These 16 Designer Shoes Deserve a Place in Your Wardrobe

Now and forever.
Published: January 31, 2024
Photo: Pexels

If one were to ask me what I love most in the realm of fashion, one thing always stands out: designer shoes. Yes, I love fine jewellery brands and luxury designer bags (let’s face it, I’m an accessories girl!), but there’s something to be said about investment-worthy shoes that make them perfect for when you want to indulge a little without throwing your entire bank account out the window. (Cost-per-wear: think about it.)

Of course, spending a pretty penny on any high-end fashion item can make you think long and hard about what you’re buying—and sometimes, that makes the decision-making process easier in theory than in practice. I get it; you want something fashion-forward but timeless enough to transcend seasons and trends. Don’t think too hard—I’ve found the best designer shoes that fit the bill. Plus, I’ve asked a handful of my colleagues here at ELLE what they’re eyeing this season, some of which have been cemented as timeless staples and others that align with the best spring 2024 shoe trends, because why not? Scroll on to see the best shoes worth investing in.

Tibi Croc Print Victor Slingback

While I can’t explain why, I’m obsessing over any and every slingback heel right now. These ones caught my eye in particular—mainly for the little coin purse you can snap on or off at the toe. Pretty cool, right?

Sizes: EU 35–42
Colours: Brown, White

Miu Miu Buckle-Detailed Patent Leather Slingback Pumps

“I saw Emily Ratajkowski wearing Miu Miu patent leather slingbacks, so I bought Miu Miu patent leather slingbacks. Well, not yet, but after seeing her sporting a shiny new pair at a party celebrating her new collaboration with the brand at its 57th Street boutique, they’re climbing to the top of my spring wish list.”—Claire Stern, digital director

Sizes: IT 36–41
Colours: Neutral

The Row Leather Ankle Boots

If there’s one splurge I’ve made that has truly been worth every cent, it’s these zip-front ankle boots from The Row. I had spotted them on a handful of my colleagues and peers in the fashion world for a while before taking the plunge, and I’m so glad I did. They’ve been my go-to shoe for nearly any occasion that doesn’t require a heel, which says a lot about how chic they are.

Sizes: IT 35–42
Colours: Black, Beige, Brown

Dior J’Adior Slingback Pump Black Technical Fabric

The first time I saw these feminine Dior pumps in street style photos, I gasped. It’s been a handful of years since I first laid eyes on them, but they’re still the pair that every woman should have.

Sizes: EU 34–42
Colours: Black Technical Fabric

Chanel Goatskin & Grosgrain Slingback

There are some designer shoes in the market that will always be worthy of an investment. Case in point: the Chanel cap-toe slingback. Wear them now, hang onto them forever—and pass them down to the next generation. Future you (and perhaps the leading ladies to follow) will thank you.

Sizes: EU 35–42
Colours: Six options

Gucci Princetown Leather Slipper

Considering the fact that I have multiple friends who’ve bought themselves a pair of Gucci slippers as a little treat, I think it’s safe to say that these are some of the best luxury shoes one can buy. They’re comfortable, get better with time, and will go with any outfit you wear (really!).

Sizes: IT 34–42
Colours: White Leather, Black Leather

Tory Burch Pierced Mule

I mean, these are just cool. Click through to see the hardware detail that makes these easy (and buttery soft) flats the conversation starter you didn’t know you needed.

Sizes: US 5–12
Colours: Peridot/Gold, Plum/Gold

Gianvito Rossi 105 Leopard-Print Suede Pumps

I know we’re in an era where comfortable flats and trainers reign supreme, but there’s something so good about a classic, pointy-toe pump. You may already have a black pair of these stilettos in your arsenal, but might I suggest mixing it up with a leopard-print option? Trust, they’re more of a neutral than you think.

Sizes: IT 34–42
Colours: Nine options

Loewe Flow Runner Mix Leather Sneakers

Of course, if you are on the hunt for a pair of designer kicks to dress up (in a more casual kind of way, of course) your everyday wardrobe, these are among ELLE editors’ favorite picks of cool sneakers for 2024.

Sizes: EU 35–41
Colours: Eight options

Prada Brushed Leather Monolith Loafers

“I didn’t ask Prada to create the loafers of my dreams, yet here we are. These are a must-have!”—Carine Lavache, senior content strategist

Sizes: IT 34–42
Colours: Black, White, Desert Beige

Ferragamo T-Strap Sandal

“Ferragamo’s T-strap heels embody a powerful mood for 2024. They fit into both corporatecore and dominatrixcore with their ultra-pointy toe and patent leather exterior, making them subtle yet subversive. For those who want to embrace their femininity without the frills, these could be the perfect start.”—Madison Rexroat, fashion and accessories assistant

Sizes: IT 5–11
Colours: Black, Cocoa

Aera Nicoletta

In case you haven’t heard, over-the-knee boots are one of the must-have shoes for the season—and with the slightest kitten heel, this style falls right in line with our favorite 2024 shoe trends. These shoes are undeniably chic, easy to wear, and ethically made—need I say more? (And take from someone who’s walked the streets of New York in these: you won’t regret owning them.)

Sizes: IT 35–42
Colours: Black Nappa-Effect, Black Suede-Effect, Black Patent-Effect

Saint Laurent Lee Pointed Toe Slingback Pump

Everywhere I look, I see this shoe, which tells me that this is one of the shoes of the moment. It’s sexy, it’s sleek, and it comes in a delicious shade. I rest my case.

Sizes: EU 35–41
Colours: Burgundy

Le Monde Beryl Luna Mesh Ballet Flats

I’m still not over the mesh ballet flat trend—are you? Perhaps you’re looking for something easy to wear when the weather (finally) heats up again. In which case, this will be the perfect pair to sport with loose-fitting jeans and a T-shirt for an off-duty ensemble.

Sizes: EU 36–41
Colours: Black, Silver

Prada Sculptural Floral 45MM Kitten Heels

“Ever since I virtually laid eyes on these Prada kitten heels at the brand’s fall/winter 2023 runway show, they’ve taken up real estate in my brain. The sculptural wings and flowers make it look like there’s a literal bouquet on your feet—for your wedding day or any other day.”—Claire Stern, digital director

Sizes: IT 36–39.5
Colours: Tan, White, Yellow

Manu Atelier Duck Boots

Sometimes, all you need is a pair of foot-hugging ankle boots to complete your outfit. I personally love these for their angular silhouette, which instantly gives any ensemble an elevated polish.

Sizes: EU 35–41
Colour: Light Grey

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