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The 12 Pairs of Shoes Every College Girl Needs

The 12 Pairs of Shoes Every College Girl Needs

Shoes, The 12 Pairs of Shoes Every College Girl Needs

As a new college student, fashionista, shoe-fanatic and wannabe minimalist, packing my shoe collection for my first year in college was a challenge. What would I need? What was practical? What would be versatile in creating different looks and wearing for different occasions? After two years of college in New York City, I found the perfect collection of necessary shoes and learned which pairs I can leave behind. Here is a list of the 12 pairs of shoes you should bring to college to fulfill the every need of your college lifestyle.

1. Dr. Martens

Not to be dramatic, but these are my favorite shoes of all time. Dr. Martens are the queens of versatility and quality. I wear my Doc’s everywhere– to class with jeans and a sweater, around the city while shopping, to parties and out to dinner with a dress. They’re also my most comfortable pair of shoes with an arched sole and support around the ankle, so whether you’re out exploring your college town, on your feet all day at a darty, or just walking around on campus to and from classes, you’ll be comfortable and on-trend. I’ve had my Vegan Doc’s for 4 years now, and they’re still in perfect condition. Linked below are a few personal favorite styles to serve as a staple in your shoe collection.

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  1. Vegan Doc’s
  2. Colored Doc’s 

2. White Sneaker

A classic white sneaker is a must for any college girl– A+ for versatility, style, and comfort. Nike Air Force 1’s are currently all the rage, and a popular choice for the campus It Girl. Other great options are the Nike Air Max, the Reebok Club C, or the Adidas Stan Smith. Personally, I like to add a little flare to my wardrobe staples, setting my pair of Air Force 1’s apart from the next girl’s. A great way to add a personal touch to your Air Force’s is purchasing a pack of sew-on or iron-on patches from Etsy, and using a hot glue gun to apply them to your sneakers. Viola! You have a custom pair of Nike’s. 

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  1. Air Force 1 Shadow
  2. Air Max 90
  3. Reebok Club C
  4. Adidas Stan Smith

3. Black/Nude Ankle Strap Heel

Depending on where you go to school and whether you’re involved in Greek Life may determine how many pairs of heels you need. Going to school in New York City, I have personally found that heels are only worn for formals, dances, and the occasional 21st birthday party at a swanky Manhattan hotel. However regardless of where you go to school and how many pairs of heels you need, a pair of black or nude ankle strap heels is a must. Ankle strap heels give u the sleek elegance that a wedge doesn’t, but still provide more support and structure than your typical stiletto. Try thinner straps for a more dainty and feminine look, or go bolder with a feather accent or studded straps. No matter what dress you pair them with, these shoes are a classic staple that are bound to elevate any outfit. 

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  1. Block heel 
  2. Studded

4. Mule Slides

The dream is a pair of Gucci Mule Slides, but on a college budget, this isn’t always realistic… But good news! A lot of boutiques and department stores sell Gucci-inspired slip-ons for less than $100! These shoes are perfect for presentation days, interviews, and career fairs. Pair with a trendy pantsuit for a more polished look, or a skirt and a sweater for a more casual interview. A pair of professional shoes is a necessity for the college girl, but instead of saying “I found these in my mom’s closet,” these shoes scream “I know what I’m doing and I got this.”

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  1. Mid-range 
  2. More expensive

5. Chelsea Rain Boots

Whether you’re on your way to class, around town on a rainy day, or going on a weekend trip in the mountains, a pair of Chelsea rain boots are a necessity. Chelsea’s are easier to pack than taller rain boots, and more functional for walking linder distances and going about daily activities. Plus, ones made completely of rubber are super easy to throw in the sink or shower to clean off after a day out in the rain.

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  1. Jeffrey Campbell 
  2. J Crew

6. Vans

A classic and timeless wardrobe staple, Vans are my go-to shoes for everything from my days in class and around campus, to weekend darties and nights out. Slip-ons are my favorite as they’re quick and effortless, but whether you choose to go retro in style or do a platform sole for added height, Vans are a must-have for the college girl. Dress them up by pairing with a slip dress or your favorite jeans and a silk or lace tank, or dress them down with your favorite pair of joggers and a cropped hoodie. Versatility is Vans’ middle name.  

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  1. Old Skool
  2. Platform

7. Heeled Booties

These are your shoes that set you apart, your shoes that everyone compliments you on and knows you by. Faux snakeskin booties are all the rage, and by choosing a pair that’s unique, you’ll be turning heads all over campus. My pair by Madden Girl is comfortable for walking around town but still sleek and modern. Pair with jeans and a nice sweater for a weekend day out with friends, a mini dress for more formal events, or go bold and try with cinched sweats and a cropped sweater. Find your own style and confidence and have fun with this pair. Friends call these my bad b!tch shoes… What will yours say?

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  1. Tan snakeskin 
  2. White block-heel 

8. Platform Sandals

Platform sandals are my go-to’s for more formal events in the warmer months, whether it be for Greek life parties, weekend brunches, or a day on the town. Make sure you choose a pair that’s comfortable for walking and standing, can be easily cleaned after outdoor events, and speaks to your style and personal brand. Platform sandals often provide more comfort than regular sandals, more elegance than a flip-flop, and of course that flattering added height. 

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  1. Black 
  2. Leather 

9. Converse High Tops

A timeless classic many of us grew up in– the Chuck Taylor All Stars. Durable, versatile, and able to be dressed up or down, Converse high tops elongate your legs more than low tops would, and provide added support around your ankle for football game days, tailgates, and those long walks across campus to class. Try a customized pair to set you apart, a platform pair for that added height, or a patterned pair to add dimension to your look. Since Converse are popular for game days, try a pair in your school colors! Your Saturday game day fit will thank you. 

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  1. Classic
  2. Patterned

10. Rubber Birkenstocks

Rubber Birks are a college essential– especially if you live in a dorm with a communal bathroom, these Birkenstocks make the perfect shower shoes. Cheaper than traditional leather or synthetic cork-bottom Birkenstocks, these shoes give you the same support and structure, but are completely waterproof and cost $60 less! A fast and effortless option for running to the dining hall, walking around your building, or hanging out around campus, these shoes are a college must-have.

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  1. T-strap 

11. Classic Black Boot

The classic black boot: a college girl’s best friend. Pair with a mini skirt and tee for your fall semester, jeans and a sweater in winter, and a fun jumpsuit for spring. Not only are black boots versatile in how you style them, but they match everything and they’re easy to keep clean. Express your own personal style through your black boots– ones with studs and a buckle for an edgier image, a suede sock-boot for a more elegant and sexier silhouette, or a faux leather block-heeled boot for a classic look. 

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  1. Studded
  2. Sock boot 

12. Wedge Sandal

For formals during the warmer months, Greek life events, and Sunday brunches in the city, wedge sandals add the elegance of a heel but the comfort and support of a sandal– the perfect combination. Steve Madden is my personal favorite destination for all things wedges, but there are so many other options to choose from based on your budget and style.

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  1. Less expensive 
  2. More expensive

Which pairs of shoes do you think every college student needs? Tell us in the comments below! 

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