It is a widely discussed fact in the Who What Wear group chat that Marks and Spencer shoes are some of the best on the market. Last week when I shared that I was planning on popping in to try on a load of its latest shoes (all in the name of journalistic research), it was met with exclaims and admissions of how highly my fellow editors rate the high-street hero's footwear. "I have such a soft spot for M&S shoes" and "the comfort insoles are the one" are just a couple of examples. I, too, consider myself a loyal fan, and some of my longest-lasting, most-loved pairs have been bought there in the past. In fact, I still wear a pair of burgundy leather knee-high boots that I bought from the store roughly five years ago.
But why exactly are Marks and Spencer shoes so good? It's not just the huge range available—from ballet flats to boots and everything in between—or the fact that the M&S design team seems to always get it just right. (They're always on-trend but still classic.) It's the quality, comfort and affordability alongside all these things that really set its offering apart for me.
Browsing in the store this week, I wasn't disappointed. The beginning of a new season is the best time to shop M&S shoes, as plenty of sizes are available in all the best styles. I tried on at least 20 pairs, but honestly, I could have been there all day trying on endless pumps, loafers, trainers and perfect party heels.
Below, I've picked out my favourite pairs that I predict will sell out this autumn. There are plenty of easy-to-wear flats I can see myself wearing with everything from dresses to jeans, as well as chic knee-high and ankle boots perfect for wearing in cold-weather too. So, keep scrolling to see my verdict and shop the very best.
Hello, could-be-designer boots! (This is something that will prove to be a continued theme with M&S shoes.) Cowboy boots are one of our favourite styles come autumn/winter and I could not be happier to see these Isabel Marant inspired boots in stock on the high street. I must confess, I was immediately drawn to the sand coloured pair and left the black, but I assure you, they're equally chic too. Affordable shoes don't get more expensive looking than this, and I can confirm that they feel just as good as they look, as the low heel height makes for seriously easy wear. My size was the last pair in-store, but there's a full size range online, so run, don't walk, especially if you want to get your hands on that luxe mink pair.
Love them or loathe them, loafers are back, and if you've got The Row taste but a high-street budget, you're going to want to start here. I was initially sceptical about the glossy style looking a little cheap, but Marks's attention to detail gives these a premium finish, and I ended up a convert. If you're looking for a more traditional pair, the simple Leather Loafers are a pared-back style that you'll want to wear with everything from cropped trousers to midi skirts, and they come with a roomier, wider fit if you want to add a pair of socks.
It might not be clear from the picture just how amazing these shoes look in real life, but the fact that they are sold out in-store and online should tell you everything you need to know. Firstly, there's the elegant square-toed shape (and that's coming from a flat-shoe expert). And secondly, the Mary Jane detail adds unexpected polish and elevates these into something far cooler than regular ballet flats. These have been hidden away on the site so might not have been on your radar, but now they're having to be restocked to meet demand, so they're clearly instant best seller. Sign up to notifications for your best chance of getting these while you can.
Whether you opt for the classic black or the trendy snakeskin version of these mock croc boots, they're the kind of shoes that will elevate any outfit. You'll wear them year after year, and they look particularly good with midi skirts and tailoring, and I'm happy to report that my feet are on the wider side, and these still fit comfortably. I often find that M&S boots soften and mould to your feet after a few wears, so no need to worry about the upper sock digging in. Longwearing, mid-heel boots that aren't kitten heels? Sign me up.
Another nod to the western boot, our penchant for Marks ankle boots is well documented, so regular readers won't be surprised to see these cowboy boots on my list of favourites. They're understated and refined, the kind of boots that look like they walked straight out of a cool girl's wardrobe and onto the high street. In a dream world, I would have instantly bought these to wear with straight-leg jeans and a white tee for an easy weekend look that looks like you've made an effort (but not too much).
After falling in love with M&S's kitten-heeled, two-tone slingbacks last year, these might just have replaced them in my book. The original slingbacks were a storming success, and if you loved the Miu Miu-meets-Royal-Tenenbaums look, Marks and Spencer listened. Here are the retro loafer heels you've been waiting for. Keep these comfy heels in mind for work, weekends and everything in between, and take tips from Gucci and style horsebit loafers with socks and a midi skirt for a preppy look that could have stepped off the runway.
When I walked into the M&S shoe section back in autumn 2022, these were the first shoes I picked up and tried on. These instant best sellers sold out almost immediately on the site, and after a brief return in the winter sales, they're finally back in a full size range, and looking as good as they did before. Chunky chelsea boots are an easy sell for me, but even sceptics will appreciate how simple these are. No need for buckles, studs and hardware—simply slip on and zip up and you have all the heavy duty practicality you need, and in one chic shoe. The Row, who? In my opinion, these could easily pass for designer. Now, you only need to decide whether to go for black or medium cream.
These aren't brand new to M&S, but they are well worth a mention. As soon as the black pair landed towards the end of last year, we couldn't stop talking about just how fashion-forward they were, and after trying them on back in 2022, I could confirm that they look even better IRL. If you're in need of easy-to-wear heels that look polished and premium, look no further. I was immediately drawn to the glossy finish of the white leather, but there is, of course, the black if you're looking for something a little more versatile. These score bonus points for being the comfiest platforms I've ever worn and tapping into the current Mary Jane trend.