I'll be the first to acknowledge that putting the word "cult" before something fashion-related is a bit overdone, but I'm doing it anyway because there's no better way to describe the 20 shoe brands that I'm here to discuss. There are a lot of definitions for cult out there (most of them pretty creepy, as you'd imagine), but the one that best suits the meaning when it comes to fashion is this: excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. In this case, the thing is shoe brands.
When I think of a cult-favorite brand, I don't really put extremely well-known brands in that category, as it's a little obvious. Of course, Gucci and Prada shoes are adored and coveted by all. And while you've probably heard of many of the shoe brands highlighted below, your grandmother probably hasn't. Many of these brands are new, others fly under the radar but are always selling out, and others still may be experiencing a resurgence as of late. (I'm looking at you, Bottega Veneta and Dr. Martens.)
Regardless of the reason for being cult favorites, these brands are all in a league of their own, and the shoes they make reflect that. Since there are so many incredible options to choose from, I reviewed every pair I could find on the internet and chose the one that I think you should buy. It was hardly a chore, but you're welcome.
Amina Muaddi Gilda 95mm Crystal-Embellished Sandals ($685)
Just like the rest of Amina Muaddi's beautiful shoes, these literally take my breath away. I love the simple shape combined with the flashy crystals.
Dear Frances Reed Heels in Tortoise ($345)
Dear Frances has a lot of versatile, comfortable shoes in its lineup, but I'm having trouble thinking of one thing that these heels wouldn't go with.
By Far Kendall Suede-Trimmed Mesh Slingback Pumps ($460)
From boots to kitten-heel sandals, I've yet to meet a pair of By Far shoes I don't love, but this mesh pair is particularly fresh for fall.
Staud Carine Mules ($295)
Staud is relatively new to the shoe game, but every style has been incredible straight out of the gate. I love how subtle and elegant these new mules are.
Neous Jumel Strappy Sandals ($586)
Neous sets a trend with pretty much every pair of its wildly unique heels. Case in point.
Paris Texas Snakeskin Print Boots ($523)
It hasn't been long since Paris Texas burst on the scene, but its boots have quickly become the It boots of 2019. Based on how chic they are, I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Reike Nen Turnover Cutout Leather Sandals ($350)
I'm always impressed by the price point, which is significantly lower than similar brands, of this Korean brand's incredibly forward shoes.
Loq Sol Snake-Effect Leather Sandals ($350)
In-the-know shoppers turn to Loq for its comfortable, California-cool take on the trends, like these snakeskin wedges that you could walk for miles in.
Tamara Mellon Pivot Zebra Haircalf Heels ($495)
I'm particularly smitten with these new zebra pumps (a collaboration with A.L.C.), but I'd gladly take any pair of heels, boots, or flats Tamara Mellon expertly designs.
Dr. Martens Combs W 7 Tie Boots ($90)
Traditional combat boots from Dr. Martens are great and all, but how cool is this all-weather pair for the winter months to come?
Rejina Pyo Lois Leather Slingback Pumps ($545)
Trust me when I say that you need a pair of shoes in this It color, especially when they're from cool-girl brand Rejina Pyo.
Manu Atelier Duck Lace-Up Boots ($545)
These ridiculously cool boots keep popping up on my Instagram feed, with good reason.
Bottega Veneta Calf Hair and Leather Pumps ($870)
Basically every new Bottega Veneta shoe is an It shoe right now, but I can't stop staring at these pumps that are available for preorder.
Malone Souliers Winona 85mm Slingback Pumps ($650)
With pumps as beautiful as these, it's no wonder Malone Souliers has a slew of celebrity fans.
Veja V-10 Low Top Sneakers ($150)
I'm a firm believer that Veja makes the best non-athletic sneakers on the market, and I highly recommend adding this flannel-paneled pair to your fall wardrobe.
Wandler Lotte Leather Mules ($500)
Wandler has been one of the most exciting shoe launches of the year. I can't wait to see what other gems, like these beautiful mules, they come up with.
Studio Amelia 1.4 Croc-Effect Leather Sandals ($260)
Studio Amelia's minimalist sandals are the perfect complement to a warm-weather vacation outfit.
Brother Vellies Audre Sandal In Espresso ($435)
Brother Vellies shoes are like works of art. See for yourself.
Miista Zelie Black Croc Leather Boots ($415)
The fashion crowd is particularly fond of Miista's ankle boots. Can you see why?
Aeyde Beau Leather Ballet Flats ($230)
If you want a source for beautiful, simple shoes that won't do too much harm to your bank account, look no further. Seriously, how great are these ballet flats?
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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