Here are the 10 essential French-girl shoe styles that you need in your closet! Since Paris is a city where locals walk everywhere and move regularly using stairs, bikes, and public transportation, French girls are seeking stylish, cool but always comfortable shoes. French girls’ shoes always strike a balance of stylish, cool and comfortable. Indeed, Parisian women are definitely favoring the comfort of low block heels or flat shoes over the sky-high stilettos. Not only French shoes are comfortable but they are versatile as well. Indeed, French shoes can be paired with any type of outfit: they work well with shorts, dresses, skirts and any type of pants. And the right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to completing a look.
So if you are wondering what kind of shoes Parisians wear or if you’re looking to add a few pairs to your shoe collection to look more like a Parisian, read on to find out what the 10 essential French shoes are.
The 10 Must-Have French Girl Shoes
1. Ankle Boots
There’s no denying that ankle boots are a wardrobe essential for French women. One of the best things about ankle boots is that they are very versatile. Not only ankle boots are the ideal pair of shoes for almost any time of the year, but those stylish shoes can suit many looks and can easily be dressed up or down. Whether you’re wearing jeans, pants, a skirt, dress or jumpsuit, ankle boots can provide an excellent footwear option. French girls usually prefer to wear them in autumn and winter, with a pair of jeans and a well-tailored blazer. Ankle boots are definitely the French staple your closet needs.
2. Ballet Flats
The ballet flat is definitely another French-girl staple that every French girl owns. This classic and practical shoe is found in countless colors and fabrics in French girls’ closets. And it’s the perfect pair of shoes to look chic without sacrificing comfort. In addition, ballet flats are so versatile and suit any kind of look. Whether you’re wearing a skirt, tapered trousers, denim, or a bright dress, ballet flats are always a good footwear option. If you want to invest in a few quality pairs of flat ballets, there are several brands that I will recommend like Repetto or Chanel.
While still feminine and slim-fitting, the slipper or the loafer is also a wonderful flat style footwear option. Loafers are one of the favorite footwear options of many Parisian girls for fall and spring. Indeed, since Paris is a city where you can walk everywhere, Parisian girls usually prefer a chic, stylish but always comfortable pair of shoes. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out below my selection of the best loafers to get that perfect Parisian style this season.
4. Low Block Heels
Parisian women are definitely favoring the comfort of low block heels over the sky-high stilettos that used to dominate the shoe market. And low block heels are the perfect pair of shoes that provide the height to get that feminine allure while still being very walkable. Low block heels are truly the most feminine comfortable option you can walk for miles in! To see just how chic the low-block-heel trend can really be for now, keep reading to get inspired by my selection of the coolest pairs on the market.
You may already know that French women don’t stroll around town in stilettos. Indeed, Parisian girls are always in the hunt for a chic, stylish but comfortable pair of shoes. And slingback shoes, known as court shoes typically with kitten heels by some, are the perfect shoes for Parisian girls. Indeed, slingbacks are both stylish and comfortable and can be worn with absolutely anything. Slingback shoes are a great alternative to your favorite strappy sandals or classic pumps for the spring/summer season. Made with a strap that catches your heel, you get the comfort of a sandal without worrying about your shoes falling off as you’re walking. You can wear them with a pair of blue jeans as a simple switch from your regular sneakers or style them with a pretty dress for the summer.
6. White Sneakers
If you were wondering if French girls wear sneakers, yes they do! And if you do not have a pair of white sneakers in your closet yet, you definitely need one. It’s impossible to not see several pairs of white sneakers topping off chic outfits in the street of Paris. Sneakers no longer carry the casual, lazy day stigma they did in the past. Now, a simple pair of white trainers can look stylish whatever your look. You can choose from the classic Stan Smiths, the chunky “dad” sneakers or the Scandi style sneakers. Prefer a pair of minimal plain white sneakers that continue to be a staple of Parisian style. Check out below my selection of the best white sneakers to get that Parisian look.
Espadrilles are the French staple your closet needs. If you’re not popular with this particular type of shoes, espadrilles are a wedged sole designed from a rope-like material. They also usually have a tie closure that you can lace up around ankles for an eye-catching effect. They are literally on the feet of nearly every French girl during the spring/summer season. You can choose from two types of espadrilles: the ones with 2-inch heels give you a little extra leg length, while the flat ones are perfect to walk all day across uneven cobblestones in Provence. The shoes are very comfortable and actually so versatile as well. They can be paired with any type of outfit: they work well with shorts, dress, and any type of pants.
If you’re looking for some beautiful espadrilles I really recommend the brand Monge (a brand that I discovered during a trip in Mallorca). All of their products are handcrafted in Mallorca using the finest European leathers and materials. Check out below my selection of the cutest espadrilles for this spring/summer season.
8. Evening Heels
Even if I’m not a “feathers, glitter, diamanté and heels” kind of girl, I love the idea of getting ready for an event with the opportunity to wear something that’s wildly different from the daily workwear. And if the idea of dressing up for a night out is often considered an idea of the past, I think going out is the opportunity to be exactly who you are without any rules. So let the fun begin with a wonderful pair of evening shoes! One of my favorite evening’s shoes is a pair of black pumps that are perfect with a wrap dress, sheath, suit or trousers. Pointed toes and high heels tend to elongate your leg and work ideally with cropped pants, or any kind of dresses. Small kitten heels are a more practical party option but are a good evening shoe option as well.
9. Knee-High Boots
Knee-high boots are perfect for fall/winter if you want to stay warm in the colder months but you still want to look stylish and pulled together. These boots are very versatile: perfect for work, the weekend, nights out and beyond, knee-high boots can look fantastic with a variety of outfits. You can wear a pair of knee-high boots with a dress, a skirt, a pair of skinny jeans or a pair of boot cut jeans. You can choose from a pair of stiletto boots, a wedge heel boots or a flat bottom one that is more practical and walkable. If the option of a wedge heel is easier to wear than a stiletto, it offers a bit of height that helps elongate the legs. From the classic style to the skinny heel, I gathered the best knee-high boots to consider for the autumn/winter season.
10. Flat Sandals
Flat sandals are one of the staple pair of shoes of the French wardrobe for spring and summer season. If flat sandals don’t exactly do the most in terms of adding polish to a look, flat sandals are definitely the go-to shoes of the summer season. Flat sandals are so versatile: whether you’re wearing a dress, a skirt, or just good jeans, there is a flat sandal for every type of outfits. A flat sandal is the hero shoe of the warm weather season. It’s simple, stylish, comfortable, and easily packable and they go with everything. I’ve rounded up several expensive-looking pairs of sandals you really, truly, absolutely need this summer!
The French Shoe Brands Parisians Swear By
- Christian Louboutin
- Roger Vivier
- Isabel Marant
- Saint Laurent
- Patricia Blanchet
- L’Autre Chose
- Robert Clergerie
- K. Jacques
- La Botte Guardiane
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Hi, I'm Leonce! I started my beauty blog in 2018 to share some of my favorite French skincare products, top makeup tips, and Parisian style inspirations. Leonce Chenal is a glimpse into my Parisian wardrobe, beauty shelf, and all things French of course! I'm French and originally from the Alps, but I have lived in Prague and London for several years, now I'm living in Paris. - Enjoy!