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20 Shoes Every Girl Should Have by the Time She’s 20

Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

This article in no way means that if you are 20 or older you should panic and go out and buy all of these shoes! These shoes, in my opinion, are the quintessential pieces that would complete any wardrobe. I chose these shoes from every section in the store to get a wide variety of styles that can be paired with every outfit you own! This features everything from fun sneakers, to strappy wedges, to toned down work pumps. If you own one, ten, or even all of the styles featured then hopefully this article congrats on having your shoe collection started! If you feel that you don’t own any of these styles that’s okay too! Hopefully this article will get you on your way to owning some fabulous shoes!

1. The Beach Flip Flop


This shoe is a great staple in anyone’s wardrobe to have. You can wear this flip flop to the beach, out walking, or even with a sundress depending on the flip flop. I would suggest having this shoe because these can get dirty or broken and they are simple enough and cheap enough to replace. A beach flip flop is good to have so you do not ruin other nicer sandals or lose them in the sand. (DSW, Nike, $21.95) 

2. The Bootie

I myself have just recently bought a pair of booties and now I can’t stop wearing them! I think this style of shoe is a great edition to any collection whatever color they may be. I personally have plain black ones and maroon suede ones. These are great with dresses, cuffed jeans, or leggings. I will wear mine in the cold and on the warmer days because they are a great season transition shoe. (DSW, Jessica Simpson, $89.95)

3. The Fuzzy Slipper

These are so cute! I think every girl should definitely own a pair of slippers like these adorable ones to keep your feet warm in the winter. When buying slippers you should look for ones that are comfortable yet fit around the foot so they do not fall off. Slippers are also great to buy as gifts because instead of regular sizes most use size ranges so it will be easier to find ones that fit. (DSW, Jessica Simpson, $19.95)

4. The Rain Boot

I believe these are a great boot to own to protect all of your other shoes. The purpose of these is to be worn in the rain because they can handle it without wear and tear. For rain boots you can opt for these plain black ones to wear with everything or you can go for a more colorful option like mine which are black with multicolored polka dots! My rain boots have come in handy in many situations where I would’ve ruined any other shoes otherwise. (DSW, Kamik, $44.95)

5. The Classic Sneaker 

No matter what brand of classic sneaker you have whether it be a Converse, Vans, or Keds they are a necessity for every season. These shoes can be worn in fall with jeans, a crop top, and a cardigan. They’re perfect for winter with leggings and a big sweater. Wear them with a t-shirt dress in the spring and with high waisted shorts and a band tee in the summer. The classic sneaker is also great if you know you are going to be walking a lot, but want to keep your style. (DSW, Converse, $49.95)

6. The Combat Boot

The combat boot is a great shoe to keep in your shoe collection. These boots range from chunky and tough like these ones to feminine and light ones. Which style you get all depends on personal preference and what you are using them for. My combat boots are tight on my feet and made with a light material so they are easy to move in for dance. Combat boots are also a great alternative to rain boots if they are waterproof like these ones! (DSW, Dr. Martens, $134.95)

7. The Fun Flat

I loved these flats so much when I found them to take a picture that I bought them! This style with the lace up is very trendy right now, but with a fun flat the fun part can come from anywhere like florals, cutouts, bright colors, or fun graphics. I never realized how important having a good pair of flats until I purchased them. I discovered all new outfits that came together all based on these shoes! (DSW, Charles Albert, $19.95)

8. The Glam Heel

Special event coming up? Grab yourself a pair of these heels that are covered in sparkles! We all definitely have a pair of these heels lying around from prom or another school event, but maybe they don’t fit anymore. This is sad, but it provides an opportunity to try on more of these special heels for a future event. Although it may seem glamourous to buy extremely tall heels, when buying a heel for an event that you know you’re going to be standing at for an extended amount of time, opt for the lower, more comfortable ones. (DSW, Unlisted, $39.95)

9. The Snow Boot

If you live in New England snow boots are a must have. This winter was not nearly as bad as last winter, but you can never be too careful when it comes to the weather here. These snow boots are waterproof and can withstand -25 degree temperatures. Think of these as your industrial rain boot for the winter time. Snow boots may not be the cutest things to wear, but they are better than freezing your butt off. (DSW, Sorel, $129.99)

10. The Bright Running Sneaker

These sneakers are the perfect pick me up with their fun color and aerated graphic design! A fun colorful sneaker is great for working out at the gym or pairing it with athleisure wear on a spring day. Wearing these sneakers provides support along with style. Many athletic brands are recognizing that consumers are wearing sneakers for more than just going to the gym so you are bound to find a favorite style and color that works for your lifestyle! (DSW, Nike, $59.95)

11. The Strappy Wedge

Can’t wear heels because you feel like you are going to fall over or sink in the grass? The solution is a wedge. Wedges are easier to walk in because they provide more surface area and help the wearer balance themselves. I prefer these strappy wedges for the summer to elongate the legs. The straps create a better hold on the foot so it will not slip off.  A wedge is definitely a staple of any shoe collection for its versatility. (DSW, Indigo Rd., $49.95)

12. The Mocassin 

If I didn’t have my moccasins I don’t know where I’d be. These shoes are such a lifesaver when it comes to cold lazy days. You are just able to throw these on and run out the door! Moccasins mostly come in neutral colors like black, tan, gray, or navy blue so they pair well with most outfits. You can wear them with anything from joggers to boyfriend jeans and remain comfortable throughout the day. (DSW, UGG, $79.94)

13. The Neutral Work Heel

We may not want to buy this plain and simple closed toe heel, but we have to at some point in our lives. Keeping a neutral heel around can be a quick fix in emergencies when nothing else goes with that new multicolored dress you just bought or those patterned pants that require a neutral shoe. This heel will always be professional and timeless. (DSW, Life Stride, $39.95)

14. The Boat Shoe

They may be difficult to break in, but they are so worth it in the end. Sperrys and shoes like them obviously look great while lounging on a boat, but we’ve seen them expand to a greater popularity amongst males and females in high schools and colleges alike. They are a great shoe to have because they slip right on and then you’re out the door! (DSW, Sperry Top Sider, $79.95) 

15. The Sandal

No matter what color or type of sandal you chose, this is a must have for your stockpile of shoes. This shoe can go day to night just by switching pieces of an outfit. It is ready for those summer days where you want something more than a beach flip flop, but less than a wedge. I like to find sandals with a little hint of a heel in the back for extra support. These are good to travel with too because they do not take up much space at all. (DSW, Van Eli, $39.95)

16. The Tall Riding Boot

You could not go anywhere this fall and winter without seeing a variation of this tall riding boot. If you’re looking to add this well-known staple into your group of shoes I recommend buying them in a color such as black or tan so that you are able to incorporate them into your wardrobe with ease. One you find your neutral one feel free to expand to different colors you think will go nicely with outfits that you own. (DSW, Franco Sarto, $99.95)

17. The Wild Heel

Some of my favorite types of shoes are ones that beg to have outfits planned around them and this heel is definitely one of them. This shoe, even as it sits there on the stand, is so striking so imagine what it would look like on your feet! The wild heel, whichever style you chose, is completely a statement piece in its own right. It is a break from the everyday and the commonplace where people will be staring at your shoes all night! (DSW, Steve Madden, $79.95)

18. The Plain Flat

Maybe after a night of dancing in those wild heels it’s time to tone things down the next day and reach for your plain flats. By plain I mean simple silhouette, no patterns, and lowkey style. These flats being so plain allows them to be placed with any outfit from skinny jeans to skirts and still look polished. I suggest buying black first because it pairs the easiest with ensembles. Trying on plain colors first also allows you to see what brand you like and lets you branch out from there. (DSW, Audrey Brooke, $49.95)

19. The Slip-On Sneaker

I believe it is very important to own a pair similar to these shoes for walking and style. A slip-on sneaker allows you to pull this shoe right on and head out the door, but they come in fun colors to give a punch to your look. These are great to have on hand when you don’t know where your day could take you with running errands or running from class to class. I would suggest wearing these when you do not have time to lace up your classic sneaker, but it is too cold out to be wearing a beach flip flop. (DSW, Sketchers, $64.95)

20. The Personal Pick

This last twentieth spot is reserved for a shoe that is near and dear to your heart. Whether it is an old pair of ballet slippers from when you were four or those old soccer cleats from high school you just can’t seem to get rid of, these shoes hold memories. I feel that it is important to hang on to one or more pairs of these “memory shoes” to remind you of those times. If they start cluttering up the house you can always turn them into art on a shelf or hang them in a shadow box!

I hope this list of shoes gave you some ideas on where to begin or continue your collection. Happy shopping! And always remember if the shoe fits, buy it! 

Rachel Smith

Framingham '18

Former Co-Campus Correspondent; Graduated 2018; Fashion Merchandising Major with Communication Arts Minor; Dance Team, Fashion Club, Her Campus, and Peer Mentor