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, "I firmly believe that with the right footwear, one can rule the world"? That's reason enough to invest in a pair of special shoes. They'll help you feel that much more confident when getting ready in the morning.
With that in mind, shoe lovers, this is a guide for you. Settle down for 10 minutes of required reading. Below, we're giving you our comprehensive list of designer shoes from the big names we've loved for decades (ahem, 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. Manolos are arguably the most beautiful shoes in the world.
Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw, Manolos are now 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.
There are also sleek, minimalistic pairs for everyday. Just add cropped 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 will quite honestly go with anything and remains a timeless classic.
4. Bottega Veneta
Bottega Veneta had a revival last year, which you may have seen on Instagram. 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.
These have to be some of the most photographed accessories of the last year (next to the Jodie bag, of course).
If you've seen a pair of 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.
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 of jeans.
7. 10TH FLOOR
Inspired by women who aren't afraid to take risks, 10th Floor's statement shoes are designed with standing out in mind. The label was founded in 2020 by former fashion buyer and shoe designer, so you can expect expressive shoes that are works of art.
And while we're on the subject of stylish flats, the Kittie is proof that shoes don't need to be skyscraper heels to make an entrance.
9. Gianvito Rossi
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.
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.
Perfect in its simplicity, the Kiss boot is a square-toed, mid-heeled wonder for everyday wear.
14. Malone Souliers
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 is a slip-on-shoe lover's dream. Expect everything from sparkling PVC Cinderella shoes to leather slippers with the brand's ubiquitous leather straps.
We haven't stopped thinking about the new-season wonders since we first saw them. Prepare to see these everywhere during Fashion Month and Christmas-party season, especially in the mirrored-gold colourway.
16. Amina Muaddi
Newcomer Amina Muaddi has set the standard for glamorous party shoes that stand out from the crowd. With feathers and crystals galore, these shoes are guaranteed to make you feel special.
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 just as strong.
17. PARIS TEXAS
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.