The Ultimate Guide to Women's Designer Footwear: Styles, Brands, and Trends

The Ultimate Guide to Women's Designer Footwear: Styles, Brands, and Trends

You would be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t like shoes.  However, more importantly than liking shoes are what shoes are best for your personal style and lifestyle.  You can’t scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed and not find an ad for a shoe company.  But which of these shoe companies speak to you the most?  And just as important as a credible brand, is a shoe that makes sense for your lifestyle and personal aesthetic.    

Not sure exactly which shoe fits your personality, let's start with a few basics.  This Guide on “How to Purchase the Best Women’s Designer Shoe for You”, will walk you through the basics of making a decision that will ensure you are putting your best foot forward.

Comfort and Sizing -   Take a moment and really think about your feet and how you use them.  Do you have a desk job?  Or do you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day?  Are your feet wide or narrow?   Do you find yourself needing to purchase half sizes the majority of the time?  Do you understand sizing charts for both EU and US Sizes?  If you are planning to buy your shoes online, look carefully at the Sizing Chart on the website and make sure you need any reviews on shoes that others have purchased.  These are both good tools when determining if a shoe is right for you.  Or even stop by a local shoe store and have your foot measurements taken with a Braxton.  These devices allow you to understand both the length and width of your foot and determine which size shoe is best for you.  If comfort is your main priority, it’s always a good idea to stick to a shoe that doesn’t have a stiletto heel, instead consider a block heel, or even better a flat shoe, such as a Womens Oxford or a Womens Designer Loafer, both of which provide comfort and style.

Durability - Becoming an expert on the construction of a shoe, will serve you well as you add to the options in your shoe collection.  One of the first things to consider is the insole of the shoe.  Is it padded with a high density foam for comfort?  If you have flat feet, does the sole have arch support?  Many people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis need to ensure they are looking for arch support that will help alleviate pain and discomfort.  The next section of the shoe that you should examine closely is the sole.  Is it a rubber sole or a good year welt?  Good year welted shoes can be resoled, but are made from leather.  They don’t give much protection between your feet and the ground.  A shoe with a rubber sole, although they can’t be resoled, will give your feet added comfort and protection for the unforgiving pavement below.   If you are considering a lace up shoe, make sure you look closely at the laces.  Are they a sturdy material that won’t break easily?  And are the eyelets that secure the laces  constructed firmly in place?  Many shoe manufacturers are opting for a lace-up and zipper option in one.  This kind of a Women's Ankle boot, will show less wear and tear on laces; however, test the side zipper to make sure it can withstand everyday use.  And finally one of the most important aspects of durability of a shoe are the materials.  The most breathable material is still leather.  But there are many grades of leather.  It is widely accepted that fine Italian leather will be the best, most durable material for a shoe or boot.  But there are also different varieties of Italian leather to include suede and patent leather.  Patent leather is less giving in terms of stretching to mold to the foot, but can easily be cleaned.  However, once it is scratched, that marking will be permanent.  Suede is a great option, but it’s a material that doesn’t stand up as well in wet weather.  A good waterproofing spray can help with the durability of suede.  Vegan leather is the latest trend in materials for shoes and boots.  This material is still being tested and perfected.  It’s not as durable as an animal hide, and definitely does not breathe as well.  It's good to recognize that a vegan leather shoe currently will not last as long as a leather shoe and might leave your feet feeling a bit more sweaty after being worn.  


Detailing - They say the devil is in the details and this holds true with a handcrafted Women's Designer shoe. Whether it's buckles, additional straps, rhinestones,  textured leather, colored textiles or multi-colored rubber platform soles; having a significant detail on a shoe can elevate it in terms of styling and quality.  In particular if you are a fan of Womens Oxford shoes and Womens Oxford boots, brogue detailing is a way to describe a pattern of decorative perforations on a shoe.  There are several styles of shoes that have brogue detailing including designer sneakers, pumps and womens ankle boots. A detail doesn’t have to be big in order to make a big impact.  It can be as simple as a contrasting material on a heel or a simple gold buckle on a Mary Jane.  As Karl Lagerfeld once said, “One is never overdressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress”   Even a classic Womens Black Oxford with a subtle contrasting trim and brogue detailing can make a real impact on your look.  

Ethical Practices in Manufacturing - There have been many newspaper articles and documentaries written that focus on ethical manufacturing.  As the world continues to be more connected, everyone is paying more and more attention to how products are being produced.  Because so little products within the fashion industry are produced domestically, it’s important to look at where your clothing is being produced and the conditions of the factories and the treatment of the workers.  Embassy London shoes are produced in small, family owned European factories, where the workers are paid a living wage.  The working conditions in these factories are safe and that management adheres to a reasonable workweek.

Styling - Shoes are the pièce de résistance of any outfit.  They are the icing on the cake, the accessory that trumps all others, and quite frankly they need to be thoughtfully coordinated.  There are no hard, fast rules on which shoes to wear, but it’s always good to keep in mind a few rules of thumb.  When wearing neutral colors, such as tan, white or black a colorful Womens designer block heel or a two-toned oxford might be the cherry on top that outfit requires.  You can throw out the rules of having to wear heels with skirts, a fun, comfortable flat will do.  Or accessorize those new jeans with a pair of elevated Womens Designer Sneakers.  Yes, sneakers are the new dress shoes.  If you are going out on the town, you don’t always have to revert back to your go-to LBD (little black dress).  Instead try a brightly colored suit with a heeled loafer for a modern twist on a classic look.  If you like to show off your legs in a pair of shorts or a mini dress or skirt, how about trying a pair of knee high boots.  Or if it’s spring and you need a way to elevate your new maxi sundress, a fun pair of platform sandals is a no brainer.  Styling always comes down to imagination and the confidence to dress in what makes you feel happy and comfortable.

Here are a few of the top couture shoe brands and trending styles for Spring Summer.  This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a solid starting point in helping you to find this season’s perfect shoes or two, beginning with:

Balenciaga - There is no in between with this luxury brand, you are either going full blown designer stiletto heels for the Met Gala or luxury sneakers for a stealth wealth casual look.  This is a brand that likes to show off their name, so if you prefer a sneaker that is a bit more understated, best to look elsewhere.

Burberry - Much like Embassy London, Burberry is known for Modern British design.   If you are a fan of a classic burberry plaid, then this brand is for you.  It’s a pattern that never goes out of style.  

Stuart Weitzman - With Kim Kardashian as a spokesmodel, this brand skews a bit younger with a sexy vibe.  Although the breadth of the lineup is pretty extensive, they are known for Designer heels and special occasion ankle boots and sexy knee high boots.  In particular this season’s trend of over-the-knee boots is strong at Stuart Weitzman.  

Alexander McQueen  - Oversize Sneaker and strong platforms are a trademark style of the Alexander McQueen shoe collection.  They have collaborated with other brands as well such as Adidas and Puma

If your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of a Alexander McQueen sneaker, maybe try out a women’s designer sneaker by Embassy London.  You will be delighted by both the quality and the styling.