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My footwear rotation is chunky. And practical. And overwhelmingly dark. Nothing keeps my day-to-day running as smoothly as black sandals in the summer, white Converse in the spring, and a couple pairs of black booties in the fall and winter. My shoe selection is generally stylish and efficient, but it doesn’t lend itself at all to the realm of bridal footwear—an issue that becomes especially pronounced when it comes time for me to find a pair of bridesmaid shoes.
I’ve really only recently begun my tenure as a bridesmaid. The first wedding I was in took place last October, and it wasn’t until the month of that I realized I had absolutely zero appropriate shoes to wear with my bridesmaid dress. I ended up digging a pair of truly decrepit, light brown gladiators out of the back of my closet. But these were a temporary solution to what promised to be an enduring problem: The shoes I like most are usually black, and black shoes are typically a no-no as far as weddings go. Sure, as a wedding guest, you can maybe justify a strappy black sandal or a low-key black block heel. But as a bridesmaid? Your options are strictly gold, blush, beige, silver, white and the occasional light brown. It became clear to me that I needed to find a pair of go-to bridesmaid shoes, and I needed to find them fast.
The ideal bridesmaid shoe is a few things. For starters, it’s appropriately delicate—no statement-makers, here. You want to support your friend by keeping all eyes on her; distractions are simply disrespectful. Second, it’s comfortable. Weddings involve lots of dancing and standing (you’re a bridesmaid, remember!), and anything that threatens to hurt your feet is a no-go. Third, it’s able to be repurposed. Efficiency is a theme in any shopping I’m doing, but seriously, the thought of having a pair of shoes exclusively reserved for one event a year gets me. I want to like the bridesmaid shoes I’m wearing so much that I’m willing to sport them on the daily—or at least, on the monthly.
This trifecta may be hard to achieve, but it’s possible. Perfect bridesmaid shoes do, in fact, exist—and in my quest to find one pair, I’ve found a veritably plethora of worthy options. That should be good news for all your bridesmaids-to-be out there; you might hate the dress you’re wearing on your friend’s big day, but at least you don’t have to hate the rest of your ensemble.
1. Loeffler Randall Emilia Pleated Knot Mule, $350 at Revolve
Low-heeled with enough statement-making flair to dress up any ensemble—without upstaging the bride, of course.
2. Katie Slingback Heel, $39 at Urban Outfitters
Bought these the moment I saw them. Cute enough for wedding wear—and on-trend enough to sport basically everywhere else.
3. Sarto by Franco Solid Slingback Flats, $99 at Anthropologie
A go-to flat fit for wedding season.
4. RAYE x Stone Cold Fox Bellissima Sandal, $168 at Revolve
Delicately edgy—and neutral enough to feel understated.
5. Ruffle White V Point Mules, $92 at Topshop
OK, these are pushing it in the statement-making department, but they’re so dainty you might get away with it.
6. Torrence Flat Sandal, $68 at Free People
7. Piper Thin Strappy Heel, $39 at Urban Outfitters
Not sure on comfort, but these are sleek enough for weddings and nights out, alike.
8. Lips Bow Slingback Ballet Flats, $35 at ASOS
Cute enough to dress up your go-to button-down and jeans combo—and your bridesmaid dress.
9. Strappy Heeled Leather Sandals, $69.90 at Zara
Heeled enough to feel dressy. Flat enough to keep you dancing all night long.
10. Chinese Laundry Zibi Straw Flatform Sandals, $79 at Lulus
Comfort, practicality and understatedly chic detail—wrapped up in one.
11. RAYE Cyd Heel, $158 at Revolve
The most comfortable way to gain a few inches.
12. Intentionally Blank Sharpy Heel, $178 at Urban Outfitters
A subtler way to do chic, statement-making style.
13. Alias Mae Adalyn Heel, $200 at Revolve
Weddings are one place where tie straps don’t skew over-the-top.
14. Charlissa Flat Gladiator Sandals, $21 at Lulus
Perfect for your next stint as a bridesmaid—or your next vacation.
15. Stand by Me Platform Sandal, $119 at Free People
This chunky sandal’s saving grace is its oh-so neutral color palette.
16. RAYE Limone Heel, $148 at Revolve
Wear it as a bridesmaid, a wedding guest or even an outdoor party attendee.
17. Nova Pink Strappy Sandals, $64 at Topshop
If pink is on the menu, these strappy sandals are a great (and very rewearable) bet.
18. Metallic Leather Slingbacks, $49.90 at Zara
Never underestimate the value of a good flat.
19. Steve Madden Callen Sandal, $90 at Revolve
If you’re sporting heels this tall, they better at least be chunky.
20. Jordan Mink Strap Point Shoes, $96 at Topshop
A closed-toe take on the block(ish) heel.
21. Bermuda Heel, $99 at Free People
Take advantage of the fact that one of this year’s hottest trends is invisible footwear.
22. Silent D Tinnesha Heeled Sandals, $150 at Anthropologie
Comfy and cute—plus, weddings almost always come with a rain plan, so you won’t have to worry about the elements tearing up your suede.
23. Published Author Suede Ankle Strap Heels, $29 at Lulus
A no-fail shoe, rendered in a no-fail color.
24. LPA Nicolo Heel, $168 at Revolve
The boldness of the lace-up straps is balanced by the delicate palette.
25. Penny Heels, $395 at Anthropologie
Metallic bow heels are really one of the cutest bridesmaid shoe options around.
26. Asymmetric Leather Slingback Heels, $59.90 at Zara
A little bright, but if the bride doesn’t mind the shade, you’re set.
27. Schutz Tosca Heel, $195 at Revolve
Business in the front, party in the back. (The easiest way to render a statement heel wedding-friendly.)
28. Jaggar Step Up Block Heel, $73 at Revolve
Cute, and super easy to wear all summer long.
29. Cross Strap Heeled Mules, $49.90 at Zara
Eye-catching, but gold is usually on the menu.
30. Tilly Nappa Leather Slide Sandals, $39 at Lulus
So low-key they’re almost casual, but the supple leather keeps them feeling elegant.
31. Heeled Woven Sandals, $89.90 at Zara
Summer’s crochet trend is a gift as far as bridesmaid footwear is concerned.
32. Freesia Suede Ankle Strap Heels, $31 at Lulus
A classic pair of bridesmaid shoes if I’ve ever seen one.
33. RAYE x House of Harlow 1960 Fawn Mule, $168 at Revolve
If you don’t mind the height, these bridesmaid heels will definitely double as a night-out favorite.
34. Steer Clear Block Heels, $35 at Nasty Gal
On-trend without skewing over-the-top.
35. RAYE Verada Heel, $116 at Revolve
Fit for weddings and job interviews, alike.
36. Valia Gabriel Milena Criss-Cross Sandals, $265 at Anthropologie
Light brown gladiators are a pretty solid (and endlessly comfortable) option, no matter what your bridesmaid dress looks like.
37. Bill Blass Billie Slingback Heels, $198 at Anthropologie
For the bridesmaid ready to lean into the cute bridal aesthetic.
38. Wide-Fit Block-Heeled Sandals, $45 at ASOS
Woven sandals have all kind of wedding and summer barbecue crossover appeal.
39. Slingback Kitten Heel Shoes, $39.90 at Zara
I mean, can anyone argue with the value of adding a kitten heel slingback to your footwear rotation?
40. Seychelles Perfect Fit Heeled Sandals, $95 at Anthropologie
Just metallic enough to keep things feeling romantic.
41. Intentionally Blank Willow Heel, $185 at Urban Outfitters
If white’s an option, these are comfy, cute and aughts-inspired enough to feel on-trend.
42. Schutz Spherical Mules, $175 at Anthropologie
Another oh-so subtle statement heel that allows for flair without distracting.
43. Amanda Mesh Mule Sandal, $49 at Urban Outfitters
Retro, but the perfect complement to any pastel dress (and any all-black-everything night-out ensemble).
44. Seychelles Ornament Heel, $109 at Revolve
A classic cut in a contemporary, wedding-friendly textile.
45. Vegan Dorian Wedge, $168 at Free People
For the lover of comfort who wants an extra inch (or two).
46. RAYE Grant Mule, $68 at Revolve
Assuredly elegant and bridal-perfect—if you can stand the stiletto.
47. Aloha Wrap Sandal, $98 at Free People
Low-key in all the right ways.
48. Paloma Barcelo Morgane Sandal, $358 at Revolve
Strange—but adorably so.
49. RAYE Bay Heel, $148 at Revolve
A basic you can rewear time and time again.
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