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If you were only allowed to shop 38 footwear websites for the rest of your life (or at least until next season), what would they be? This is not a hypothetical, friends. This is an actual, serious question we asked ourselves here at Racked, and today we are sharing our answers with you.
Here they are: 38 absolutely critical shopping sites that we would pick if we had to choose. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
Aldo: There's hardly a mall in America that doesn't house this footwear staple, and for good reason: there's something for everyone and every occasion here. There's not much to it aside from trend-driven styles at affordable prices, but, really, what more do you need?
ASOS: This e-tailer is known for affordable, trend-driven wares, and they live up to their reputation in the shoe department. There are currently 1,446 styles of shoe for sale on the ASOS website, and the more than half of them are under $100.
Brian Atwood:There is no such thing as too sexy according to Brian Atwood, and, really, he should know: the designer was featured on our list of footwear's hottest male designers. (Mazel, Brian!) In other accomplishments, Atwood's got a bridal collection which is completely customizable and shoppable through his website. Brides who can't imagine walking down the aisle in anything other than six-inch platforms, this is your moment.
Bergdorf Goodman: The fancy uptown department store features a downtown-inspired shoe salon, and you don't have to be anywhere near New York to shop it. Casual, edgy styles from the likes of Isabel Marant, rag & bone, Alexander Wang, Acne, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Ash can be found at the store's 5F department. Or, if you prefer your fancy shoes classic-style, head to the regular shop for Louboutins, Blahniks, and Jimmy Choos.
Matt Bernson: The king of sandals, Matt Bernson does summer like no one else. Wedges, ballet flats, strappy heels, thongs, and warm-weather booties—all are on offer and almost all for under $200.
Bloomingdale's: Bloomie's tends to stock chic but safe designers—Michael Kors, Tory Burch, DVF—which makes them a great source for classic shoes that aren't likely to go out of style before you've paid off your credit card bill.
Tory Burch: Technically there's more to Tory Burch's footwear line than her signature flats, but who are we kidding? That's what most people care about. If it's logo-ed flats you're after, here you will find them: the site has an entire section devoted to that famous Reva ballet shoe. Go crazy.
Coclico: From clogs to flats to heels, this eco-friendly label has you covered in style. Producing timeless styles in a small, family-owned factory in Majorca, Spain, the brand carefully considers each component for its beauty, utility, and environmental impact. Wedges are made from recycled Portuguese cork and local Spanish pine; leathers are sourced only from local tanneries using environmentally conscious practices and vegetable tanning.
Rachel Comey: Rachel Comey has developed a bonafide cult following for her shoes, which are arguably even better known than her apparel line. Though her footwear is stocked all over the place, it was good news for fan girls when she launched her own e-commerce site. It's got her entire range of wood-soled sandals, ankle boots, and dress shoes, plus a bunch of exclusives that are well worth checking out.
Del Toro: The smoking slipper trend has been hanging on for a while now, much to the relief of stiletto-weary insoles everywhere. Whether you take yours classic (black velvet) or modern (patterned, studded, or sequined), Del Toro reigns as our favorite.
Dolce Vita: Offering up a distinct point-of-view at affordable prices, Dolce Vita is an excellent compromise when you don't want to shell out for designer, but you don't want to compromise on design. The brand DV line is a go-to for lower-priced, slightly quirkier styles.
DSW: This one is kind of a no brainer, but that's why it's on the list. The bargains are massive, as is the inventory. It can take a long time to sift through the duller options, but that's a happy chore when such savings and glory are on the line. More incentive: Free shipping on all orders over $35.
Frye: Best know for cowboy boots, Frye also has a substantial collection of shoes and sandals with the same measure of leather craftsmanship. Moccasins, woven ballet flats, gladiators, and even a pump or two are available on the brand's e-commerce site, and the famed Frye warranty applies to all of them.
Gravity Pope: This is a Canadian institution, but Americans can get in on the fun via the boutique's website. If there's a footwear niche the store doesn't cover, we haven't found it. Classic comfort shoes—Clarks, Birkenstocks—to high-end American and European designers—Acne, Dries, Marni—and mid-range brands like Kenneth Cole and Michael by Michael Kors coexist happily here. With excellent photography and multiple product angles, the site also provides one of the best online shopping experiences out there. Thanks for sharing, Canada!
Havaianas: The reigning king of flip-flop season, Havaianas makes the classic rubber thong fun again with bright colors and collaborations with the likes of Mara Hoffman. You basically have no choice but to be happy when wearing a pair. "The Brazilian spirit is joyful, vibrant, free. It's easy for Brazilians to feel this way because it's basically summer all the time. We want those emotions to be communicated everywhere, even where it's snowing," says President Carla Schmitzberger.
J.Crew: J.Crew is like the Pottery Barn of shoes. Sometimes you resist shopping here because, well, because it's so predicable. Because it's totally likely that your best friend will also shop here, and you just cannot end up with the same leather wedges as your best friend, again. And yet... the shoes are impossibly perfect every season, the quality is great, and the price is reasonable. It's inevitable. You're going to shop here, and you're going to like it. The sooner you accept it, the better for all involved.
Loeffler Randall: Born out of designer Jessie Randall's quest to make the shoes that she wanted to wear but couldn't find, the brand's cool, feminine, and extremely comfortable shoes can now be found on the feet of fashion editors and city girls everywhere. Leather wedges, printed platforms, and booties are in the $400 range; sandals, flats, and clogs are between $200 and $300.
Christian Louboutin: The ultimate power shoe has its very own website. There are more red soles than any one closet can handle here—nearly 400 pairs—in all the kinky varieties you've come to know and love from Mr. Louboutin, including bridal, boots, and shoes that could potentially be used as weapons if it came down to it.
Madewell: Practical and somehow still totally adorable is how Madewell does shoes. Don't look for sky-high stilettos or the season's flashiest printed pumps. Instead, make yourself content with wood-soled heels, clogs, and European-style sandals from Madewell's own line in addition to brands like Swedish Hasbeens and Loeffler Randall.
Matches Fashion: For glorious designer shoe porn, look no further than UK site Matches. All the big-names are here—Alaïa, Balenciaga, Gucci—as well as less-obvious labels such as Jérôme Dreyfuss, Rochas and Prism.
Nasty Gal: You know the drill. If you like your indie a little bit rock 'n' roll, this is the site for you. The brand has recently expanded to include its own line of trendy, affordable footwear that's both edgy and free-spirited. Styles range from grungy boots to punky sneakers and unapologetic stripper heels, with a good portion priced under $100.
Net-A-Porter:If the sky's the limit when it comes to your shoe budget, a) lucky you and b) head here. There is so much deliciousness on offer when it comes to very expensive things to put on your feet, and we're not just talking product. The photo spreads and editorial photography are so good, they'll have you convinced that you can totally pull off a pair of neon yellow Saint Laurent stilettos. May the shoe gods be with you.
Nike: A woman cannot live on high heels alone. At least not if she wants to survive to see her '30s without severe lower-back issues. Enter Nike, maker of the sneaker of our dreams, along with pretty much any other athletic footwear you might desire.
Nine West: For under $100, it's hard to do better than Nine West's bright colors and on-trend prints. An added bonus: Their heels are surprisingly comfortable.
Nordstrom: A godsend for a multitude of shoe searches, from the perfect bridal options to sneakers to boots to sexy heels to comfortable sandals. Crisp, clean, zoomable product shots combined with plentiful customer reviews make this an ideal shopping environment.
No. 6: This online outpost of the beloved New York boutique doesn't offer as much merchandise as the Little Italy shop, but what it does have is the brand's perfect clogs, clog boots, and sandals, which can be hard to find if you don't know where to look. The brand has recently upgraded their e-commerce site, bringing their online shop into the technical age, and if you'd like inspiration on how to wear clogs with socks, please spend some time on their blog.
Charlotte Olympia: Charlotte Olympia is always a reliable source of awe-inspiring shoe porn. The designer has no fear of heights—or wacky themes like flags or the zodiac, for that matter. If you have longed for the day you could look down and see a giant flamingo on your foot, you've found your favorite new designer.
Payless: Though nowadays there are plenty of places to find under-$50 shoes, Payless is the grand dame of affordable footwear, and the store's pedigree shows. Collaborations with the likes of Christian Siriano and Isabel Toledo keep one toe in high fashion, while the chain reliably delivers basics that won't break the bank.
Pixie Market: From holographic brogues to crystal pumps cutout boots, Pixie Market has your quirky footwear needs covered. Plenty of styles are under $100, and even more are under $150.
rag & bone: We could tell you about the chic sandals and the elegant heels and the cool espadrilles up for grabs on the site, but you're not going to listen. No one does once there's a whiff of Newbury in the air. So go get 'em: oodles of styles—from this season's floral versions to the classic—are for the taking here.
Sam Edelman: Year after year, Sam Edelman comes out with a selection that's on-trend (but not too trendy), ultra affordable and actually comfortable. There are options here for every type and every look of the season: from those minimalist slides that are everywhere right now to studded Vans-like sneakers to low-heeled booties.
Shopbop: With more than 2,000 shoe styles on offer, this online powerhouse has a seemingly bottomless inventory of cute, on-trend staples from contemporary and designer brands. It's one of our first internet stops no matter what we're shopping for.
Solestruck: An e-commerce site that grew out of a beloved Portland boutique, Solestruck has a slightly West Coast grunge feel—but as if grunge grew up and wanted to wear pretty heels sometimes, okay? Dr. Martens, Cheap Monday, Vivienne Westwood, Jeffrey Campbell, and Kenzo are evenly represented, along with about 50 more brands for your browsing pleasure. Bonus: Free worldwide shipping!
Soludos: Since it's summer, and since you need a pair of chic slip-ons, and since espadrilles are everywhere all of a sudden, we're including Soludos on this list. Nick Brown started the company when he moved to New York after college and was looking for a city-appropriate summer shoe (as in, not flip flops) that was as laid back as he is. You can get most of Soludos' many (many) collaboration styles via their website, plus all their originals—which means there's more than 60 color and pattern options for you to choose from. Which is a lot.
TOMS: TOMS are everywhere these days, from college campuses to trendy downtown cafes. You can't beat these slip-ons for comfort, and the one-to-one social justice model (pioneered by this company) doesn't hurt their popularity. There are about a million colors to chose from and plenty of web exclusives worth browsing, if you want to stand out from the rest of the do-gooders in your town.
Urban Outfitters: Urban's budget-friendly shoe department isn't just for college students or aspiring hipsters. With a selection ranging from Jeffrey Campbell cage sandals to Swedish Hasbeens clogs and more Converse options than you can shake a stick at, the options here are also for the young at heart.
Cynthia Vincent: This one's for fashion girls who actually walk and/or stand all day. Many of the styles incorporate Vincent's signature prints and patterns, but all are as sturdy as they are chic. Prices are in the $250 to $350 range.
Zara: There are those who feel that you pay for what you get when it comes to Zara's low shoe prices. That may be true. However, when what you're getting is an absurdly cute pair of beaded sandals for $60, or snake-print stilletos for under $100, purchases are easy to rationalize.