There's much to love about a comfortable pair of sneakers or supportive sandals that complement an entire closet worth of easy summer outfits, but there's nothing quite as satisfying as finding an amazing pair of dress shoes. We may have spent a year-and-a-half rarely getting dressed up, but the return to offices, events, and elaborate dinner dates means you'll likely be searching for elevated, elegant footwear for the occasion. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Generally speaking, dress shoes don't all fit the same description for silhouette, color, or heel height. That's a good thing because it means the market offers more than one way to wear polished footwear. For instance, those with classic, unfussy style may be pulled toward a penny loafer, while others more daring may choose a strappy sandal with a unique heel shape. With both these types — and many more — in mind, we've compiled the best dress shoes for women ahead, organized into the six common categories they fall into: ballet flats, loafers, pumps, sandals, mules, and booties.
Here are the best women's dress shoes in 2021:
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