9 French Shoe Styles To Own

Here is your guide to the 9 French shoe styles to own, for that chic, timeless, style French women are known for. These are 9 French shoe styles to wear throughout each season, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and all year round.

French women are known for their classic wardrobe basics and effortless styles. The best part though, is you don’t have to be French or live in Paris to emulate that sophisticated style.

9 French Shoe Styles To Own

1. Ballet Flats

French shoe styles to own like this pair of chanel ballet flats.

Ballet flats are the quintessential shoe for French women, and you will find them in most closets. As we come upon the spring season, this is a chic Parisian style, I will be reaching for over and over. Ballet flats are those iconic French shoes, that never seem to go out of style, and they are on the top trend list of spring shoes every season.

You can easily wear ballet flats with jeans, trousers, and even a dress or skirt. My favorite way to wear them is with a pair of straight-leg jeans, a blazer, a T-shirt, and a market tote, inspired by French women of course.

Go with a basic black or brown pair which are versatile colors to easily mix and match. Since ballet flats continue to be on trend every season there are many different styles and price points you can choose from.

My favorite pair are from the Danza, from M.Gemi, they have a tiny wedge that provides more support than a completely flat shoe. Other places for flats are Sézane, Madewell, and Everlane. Investment options are this block heel pair from Aeyde, this iconic French pair from Manolo Blahnik, and Mansur Gavriel.


2. Loafers

Loafers are one of my favorite French shoe styles to own and also to wear during the spring and fall seasons. They are another chic shoe option that tends to be more flat-style, although you can get lug sole loafers as well.

One of my favorite ways to wear loafers is with jeans, a sweater or button-down, and a trench coat. Loafers add a polished and elevated vibe to any outfit and are extremely comfortable, providing you have the right pair. Above, I am wearing the Charlotte Loafers from ba&sh Paris which were my favorite to wear during the fall season.

Some of my favorite loafer options are from Sézane and the Amy Loafer, a pair I am wearing for spring. The tassel feature is so timeless and they are the perfect casual chic pair for this season. I also love the Albane Loafer as well as it resembles some I saw on the streets of Paris this past fall. This is the perfect Parisian chic outfit and one I intend to recreate this season.

Shoe styles French women wear.

French women have also embraced the sock and loafer look as well with cropped jeans or a mini skirt.

Other favorite budget-friendly loafer options are these from Sam Edelman, and Vernon Loafer from Madewell.

Investment loafer options are 59C Penny Loafer from Tod’s, and the Gucci Horsebit, which I own, and I have to say I wish they had a bit of a heel to them. They are a bit too flat-footed although they are iconic and beautiful.


3. Mary Janes

Mary Janes or block heels as they are often referred to are the perfect French shoe style to own when you want an elevated heel plus comfort. They are pump shoes with a strap across the top of the foot.

They can come in varying heel heights, with the lower-heeled versions often referred to as babies. I’ve had these Paula Babies from Sézane on my wish list for the new season. I also own a black pair from Jonak that I bought in Paris years ago, this pair from J.Crew, is similar.

My ultimate wishlist is these Roger Vivier crystal-embellished pair, which are so chic and sophisticated.


4. Slingback Pumps

French girl shoes that French women own and wear like these chanel inspired styles.

Sophisticated and elevated are two words to describe the French girl shoe, slingbacks, which are a must-have French shoe style to own. You can dress these up casual chic with trousers and a silk top. Or dress them down but still elevated with jeans and a blazer.

The most iconic of slingback pumps is the Chanel beige body and black cap-toe, of course, this isn’t the most affordable option. I own this French Sole pair, from Tuckernuck and have worn them year-round with pants and denim. They are incredibly versatile and still chic-looking, without the Chanel price tag.

Slingbacks do come in a variety of styles either with a cap toe or more of a pointed toe and different heel heights. These Sam Edelman are a great pointed-toe style slingback at an affordable cost.


5. Espadrilles

Woman standing against wall wearing black dress with black espadrilles and belt.

Espadrilles are another iconic French shoe style to own especially for the spring and summer seasons. Whenever I think of Espadrilles, it always reminds me of St. Tropez and somewhere in the South of France. I can’t think of Espadrilles without automatically thinking of French women and a market tote.

I own the Carina Espadrilles in both ivory and black and wear them all summer long especially with dresses and skirts.


6. Sandals

9 french shoe styles to own that are classic, chic, and timeless.

Sandals are of course the ultimate style for the spring and summer seasons. They are classic and timeless, come in a variety of colors and styles and you can wear them with basically any outfit.

One you will find French women wearing during the summer season is the French brand, K Jacques St. Tropez. The sandals are sexy, comfortable, and still handmade in France. I wore these throughout our month in Paris during the summer and they were so comfortable and stylish.

Another sandal style I saw Parisians wearing during the summer is Birkenstocks, and I have to admit this is a sandal style that comes as a bit of a surprise to me. Although I appreciate the simplicity of the Birkenstock, I can’t say it’s the most chic-looking sandal.

Other French shoe styles to own for sandals I love are these high Maxine Heeled Sandals.


7. Sneakers

Shoe styles French women wear and own like sneakers.

Over the years, sneakers have become a mainstay, on the streets of Paris. Now, more than ever you will see French people wearing sneakers casually with dresses and jeans or dressed up with trousers. As always though, the French women seem to make wearing sneakers look more chic than most.

French women keep their sneakers simple though still, not a lot of bright colors or animal print-looking sneakers. They wear plain white with brands like VEJA, Stan Smith, and even New Balance and NIKE.


8. Boots

French shoes French women own and wear like ankle boots to look classic, timeless, and chic.

During the fall and winter seasons, you will see French women wearing ankle boots to keep their feet warm and stylish in a variety of fabrics and colors. My favorite ankle boot this season has been the Axelle Ankle Boot from Sézane, which I have worn all season long.

Tall boots are also a French shoe style to own for the cold winter months when you want to still look elevated and put together. I love to wear tall boots with knit dresses and silk skirts and sweaters.

Both styles of boots are French shoe styles that are extremely versatile, and stylish, and can be worn casually or dressed up.


9. Evening Shoes

French shoe styles to own now like these gold sandals from Sezane.

When those special occasions or nights out present themselves, you will find French women wearing classic slingbacks, pumps, or even strappy sandals for an evening out.

A favorite pair of evening shoes I love to wear casually or dressed up are these Gloria Sandals from Sézane which are super chic and comfortable with the block heel.

Kitten heels are a stylish option as well for the evening like this pair from Inez, and these from J.Crew.

On my list for evening shoes is this iconic pair from Manolo Blahnik, which I try on every time I am in Paris. One day, I will add this French brand to my repertoire.


Hopefully, this has helped to show 9 French shoe styles to own these upcoming seasons for stylish, chic, and timeless outfit appeal.

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  1. Hi Patricia,
    Thank You, Yes, you are correct! And the shoes are undeniably chic as you described!
    Thank you so much for reading, I truly appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Hopefully, you will get to Paris soon, but in the meantime I will keep helping to keep that Francophile feeling alive.
    Have a great day,

  2. Hello Noelani, lovely article, as always! I just have one small correction – Manolo Blahnik is not a French brand. He is Spanish, and started his business in London; Wikipedia tells me that the flagship store is on Old Church Street in Chelsea. BUT – the shoes are undeniably chic!
    I love reading your newsletter and blog – it’s been quite a few years since I was last in Paris, but Air France has just started a direct service from Ottawa to CDG, so hopefully it will be in my future.
    Your Parisian retreats look so wonderful – unfortunately not in my budget, but I will enjoy reading about your trips. Have fun!

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