Choose your late-night fighter.
Courtesy of @daniellenaer
Welcome to Editorialist’s “Single Favorite Thing”—a biweekly series where our editors, stylists, and creatives are breaking down the hero items that are working overtime in our closets—and are doing it well. Whether disclosing the faithful going-out shoe in our lineup or paying homage to our all-star everyday bag, here you’ll find the tried-and-true garments that have passed our team’s test with flying colors.
It’s a tale as old as time: Full of ambition, you and your friends decide to dress up and venture out for the evening—only to have your rendezvous cut short by a footwear mishap. Maybe it’s a new crop of blisters from a rigid pair of boots, or perhaps the heel on your stilettos snapped against the cobblestones of Jane Street. (We’ve been there, too.) Either way, the lesson is the same: the shoes you choose for your after-hours adventures matter. That’s why the team at Editorialist has rounded together our favorite going-out shoes—the kind that we keep defaulting to time after time, even when there’s an assortment of other buzzy styles on our shelves to alternate between.
As you can imagine, our long hiatus from night-out-dressing has drastically shifted the kinds of silhouettes we’re reaching for in our post-pandemic world. As such, you’ll notice a healthy dose of low-key, low-fuss options in the mix (Dioract dad sandals; Dr Martens 1460s)—all of which welcome you to reemerge into your social scene with comfort at top of mind. That’s not to say that there’s not a fair share of ambitious styles—Manolos and Amina Muaddis are also in abundance. Whether your idea of a night out is a glass of Merlot at your local wine bar or a frenetic evening of buzzy music and endless dancing (or both), our team has a well-tested favorite that’s sure to add verve to your outfit from the ground-up.
For going-out shoes that’ll carry you from late nights to early mornings, explore ahead:
Bottega Veneta Green Stretch Sandals
When I plan my going-out outfits, I always choose my shoes first. It’s not just because they set the tone for your look—more so because it’s essential that your shoes agree with where you’re headed and what’s on the docket for the evening. Typically, it would differ greatly for me: I’d default to Western boots for late nights at Manhattan karaoke bars, but I’d break out my Manolos for dinner and drinks. That is, until Bottega Veneta’s Green Stretch sandals came into the picture. Complete with a square toe and a curviform heel, the “naked” shoe plays the perfect complement to any after-hours look, from mesh mini dresses to jeans and a button-down. For added impact, I’ve adopted a like-minded green handbag into my collection (Coach’s Lunchbox in Lime) as a means of doubling down on the pop of color. —Danielle Naer, Senior Fashion Editor
For day to night [wear], I prefer a clean, simple shoe. My feet are so sensitive—I have a love-hate relationship with heels. The Row’s Bare sandals are the best because they qualify as a heel but they don’t kill your feet after a long night out. They can work with anything from a mini dress the night of to denim shorts the day after. —Katelyn Bernard, Styling & Content Specialist
Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace-Up Boots
I’m what you would call a “jeans and a T-shirt” type of girl, which is why I live for my tried and true Dr. Marten boots. I don’t care what time of year it is, what I’m wearing, or where I’m going, these boots are my forever go-to and hands-down my all-time favorite pair of shoes. They’re classic, versatile, cool, comfortable, and give me that added boost of confidence that only a truly badass pair of boots can give you. I love these iconic lace-ups so much I’m considering buying yet another pair (I already own three) in all-white to slip into the night of my wedding. —Alyssa Montemurro, Senior Beauty Editor
Amina Muaddi Naima Leather Wedge Sandals
Everything the up-and-coming designer puts out, I adore—and I cannot get enough of this Amina Muaddi wedge. The ’90s-inspired stringy straps perfectly fit the naked sandals trend while the architecture of the sculpted shape is edgy, yet modern. Paired with wide-leg jeans or a mini skirt, they elongate your stems like a dream and, most importantly, are so easy to walk in. Minimalist, comfortable, and statement-making; they’re the ultimate wedge for those nights out that don’t end until morning. —Savannah Sitton, Fashion & Branded Content Writer
Martine Rose Roxy Embellished Loafers
As someone who used to dominate the dance floor in a pair of leopard print boots, I have always had an affinity for loud silhouettes. But with age comes a better understanding of oneself and a more refined wardrobe to match. Martine Rose’s Roxy Embellished Loafers embody my current middle ground aesthetic, between past and present, minimalist and maximalist, the dresser that I am and the one I aspire to be. Cast in supple black leather and crafted in a square-toe structure, this trending style is easy to incorporate into your day-to-day footwear rotation. However, what I love most about these loafers is the embossed exterior detailing which cites the name of different locations in London—an ode to Rose’s childhood. I pair them with Acne Studios’ Checked-Wool and Cotton-Blend Wide-Leg Pants for a sophisticated look. —Harry Archer, Editorial Assistant
Wearing slippers for a year has made me somewhat averse to any shoe with more than a half-inch heel. But being on the shorter side, I do love a little extra lift. That’s where these minimalist kitten heels come in. In the muted cream colorway, they match everything from denim shorts in the daytime to more extravagant numbers at night (to date, I’ve paired them with slip dresses, leather shorts, and, of course, jeans and going-out tops). While they’re a fairly simple shoe, a few details—namely, the on-trend square toe and the asymmetric heel—make them totally unique. Plus, they’ve never given me a blister or forced me into flats. A win-win for both style and comfort. —Juliana LaBianca, Senior Editor & Strategist
Manolo Blahnik Maysale Mother-of-Pearl Buckle Stiletto Pumps
These white pointed-toe Manolo Blahniks can go from day to night with ease. The creamy latte shade pairs with just about everything, but I always wear the heels with a white blouse with a black denim mini skirt for a casual day look, and add a pop of sophistication to my night look by pairing this neutral pump with a little black dress. —Julianna Danielson, Art Director
Jimmy Choo Sia Metallic Leather Mules
The older I get, the less my feet appreciate towering heels. This mule from Jimmy Choo is designed with a block heel and a manageable height (2.5 inches) that allows you to wear them from morning to night without any discomfort. I wear these for everything from school drop off to dinners with my husband. Plus, they are the perfect amount of elegant and casual and can be worn with just about anything in your wardrobe. And let’s be honest, gold just goes with everything. —Gabriela Garcia, Beauty Editor
Michael Kors Libby Canvas Espadrille Platform Sneakers
You will rarely—if ever—find me leaving my house not wearing a pair of sneakers. At nearly five-foot-eight, I’m not interested in towering over my peers (or my fiancé) in sky-high heels. Instead, platform sneakers give me just a little bit of height, while still being comfy enough to dance in, walk in, and take public transportation in. From flowy dresses to fitted jeans, these sneakers add a casual element to going-out outfits without being too casual. —Mackenzie Dunn, Senior Editor & Strategist
By Far Zaya Grained Leather Mules
I’m guilty of holding onto shoes for a bit too long, so this year I decided it was time to make room for something that’d balance style and comfort: a mule. Whether flat or with a heel, mules have been a classic in every women’s shoe collection for generations—and they’re still going strong. When I came across these heeled mules from By Far, a beloved brand of mine especially for its leather handbags, I couldn’t resist the urge to add to cart. The striking and unconventional grained leather, the softness of the fabric, the square toe, and the kitten heel all contribute to the edgy, yet cute look that I yearn to emulate in my personal style. I can’t forget to mention—they pair perfectly with my all-black going out ensembles, because who wears anything other than black on a night out? –Nikki Chwatt, Editorial Intern
It was love at first sight as soon as I laid my eyes on these beautiful square-toe booties by Scandi brand Eytys. Boots are an absolute staple in my wardrobe and I’m a sucker for a bold square toe, so this pair is my match made in heaven. The sleek, futuristic silhouette makes these the perfect addition to elevate my entire wardrobe. Couple it with a slim-fitting pair of vintage jeans, a sheer top in a groovy pattern, and Telfar’s small black shopping bag—if you’ve been lucky enough to get your hands on one—for the perfect funky, yet sophisticated look. —Chelsea Onyeokeziri, Editorial Intern
Chanel Lambskin, Grosgrain, & Imitation Pearls Ivory & Black
My new favorite fall shoe that my clients are loving is the ever-so-classic and chic Chanel Pearl Pumps. These come in black and white variations, and are the perfect accessory to add to your repertoire for a sexy and sophisticated nod to the Chanel runway this season. Whether paired with an LBD or worn with a sleek cigarette trouser, this statement shoe is my go-to of the season for all my clients. —Dustin Zuber, Private Client Senior Stylist
Dioract Sandals in White/Gold
I spent a day walking around New York City looking for the ideal designer sandal to dress up or dress down; to wear to work or out with friends. These Dior Dioract dad sandals are the most perfect find. They go with every outfit from cropped jeans to flowy dresses—and are the most comfortable shoe in my wardrobe. They instantly elevate every outfit and can be worn wherever the day takes me. Plus, they’re available in black, pink, blue, and white…I wish I owned them in every color! —Marissa Casey Grossman, Head of Partnerships & Business Development
Paris Texas Knee-High Lizard-Embossed Leather Boots
OK, confession: I don’t actually own these boots just yet. But I tried them on and knew I needed them from the moment my foot slipped inside. I’m a die-hard white boot girl (there’s just something about them that makes every outfit look so much cooler), and I have approximately three pairs of shorter booties in this exact style. This year I’m treating myself to a knee-high silhouette with a walkable kitten heel that I know I’ll be able to wear for hours on end. I’ll team these lizard-embossed babies with a leather mini skirt and comfy turtleneck for day, and swap to leggings and an oversized knit for the weekend. It’s a whole mood in a pair of shoes—casual without trying too hard, chic without being fussy, and something that feels like a giant hug for my lower leg (because you best believe I’ll be wearing some cozy wool socks underneath come winter). —Brianna Lapolla, Deputy Editor