When it comes to elevating basics and giving statement ensembles that little bit of extra somethin’ somethin’, the power of a great pair of shoes can’t be denied. It-girl-approved bags and statement jewelry bring the wow-factor — don’t get us wrong — but there’s just something about a sassy pair of heels that can send your confidence and swagger into overdrive. If you’ve already stocked up on this season’s hottest shoe trends and are in the market for the next big thing, the 18 pairs of steppers below will feel like a breath of fresh air. Ankle strap heels are timeless, but this curated list is serving up a cutting edge take on the closet classic. Consider yourself one step closer to achieving It-girl status.
1. Zara Mid Heel Leather Shoes With Ankle Strap ($90): Enter the berry colored heels that are about to become your newest hero piece in disguise. Whether you rock ’em with pinstripes at the office or team them with a flowy floral maxi and shimmery ear cuff for a romantic dinner date, they’re guaranteed to straight-up slay.
2. & Other Stories Gold Ankle Strap Pumps ($125): These retro-future pumps are the epitome of #OOTD gold. Strap ’em on with relaxed jeans and a boyfriend blazer and lace blouse for a look that toes the line between feminine elegance and boss lady cool.
3. Free People Flash Dance Heels ($148): Girl. THESE are the pumps you want by your side when you’re ready to kick ass and take names out on the dance floor. Get in touch with your inner diva and lace ’em up with a saucy LBD and sequin-studded clutch. And don’t even think about heading out the door without a signature shade of red lipstick in tow.
4. Free People Black Magic Block Heel ($180): Bow down. These bold block heels aren’t messing around. Counter their ’90s-inspired edge with a twirl-worthy pleated skirt, oversized sweater and duster jacket for an endlessly cool look.
5. ASOS Pipe Dream Co-Ord Pointed Heels ($61): With the holiday season on the horizon, a killer pair of pumps is non-negotiable. And these embroidered beauties are the perfect finishing touch for any party dress. Want to really pack a punch? Pop ’em on with a pair of shimmery socks to really make your look stand out.
6. Uterqüe Bowed High Heel Shoes ($144): Bring out all the bells and whistles with a sweet set of Caprine leather bow heels that would look just as ah-mazing with a classic A-line skirt as they would with a sleek pair of treggings. Play up their old-world vibe with heirloom baubles and a dramatic plum lip.
7. Intentionally Blank Holly Glitter Heel ($180): An iCal jam-packed with holiday parties and festive get-togethers calls for a pair of steppers with this much panache. Bust ’em out for a late fall wedding or Friendsgiving fête with a velvet midi dress and faux fur topper, for an ultra glam look that’s sure to spur an avalanche of compliments.
8. Zara Contrast Slingbacks ($50): Shoe-of-the-year status officially achieved. These elegant slingbacks will send the classy lady vibes into overdrive the second you slip ’em on — no matter whether you style them alongside overalls and a bell sleeve blouse or a sharp HR-approved pantsuit.
9. Sam Edelman Lola Ankle Strap Heel ($160): ICYMI: Leopard print is having a moment, making these pretty pumps feel right on cue. The exotic print and timeless silhouette are perfect for spicing up a tired on-the-job repertoire. DO wear with a structured jumpsuit, collar necklace and sleek locks for a fashion-forward twist on the classic suit.
10. ASOS Star Pointed Heels ($58): Hey girl, hey. Feeling sassy come Friday? These are the steppers you want on your side. The sharp silhouette and flirty pink suede uppers will elevate all of your coziest sweaters, everyday basics and velvet pieces this season. Gear up for GNO by teaming them with a sheer bodysuit and skinny jeans.
11. Free People Party Favor Studded Heel ($188): Leather jacket for buzz-worthy gigs at your favorite bar? Check. Bell-sleeve blouse for elevated weekend chillin’? Check. Studded ankle strap heels that kill it on their own? Triple check. Trust us on this one: These party-ready kicks are this close to becoming your new go-to.
12. ASOS Sugar Baby Heels ($53): This just in: You need a pair of gold-toed heels that will effortlessly add panache to statement pieces and wardrobe staples alike. Style these fierce ankle strap steppers with jacquard trousers or a printed shirt dress for an ensemble that will do you right day or night.
13. Ann Taylor Haley Exotic Embossed Leather Ankle Strap Heels ($148): Commuter shoes that read trendsetter? Yup, they totally exist, and you’re looking at ‘em, girl. Combat workweek blues with these pink snakeskin-inspired steppers that won’t cramp your style one bit. For a Jeanne Damas-inspired look (AKA the height of French-girl style), toss them on alongside a camel coat, cropped flares and a cashmere turtleneck.
14. Kat Maconie Sadie Leather Heel ($248): Party season is right around the corner, and if you’re looking to shake things up this year, a new game plan is in order. Scoop up a pair of OMG-worthy steppers, like this sculptural Kat Maconie mules, and style the rest of your look around them, instead of the other way around. Let these bad boys be the focus of your getup and team them with a minimalist shift dress and sleek modern earrings.
15. Zara Strappy Heel Shoes ($50): Sorry, not sorry, but blasé ballet flats just aren’t going to cut it when it comes to earning serious style points with your co-workers and crew. But that doesn’t mean you have to go all out either. These strappy black block heels offer just the right balance of cutting edge and sophistication. The only thing missing? A crisp button-down, tie-waist trousers and a streamlined watch.
16. Balzac Paris Escarpins Amelia Vert Bouteille ($191): Dinner reservations with your S.O.’s ‘rents on the agenda? You’re going to need these retro ankle strap heels in your arsenal. Dress to impress by wearing them alongside a swingy floral midi dress, statement studs and a structured top-handle bag FTW. If your winning personality doesn’t blow them away, your getup certainly will.
17. ASOS Sammy Pointed Heels ($49): We’re not sure what we love more: the unexpected round heel or the oxblood patent upper that lends these ladylike kicks modern appeal. Wear them with a striped sweater dress for a cozy chic look, or class them up with a jacquard off-the-shoulder frock for a swanky after-hours event.
18. Jeffrey Campbell Walden Ankle Strap Loafer ($185): Going hand-in-hand with your collection of heritage jackets, streamlined crossbody bags and girlfriend jeans, these chain-link loafers will be right in line with your minimalist yet edgy style. Up the Instababe factor with a blanket scarf and an architectural ring for a low-key look on an afternoon of running errands.
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