The best shoe brands for a wardrobe update

From boots to ballet pumps, these are the best shoe brands guaranteed to bring comfort, versatility and style.

Collage of shoes styles
(Image credit: Future / White Stuff / H&M / La Redoute / Zara / Nike / Charles & Keith)

Shopping the best shoe brands that combine both comfort and style is no mean feat. 

Footwear can make or break an outfit so you want to be sure you’re investing in a pair that is versatile, expresses your own style and won’t cause you to yelp in pain with every step. 

Much like your best jeans, every capsule wardrobe should include a pair of shoes suitable for the different occasions in your life.

And, as Cinderella proved, a pair of shoes could even change your life.

Whether you’re after timeless trainers for running errands, the best sandals to take you from beach to bar or new season ankle boots that will kickstart your autumn wardrobe, shoes that you love will quickly become your best fashion friend.

There are lots of classics from brands you’re sure to know. 

It’s hard to discuss trainers without mentioning Nike, for example, or stomper boots without highlighting Grenson, but there are also hordes of specialist footwear brands that deserve time in the spotlight.

Plus, all-round hero brands like Zara, Mango and H&M can never be ignored.

So put your best foot forward as our fashion experts have compiled a list of the best shoe brands for you to choose from.

Best shoe brands—according to our fashion editor

Adidas Stan Smith Trainers

(Image credit: Adidas)


Reasons to buy
+Comfort+Support+Creating a laidback look

While trainers have stood the test of time when it comes to casual footwear, they have been having a serious fashion moment for the last few years. Since Phoebe Philo, the former creative director of designer brand Celine, stepped onto the catwalk in chic tailored clothing with a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths in 2015, trainers have been a wardrobe staple of the fashion elite. Try teaming sneakers with floaty frocks, jeans and slip skirts. There is no outfit that doesn’t ooze style prowess when worn with a pair of cool kicks.


Black Jones Bootmaker Boots

(Image credit: Jones Bootmaker )

Ankle Boots

Reasons to buy
+Ankle support+Toughening up a floaty frock+Protection from winter weather

As the summer turns to autumn, attention moves to those must-have ankle boots that will become your most reliable purchase of the year. Whether you choose chunky stomper boots or dressy heels, there is rarely an occasion in the colder months where a pair of ankle boots won’t complete your look. Invest in a durable pair and they’ll see you sorted for years to come.


Tan strappy flat sandal

(Image credit: Dune)

Flat Sandals

Reasons to buy
+Showing off your pedicure+Summer comfort+Timeless style

Every wardrobe should include a pair of comfortable flat sandals that you can rely on when the heat picks up. Perfect for throwing on with a breezy summer dress or pair of bermuda shorts, your feet will thank you for popping it in an airy pair of strappy sandals. Tan and black will go with everything and don’t forget to treat your feet to a pedicure before wearing.


Dune pink sling black block heel

(Image credit: Dune)

Block Heels

Reasons to buy
+Shaping calf muscles+Elongating legs+Dressing up a look

When it comes to garden parties and weddings, we can’t speak more highly of block heels. Providing height without sinking into the grass or hobbling in pain, the chunkier style of these heels will mean you can feel dressed-up all day. Sturdy enough so you can walk tall with confidence, block heels add definition to your legs, too.


Zara Green Loafers

(Image credit: Zara)


Reasons to buy
+A smart casual look+Slip-on ease+Trans-seasonal style

Looking for a smart-casual hybrid? The search is over. A slip-on loafer has become a style staple of the preppy look. Seen on the feet of  some of the world’s biggest style inspirations like Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller, the humble loafer holds serious style credentials. While the Gucci loafer might be the designer of choice among the fashion crowd, there are plenty of brands that emulate the look for a fraction of the eye-watering £500 price tag.


Pretty Ballerinas Polka dot ballet pumps

(Image credit: Pretty Ballerinas)

Ballet Pumps

Reasons to buy
+Flattening in a bag+Flexibility +Slim fit

Ballet pumps are making their way back to the forefront of footwear must-haves. Thanks to fashion house Chanel, the discreet flats burst into the wardrobes of celebrities as a chic alternative to heels in the 1980s and have been a firm fixture since. A key look when worn with skinny jeans to elongate legs, the style loved by fashion royalty Kate Moss is great for a fuss-free outfit. Plus, they are usually flat enough to stash in your bag for when your heels become too painful.


Joely Chilcott

Joely Chilcott is an experienced fashion and features editor having spent over ten years writing, styling and editing for a number of women's lifestyle publications, including Woman & Home, Woman and Woman's Own. 

She caught the style bug as a child and, despite a few sartorially challenging teenage years, chose to pursue fashion journalism after university. Whether dishing out advice on using clothes to boost confidence, staying ahead of the curve with seasonal fashion trends or styling the latest celebrity photoshoot, Joely's passion lies in making women feel their best through their wardrobe. 

She also spent three years as the Woman Editor of a tabloid newspaper in which she was regularly the mouthpiece for female issues while spearheading campaigns which successfully saw laws being changed as a result. A certified shopping expert, Joely is always on the lookout for new and exciting brands that she can champion, while holding the high street close to her heart. She has had work published in Drapers, Women's Health, Fabulous, YOU, The Sun and the Metro, as well as being a regular fashion contributor to TalkRadio. 

You can usually spot her wearing a midi dress and boots...and complaining she has nothing to wear.