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Party Shoes: Where To Find (and How To Wear) Festive Footwear for Every Occasion

Festive season or not, party shoes are an absolute essential for special occasions. But often, the number of options available can leave one feeling absolutely lost. After all, this isn’t just a trend — party shoes can most definitely be counted as wardrobe essentials, coming in handy for everything from work events to dinners, and grander moments like weddings. Given their importance, it’s essential to invest in pairs that are as wearable as they are good looking.The right party wear sandals for women should be durable, on-trend, and if you like to keep your wardrobe minimal, extremely versatile. But where can you find your ideal pair? And which shoes are the most comfortable party shoes? Below, your ultimate guide on festive footwear.

Vogue Arabia, December 2021. Photo: Tina Patni

First things first: How many pairs of shoes should you have?

When it comes to accessories, it often feels like the sky is the limit. After all, shoes and bags can change the look of even the simplest of outfits — try pairing your favorite white shirt and jeans with boots, sneakers, and stilettos, and you’ll instantly understand what we mean. That being said, fashion pros have been able to break things down over the years to give us a definitive list of the key pieces every individual should own, and it rounds off to five pairs of shoes.

  • Flats: A no-brainer for long days, flats are perhaps the most important shoes in one’s closet. One can even go with party flats for events like casual brunches or afternoon celebrations.
  • Trainers or running shoes: A simple pair of white sneakers can take you through workouts, long days of travel, and even parties. Read more to find out how you can make your favorite kicks work for a sneaker ball party.
  • Black pumps: Timeless and elegant, black heels are a must-have. You’ll never go wrong with these — black party shoes and black dresses always make a winning pair, and they also work with other colors easily for special occasions.
  • Sandals: Take them to the beach, the movies, or to a big night out. Party sandals are slowly but surely become a favorite, and Barbie’s love for Birkenstocks in 2023’s movie has only made comfortable party shoes more popular.
  • Black or brown boots: Perfect for the colder months of the year, mid-calf to knee-high boots will never fail you. Bonus: They make the ideal party shoes if you love to make a statement.

A complete guide: What party shoes to wear for different occasions

While party shoes with low heels make the easiest choice for most occasions (think conferences, office parties, formal dinners and family gatherings), other celebrations can be a tad tricker to find the ideal footwear for. Below, we highlight three major events, and the ideal shoes for each.

Clubbing shoes

  • What shoes should you wear when clubbing? This is an occasion that allows you to go all-out with your footwear choices, so feel free to experiment with bold colors, playful prints, and lots of embellishment.
  • Keep an eye out for dancing shoes that let you to enjoy the night on your feet without leaving you with cuts or bruises.
  • While closed-toe heels can sometimes pinch feet, open-toed party sandals often allow more ease of movement, adjusting to the shape of your foot as you move.
  • If you’re ready for something novel, why not opt for boots instead of open sandals? Just like sneakers, boots are protective, but can also elevate a party outfit.
  • Stilettos can get uncomfortable after one to two hours of wear. To make sure you’re comfortable through the evening, opt for block heels or wedges. Wider bases offer extra support and help spread body weight.
  • Vogue tip: Opt for sturdy footwear to ensure your shoes stay put and you don’t lose your balance through the night.
  • Below, five pairs of clubbing shoes worth investing in:

Apollo studded leather wedge ankle boots, Khaite


Devon iridescent PVC mules, The Attico


Rockstud 60 leather mules, Valentino Garavani


Wow 95 metallic leather wedge sandals, Aquazzura

Bridal party shoes

  • There’s no dearth of inspiration when one searches for heels for a wedding party, but the easiest way to zero in on the perfect pair is to go with shoes that match the palette of your outfit to create a perfectly streamlined look.
  • The perfect bridal party sandals are feminine and romantic, but also let you carry out all your pre-wedding duties — so make sure they’re comfortable!
  • If you fancy yourself a not-so-basic bride or bridesmaid, you can also consider mixing things up with bridal party sneakers. Go with kicks featuring traditionally wedding-esque details like lace and delicate sparkles.
  • Vogue tip: Whether you’re the bride or a bridesmaid, bridal parties often call for coordinated ensembles, so make sure to go with shoes that also complement the palette of the bridesmaids’ looks.
  • Below, five pairs of bridal party shoes worth investing in:

Camellia bow-embellished plissé-organza sandals, Loeffler Randall


Lace Up Kate 85 satin-trimmed corded lace pumps, Christian Louboutin


Lauren scalloped lace, leather and canvas sneakers, Chloé


Triple Heart crystal-embellished satin platform pumps, Mach & Mach

Sneaker ball shoes

  • What is a sneaker ball? Simply put, it’s a formal ball or gala-style event where guests have the freedom to go all-out with their footwear and are encouraged to pair their evening gowns with sneakers.
  • While many may not have heard of sneaker balls, these celebrations are becoming increasingly popular. Remember when Cardi B attended one back in 2021?
  • If you’ve found yourself with an invite to a sneaker ball-style party, fret not. All you need is a black tie ensemble, and a pair of all-eyes-on-me sneakers to pair them with.
  • Vogue tip: Sneaker balls are a favorite post Covid-19 due to the fact that they allow guests to enjoy their evening in total comfort. Use this opportunity to make the most of your comfy shoes.
  • Below, five pairs of sneaker ball shoes worth investing in:

Greca Sneakers, Versace

Gucci Run sneakers, Gucci

Oversized sneakers, Alexander McQueen

Triple S Sneakers, Balenciaga

How to match your dress, shoes and handbag

Victoria Beckham color blocks her dress with her shoes and bag. Photo:

Now that you’ve stocked your closet with the perfect festive footwear, you’re all set to put your party hat on. But how does one go about making sure their party shoes and bag match? Below, a few pointers on creating an outfit that looks perfectly styled for your next night out.

The best tricks to match your party shoes with your handbags and outfit

  • If bringing outfits together always seems like a challenge, the easiest hack in the book is to invest in party shoes and bags in matching tones. Naturally, owning party shoes and matching handbags in every color of the rainbow isn’t easy on the pocket or the environment (or closet space, for that matter), so a great way around this dilemma is to pick up shoes and bags in universally flattering shades like black, white, browns, or metallics. Gold and silver will never fail you on festive occasions, while neutral hues will work well for more formal outings.
  • If you’re up to mixing things up in your closet, why not try your hand at color-blocking? Party handbags in pop hues contrast beautifully with shoes from the opposite side of the color wheel. Take cues from the likes of  Victoria Beckham and Dima Al Sheikhly to nail the trend.
  • When in doubt, pair your party shoes with tights. Now very much back in vogue, tights have made a strong comeback, appearing on the runways of Schiaparelli, Prada, Saint Laurent, and many more. Not only do they keep you warm on chilly nights, they also have a way of magically bringing a look together.

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