Southern Soles

Recently I decided to clean out my closet. I wanted to update my style to be more preppy, more southern, more me. My goal was to get rid of old clothes and shoes that I no longer wear and hand them down to my younger sister.

Sorting through clothes was easy.

“Yes, I want this shirt.”

“Ew, why did I even buy this?”

“Oh, I forget I had this!”

But when I got to my shoes, that’s when things got tough. I couldn’t bring myself to give away a single pair. I have over 20 pairs of shoes in my closet and I couldn’t convince myself to give away even one pair. Did I really need all of these shoes?

The answer was simple: Yes. I did.

Each pair was specific to an individual event. Each pair had a different purpose. Each pair was special in its own way.

So it is with this groundbreaking realization that I present to you the top ten shoes that every southern girl needs in her closet.

1. Winter Shoes – L.L. Bean boots

These boots are the epitome of funky and functional. People aren’t usually on the fence about these boots. You either love ’em or you hate ’em. Along with many girls in the South, I love ’em. They provide enough room to wear your thick, fuzzy socks so your feet will never get cold. And their rubber soles are perfect for snowy or rainy winter days so your jeans don’t get wet. These boots are sturdy and strong, just like the South, and can withstand the winter elements.

2. Spring Shoes – Jack Rogers Classic Navajos

These sandals by Jack Rogers can dress up or dress down any outfit. Sandals can sometimes be deemed too casual for parties and events; however, Jack Rogers did a great job of creating shoes that are versatile enough to be worn at any respectable social occasion. You can’t go wrong with any of the classic styles or colors shown above. But there are hundreds of color options to choose from so you’ll never have to worry about finding a pair that will match your outfit.

3. Summer Shoes – Rainbow sandals

These flip flops are a staple for a trip to the beach. Comfort is key for Rainbow and they definitely didn’t let us down with these sandals. Their sizes range from itsy-bitsy baby sizes to a giant flip flop that can be found in some of their stores. Rainbow sandals last (almost) forever and will easily become your favorite flip flops. Invest in a pair before your trip to Destin, FL, for Spring Break and you’re sure to fit in with the rest of the well-dressed southern crowd.

4. Fall Shoes – Tory Burch leather riding boots

Ahhh, my absolute favorite. Leather riding boots have been the go-to fall shoes for the past couple of years and leave it to the ultimate prep Tory Burch to keep us coming back for more. Her classic and clean styles are coveted because they can truly go with any outfit in your closet. Sure, they can be a little pricey, but these boots are so well-made that you’ll be wearing them for years to come. Take care of these boots. They will be your new babies. Don’t wear them in the rain. That’s what number six on this list is for!

5. For Work – Tory Burch Reva flats

Living in a city like Austin, you should expect to be doing a lot of walking. Unless you want your feet to hate you, you probably shouldn’t do that walking in heels. Tory Burch’s Reva flats offer a professional look that will keep you feet (and your boss) happy. There are many color and pattern options to choose from to go with any formality of job you have. Made out of genuine leather, these flats will slowly form to the shape of your feet. But make sure you break them before you do a lot of walking to avoid blisters!

6. When It Rains – Hunter wellies

What’s not to love about these shoes? With a name like “wellies,” you know they’re going to be cute. Hunter built up a wellie empire by perfecting the fit and style of rain boots. Although you can never go wrong with black, I suggest buying these boots in a bright color to add a little pep to your step during a rainy day. Accessorize by buying different sock inserts to match your boots. I pray for rainy days just so I’ll have an excuse to break out my Hunter wellies.

7. To Work Out – Nike Free running shoes

These shoes will make you want to work out. With so many color options, you have the opportunity to pick whichever color that matches your style. Don’t like any of the color choices on the website? You can create your own custom color combinations! Bright colors are sure to get you in a good mood to walk your dog, train for a marathon, or even just grocery shop. These running shoes have a pretty much nonexistent sole, making them by far the comfiest pair of tennis shoes I own.

8. On The Boat – Sperry Topsider Boat Shoes

So preppy and so southern for such a long time. My mom wore Sperrys when she was younger. I wear Sperrys. My sister wears Sperrys. Everyone wears Sperrys. And everyone will continue to wear Sperrys because they are sturdy and functional while also being incredibly easy to slip on and off. Even though they’re made of leather, you don’t have to worry about getting them wet because that’s what they’re made for! You will wear these shoes until they have holes in them and the soles are coming off. Literally.

9. For Parties/Tea/Brunch – Wedges

Wedges are one of the greatest inventions for women because they combine the height of high heels without sacrificing the comfort of a sandal. To find the perfect wedges, look for these three things. First, lean more towards natural colors like beige, tan, and brown, because they’re more versatile. Next, find wedges with ankle straps. They take the load off of your feet more than you think, so they’re definitely not something you should skip out on. And lastly, platforms add height without adding stress to your feet.

10. For Game Day – Cowboy boots

Southerners love their college football. It’s practically a religion. And if it’s a religion, well then, cowboy boots are a prayer. Almost everyone everywhere in the South wears cowboy boots to football games. They add a cute country touch to a game day sundress. You’ll always look appropriate in a plain brown style. But if you can find them, buy some that are specific to your school. While they can be a little obnoxious, you’ll treasure them more. They’re sure to remind you of lots of great stories. And in the South, stories are what keep the memories alive.