As our ongoing fascination with Carrie Bradshaw's style proves, we Americans love a vast shoe collection. But our research has shown French shoe collections are decidedly more pared down. Our research, in this case, consisted of doing a deep dive into our Instagram feeds to find out which shoe styles 10 out of 10 cool French women have in their closets. We looked to the feet of Parisian It girls like Sabina Socol, Jeanne Damas, Anne-Laure Mais, Camille Charrière and many more, and successfully narrowed it down to just five styles that are essential to a French look.
While current shoe trends include glitter, pastel colours, unique heel shapes and Western-inspired styles, the five-piece French-girl shoe collection is ultra classic in comparison. And their shoes of choice all ultimately contribute to the effortlessly chic aesthetic the French are known for—that je ne sais quoi. So whether you're looking to pare down your shoe collection to just the essentials or add a few pairs to give your look more of a Parisian feel, read on to find out what the five essential French shoes are and shop our picks for each.
A French summer shoe favourite is undoubtedly espadrilles. Affordable Barcelona-based brand Castañer is a go-to, but the style has become so popular that even brands you never associated with the style have embraced it.
White sneakers are certainly a staple of fashion influencers all across the land, but here in the U.S., sneaker trends vary considerably. French style setters, on the other hand, love their clean white kicks.
You won't typically catch the French teetering around in sky-high stilettos. Instead, when they want to wear heels, you'll oftentimes find them in a pair of block-heel Mary Janes, which instantly make any outfit look chic.
Just as espadrilles are the French go-to shoe style of summer, suede ankle boots with a block heel are the go-to shoe style of fall and winter. The suede boots add a bit of cool ruggedness to their otherwise polished looks.