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Hey, we love a good footwear trend and all, but our favorite shoes are the classics. Click through for nine pairs that are always in style.
Frye Harness Boots
Dating back to the 1863 launch of John A. Frye's namesake footwear factory, this sturdy style has weathered over a century's worth of changing trends. Pioneers, cowboys and hippies alike have given it their stamp of approval, making each pair seem timeless, impossible to tie to one era. Of course, it's easy to see why these boots have stuck around so long: besides having a rough-and-tumble cool factor, they're all but indestructible. We're not saying to walk yours through a giant pile of mud…but you could.
Bass Weejuns
While 1876 might be the year G.H. Bass & Co. opened shop, 1936 is a far more important date far the brand. That's when its signature penny loafer style, based on the Norwegian farm shoe, landed on the footwear scene to almost instant success. Since then, the design's spawned about a million similar spinoffs, but Bass' version is one of the top-quality options out there—each pair is bench crafted and hand stitched. Oh, and did we mention that it comes in basically every color that exists?
K. Jacques Sandals
When American refugee Jacques Keklikian opened his French Riviera sandal shop in 1933, his target customers were local fishermen ("les pêcheurs"). His handcrafted designs didn't stay on the decks of fishing boats for long, though: by the mid-'50s, K. Jacques had solidified its status as the jet set's go-to summer shoe. The brand's signature leather styles have endured the test of time, and are sold in high-end stores around the world (although it's worth visiting his original atelier abroad if you can!).
Ferragamo Vara Pumps
This practical, low pump somehow manages to work for college girls, young professionals and grannies alike—which is probably why its design hasn't changed in over 35 years (the style debuted in 1978). Because it's been going strong for more than three decades, Varas are easy to buy vintage (or, if you're lucky, to find in an older relative's closet), but it's worth paying for a new pair, too. You'll have yours until a future daughter, granddaughter or niece "borrows" them, we swear.
Bean Boots
Guaranteed to sell out every winter, these waterproof boots have been the gold standard of bad-weather footwear since the early 20th century. Why? Functionality, for sure, plays a huge factor, as does the design's surprising versatility; something about the Paul-Bunyan-joins-the-Dead-Poet's-Society look just works, with everything from short girly dresses to slouchy boyfriend jeans.
Stuart Weitzman 5050 Boots
By crafting a back panel from stretchy elastic and keeping the heel low and walkable, eponymous designer Stuart Weitzman made these this most comfortable over-the-knee boot ever. Although the style's been around for just over 20 years now, it feels timeless, and continues to find it way into the most stylish women's wardrobes. (Including Kate Moss, so obviously we all need a pair, right?)
Doc Martens
The great thing about a pair of Docs is that it instantly reminds people of the '90s, yet doesn't feel dated. As senior fashion writer Jayna Maleri discovered, though, the style was actually invented by a German doctor named Klaus Maertens in 1960, so it was actually around way before grunge was a thing. Makes yours work for any era by pairing it with skinny shredded jeans and floral dresses, à la Courtney Love (without the messy hair and make-up—think homage, not costume).
Converse Sneakers
It's basically impossible to walk down any street in the 50 states for longer than five minutes without spotting a pair of these quintessentially American kicks. Still, while the shoes's become a solid fixture on the modern casualwear scene, it debuted in 1917 as basketball footwear. When it started working its way into popular culture nearly half a century later, the company stopped focusing on sports and began experimenting with lower-cut styles and new colors. Thank goodness for that—can you even imagine how uncomfortable running in Chucks would be (no matter how good Kirsten Dunst makes it look in Wimbledon)?
Manolo Blahnik BB Pumps
Although most people first associate Carrie Bradshaw with the Blahnik brand, these single sole pumps are named for another famous style icon: Brigitte Bardot. Between the pointy toes and slim stiletto rise, it's easy to see not only how the famously sexy French actress influenced the design, but also ladylike '50s fashion in general. The style's so completely classic, we can hardly believe it's only been around since 2009.