But with a bit of preparation, savvy shoppers can insure that they're ready for whatever situation life throws at them -- at least when it comes to their shoes.
Below are the basics, the must-haves, the staples. Whatever you want to call them, they're the top ten shoe styles that most women should own.
1. The "Little Black Dress" of Shoes - Low Heeled Black Pumps
Basic pumps, like the ones shown here, are versatile enough to pair with anything, and they feature extremely low and wearable heels.
Feel free to go higher if you prefer but, for this particular must-have, don't go much taller than 3-inches. Anything more might come off as too sexy for this essential.
2. The "New Black" - Neutral Pumps
Even with as versatile as black pumps are, they simply will not go with everything.
Add a neutral colored (not white) pump to your collection, and you'll have the the "basic pump" category of women's shoes covered.
Your best bet is to go for a classic design that will work season after season, and year after year.
3. The "Bread and Butter" of Women's Shoes - Semi-Casual Flats
You'll want a pair of shoes that will look cute with jeans, but aren't so casual that you couldn't wear nicer slacks with them too.
These pretty smoking slipper-inspired loafers are a great example the kind of shoes I'm talking about.
To keep things from getting too boring, you can look for unique colors, patterns or textures. But really, any simple, somewhat dressy flat will do.
4. The "Must-Have" Heels - Black High-Heeled Dress Shoes Shoe
Nothing too strappy, nothing too trendy. Remember these are the basics -- but a pair of black, dressy high heels are definitely essential.
This will be your pair of go-to evening shoes, so you'll want something that will work with dress pants, a cocktail dress, basically any evening outfit.
These sexy pumps are a prime example of a stunning but classic design.
For evening shoes (even the most basic ones), I like uppers made from fabrics like satin, velvet or suede, as they're generally dressier than smooth leathers.
As far as heel height, choose something at the medium to higher end of your comfort range, to insure they feel dressy enough, but are still comfortable.
For most women, this will be somewhere between 2.5 to 4.5 inches tall.
5. The "Show Stopper" - Metallic High Heels
There are some special occasion outfits that won't work well with black shoes. For those situations, you'll want a pair of dazzling metallic evening shoes.
They can be open-toed pumps, or strappy sandals, it doesn't matter, as long as they're dressy enough for evenings, since that's really the only time you'll be wearing them.
Shoes like the ones pictured here are ideal for pastels, light neutrals, and whites, but they will still work well with black dresses too.
6. The "Comfort Food" of Shoes - Your Everyday Shoes
Only you can be the judge of what will work best as your "every day" shoe. But whether it's a sneaker, a loafer or a flip-flop; comfort, fit and style should be key in choosing the right shoes for your everyday wear.
I wear a lot of jeans, so I'm a sucker for cute and casual flats, like the any of the Sidewalk Surfers from Sanuk. I often opt for bright and unique colors, because they add a bit of personality to even the most basic of outfits.
7. The "Walk in the Park" of Footwear - A Pair of Comfy Sneakers
Again, the choice is yours, but whether it's a little white pointy sneaker, or an edgy, retro high top, every wardrobe needs a pair of comfortable sneakers.
This simple sneaker from Puma is one of my favorite styles. It's perfect for walks in the park, and trips to the grocery store.
8. The "Instant Make-Over" - Heeled Casual Shoes and Booties
Nothing can dress up a casual outfit and make you feel better about yourself, like adding a bit of height. It doesn't matter how high or low the heel is, it's just about getting out of flats for a bit.
Look for casual booties, sandals, or shoes with a bit of a heel for times when you want to be chic, even in jeans. But remember, comfort still counts, so don't go too crazy.
9. The Alternative to Women's Shoes - Tall Boots
Every woman's wardrobe should have at least one pair of basic boots in brown or black. I like tall boots with a low heel that can go casual or dressy.
10. The "Warm Cup of Cocoa" - Cozy Slippers
I'm not talking about "glamorous" slippers here. I'm talking about, after a shower, sitting around in your bathrobe, talking on the phone kind of slippers.
Slippers like these fluffy thongs are exactly what I'm talking about.
After all, whatever shoes you wear during the day, you're feet will appreciate being pampered at night.