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9 Shoes I'm Ditching to Upgrade My Style

Now that you're familiar with a few general things Who What Wear editors are giving up to be more stylish, it's time to get a little more specific and talk about the item that can make or break a look: shoes. We all have those shoes we hold onto for a bit too long (I know I do), whether it's for sentimental reasons or simply because we loved them once (probably a little too much, based on their worn-out appearance), but the truth is they're taking up space that could be used for shoes that are in style. Cue my trip to Goodwill to donate them, so they can go to a new home and be saved for the next time they inevitably come back around. 

Frustrating as it may be shoes can go in and out of the trend zone in the blink of an eye, and wearing an "out" pair can instantly make my entire look feel dated. Accordingly, I came to the conclusion that there are nine styles in particular that no longer have a place in your wardrobe in 2021—and that I don't think will be back in anytime soon. On the bright side, there are nine alternate styles that either lean more classic or are trends that have proven their staying power. Ready to join me in upgrading your style via your shoe collection this year?

Find out which shoes I'm tossing and keeping (or adding to my closet) below.

DITCH: Wedge-Heel Boots
KEEP: Block-Heel Boots

Block heels are equally walkable as wedge heels but look much more polished and forward than wedges ever did.

DITCH: Platform Pumps
KEEP: Single-Sole Pumps

While pumps will always be classic go-to's when seeking polished shoes, the thick platform pumps that everyone used to teeter around in are (hopefully) gone for good.

DITCH: Gladiator Sandals
KEEP: Naked Sandals

Gladiator sandals had their moment in the sun, but the complicated, typically unflattering style has since been replaced by something refreshingly simpler: the celebrity-approved naked sandals.

DITCH: Dirty, Damaged Shoes
KEEP: Well-Made Classics

If a pair of shoes is damaged beyond repair or isn't worth the money or hassle required to get it repaired, ditch it and invest in quality shoes that will last and become wardrobe staples.

DITCH: Cheap Flip-Flops
KEEP: Slide Sandals

Flip-flops are definitely back but those old rubber iterations I was fond of in college have hit the discard pile. On the other hand, you can't go wrong with a pair of slides, whether sporty or sleek.

DITCH: Peep-Toe Shoes
KEEP: V-Neck Shoes

While peep toes of any heel height are currently passé, V-neck options have stuck around, thanks to their foot-flattering capabilities and modern look. 

DITCH: Wedge Sneakers
KEEP: Simple, Clean Sneakers

The same as I did with my dated wedge-heel boots, I'm swapping my wedge sneakers of seasons long past for ones that are much more classic and minimal.

DITCH: Flatforms
KEEP: Mules

While "ugly" sandals are still a thing, but I predict the flatform iterations won't be forever. On the flip side, mules are still going strong and have become a classic in every woman's shoe collection.

DITCH: Goofy Printed Rain Boots
KEEP: Sleek Rubber Boots

Looking polished in inclement weather is no small feat. I'm maintaining polish by swapping cheap-looking printed boots for a more elevated, neutral-hued pair.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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