Fashion 411: Every shoe closet needs the basics

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Shoes: More Important Than You Thought
I am a complete sucker for shoes. Honestly, if I could live in my heels, I would. But, of course, heels are hard to walk in and shoes are hard to find. I know, finding the right pair is a big dilemma, but I have a few tips that will land you the perfect pair.
First of all, every shoe closet should consist of a few types of basic shoes. Flats, pumps, peep-toe heels, embellished heels, gladiator sandals and boots are the bare essentials.
Flats are comfortable and stylish if they are embellished or decorated. Pumps are a must-have for fancy outings, or even just a day on the town with a pair of jeans and a fun T-shirt. Make sure to buy a pair of black ones for a more polished look, and then a pair or two in beautiful colors
When considering a high-heel purchase, make sure to try out that beloved pair of stilettos on the hardest floor in the store before you purchase them.
Peep-toe heels are very feminine, especially in neutral colors, and can be worn casually or with a dressy outfit. I have gray Versace lace-up peep-toes with five-inch faux crocodile skin heels, and I adore them so much that they are on display in my room just so that I can see them every day.
Next, embellished heels are the place to let out your sense of style when it comes to shoes. They can be sparkly or studded, and will always spice up a simple outfit. Gladiator sandals, on the other hand, can be heels or just flats. Before you buy them, make sure they fit perfectly around your ankles, as the ankle strap is the most important part of the sandal.
Boots should be the final addition to your shoe collection. I have a pair of black high heels that come to just below my knee, but you can also go for a pair without heels.
A good pair of boots can sometimes be an expensive investment, so choose them wisely and make sure they are comfortable, too.
If you purchase a pair of shoes that you want to last forever, maintain them by taking them to a shoe repair expert. A rubber sole can be added to make that pair of shoes very reliable. Or you can get them resoled when the soles wear out.  
You can easily find gel pads to stick into the back of the heel to avoid slippage, or to put in the bottom of the shoe, beneath the front part of your foot, that usually carries the burden of most of the weight — and most of the pain.
No matter what you do, a few good pairs of shoes are necessary to life, but only if you find the right pair and resole them to last that long.

--Alexandra Hehlen