bracelet, these square-toe flats are smart enough to wear for any occasion and might make you want to ditch the heels for good.
Every wardrobe needs a pair of ATPs. They're the kind of flats that simply go with everything. From crossover leather sandals to slip on flat mules, their simplicity makes them super chic.
Best For Boots
A firm favourite with the likes of Lucy Williams, Berlin-based shoe brand Aeyde absolutely nails it when it comes to boots. From western ankle boots to suede knee-highs, they're simple and effortless yet always on trend.
Gianvito Rossi is a firm celebrity favourite renowned for its timeless stilettos. Without realising it, you'll have already seen them in hundreds of catwalk and red carpet pictures already. But over the past year, its boot collections have stood well above the rest. From slouchy knee-highs with a chic '80s feel to sultry thigh-highs, it's got every style spot-on.
Oh, Ellery. When it comes to boots, the brand absolutely pulls it out the bag every season and leaves us wanting each new pair. The boots always have a block heel and slight square toe, and this silhouette gets better and better every year.
By Far is an Australian brand that recently broke out on social media. It's loved for their micro bags and square-toe sandals, but it's really the boots that have stood out over recent months. From brown croc square-toe boots to this lace-up pair, they're all really photogenic and beyond comfy.
Best Affordable Brands
If you aren't already familiar with Charles & Keith, we're about to let you in on one of the best shoe secrets in fashion. Its extensive footwear collections offer modern, stylish and trend-led shoes for a fraction of the price you might expect to pay.
Aldo's premium quality shoes and fashion-forward designs mean you'll feel like you are wearing a much more expensive shoe then you'd expect from the high street. We personally think it really excels in boots and sandals.
Office really excels at could-be-designer trend-led styles everyone will ask you about. This season alone, Office has had several shoe styles that have gone viral due to its influencer and editor following. The metal toe-cap cowboy boots are just one example of a pair we were all fighting over in the office.
Best For Party Shoes
Attico really does create the best party shoes. You can expect everything from pink crushed velvet, all-over embellishments, ankle-climbing satin ties and full-on feathers. The Art Deco vintage style is what keeps this brand unique, and you can guarantee with each new season comes an incredibly beautiful (and Instagrammable) new shoe collection.
Manolo Blahnik is a timeless classic brand we'll always be in love with. The Marysale mules are a firm favourite with the fashion crowd, and the label continues to add new colourways each season. When it comes to the party season, we simply can't resist embellished Manolo pumps.
This brand was originally the result of a collaboration between street style star Ada Kokosar and acclaimed shoe label Paciottia, and it's now continuing in its own right. Inspired by Cinderella's glass slipper, all of the shoes are coated in transparent plastic. They really are the definition of modern-day party heels.
Best For Comfortable Shoes
Vegan sneaker brand Veja has quickly become the new favourite off-duty trainer brand for fashion editors and influencers. All of the styles are simple, classic and wear in quickly, meaning they've quickly become the ultimate everyday shoe. Meghan Markle even has a pair.
If ever you're going to invest in a pair of classic boots you can walk for hours in, it without a doubt needs to be a pair of Grensons. The British brand has been running since 1866 and has a whole heap of history behind them, yet it's still making standout styles that sell out everywhere. The only problem with Grensons is you might not be able to find a pair in your size.
Gucci loafers are truly timeless and comfortable. The latest velvet logo-embossed version is on the top of our wish list, but we will always love the classic leather version.