I’ve Done the Research—These Are The Footwear Brands Every French Girl Loves

Anne-Victoire Lefevre wears a pair of heeled pumps from Michel Vivien.

I firmly believe that the French beat the British hands down at two things: cheese on toast (sorry, but the croque monsieur is infinitely superior) and effortless dressing. Take one look at Instagram and you’ll understand why Brits everywhere spent the summer in one of Jeanne Damas’s Rouje dresses or while everything from Breton knits to great denim reigns supreme. But there is one surefire way to channel French girl chic that doesn’t even require a piece of clothing. My advice? Forget the top half for a second and think of something further south that you can add a Parisian touch to: your shoes.

Adenorah wears a pair of patent Mary-Janes from Carel.

You see the French have a similar knack with footwear as they do with with fromage. But while everyone knows the wonders of gruyère, few have spent time seeking out chaussures. Well, I’ve done the research and am here to tell you that it’s definitely worth scouring French fashion houses for chic footwear. French favourites like Sézane are great for comfortable daytime heels, Bobbies is a classic for colour-block trainers and Ba&sh is loved for its stylish ankle boots, but don’t forget the lesser-known labels that specialise in footwear, too.

Keep scrolling to discover the sixteen best French shoe brands that will take your wardrobe from meh to magnifique in no time.

A romantic French label with a rock ‘n’ roll soul, Ba&sh has garnered a global fanbase who’ve fallen for its easy-to-wear clothing and accessories. The footwear range includes bohemian-style boots, flats and sneakers that echo the trends yet are designed to last.

Add a stiletto heel and you’ve got a modern take on the western boot.

Wear with dresses, wide-leg jeans, culottes—anything, really.

Paris-based Jonak makes affordable shoes that don’t skimp on playful design details. The elegant Ballerines have an almond-shaped toe and a contrasting leather cap, while the suede knee-highs are just thing to perk up an LBD.

Perfect for those upcoming weddings where you want to keep your toes warm and your heels at floor height.

Nothing says ‘Parisian’ like a suede knee-high boot.

You’ve probably already spotted Carel’s signature Mary Jane pumps on Instagram. Everyone from Alexa Chung to Lucy Boynton has a pair, and with their dainty silhouette and trio-strap detailing, it’s easy to understand why.

This picture-perfect Mary Jane has become a staple in French girls’ wardrobes.

Add a platform heel to riff on retro styling.

Founded in Paris by childhood friends, Bobbies is as French as it comes. The vintage-inspired collection of suede-panelled trainers, snaffle loafers and heeled boots is crafted in Portugal using traditional techniques and high-quality leather.

This colour palette feels perfect for autumn.

Party season is coming. We’ll say no more.

Repetto was founded in 1947 near the Opéra National de Paris as a ballet slipper company. Fast-forward 70 years, and it’s still making pointe shoes, leotards and tunics, as well as collaborating on ballet pumps with designers such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Commes des Garçons and Karl Lagerfeld. The classic ballerina slippers are perfect for wearing with skinny jeans.

Of course, we couldn’t do a round-up of French footwear without including at least one ballet flat.

I’m sure you’ll pull these timeless ankle boots out year after year. 

With experience designing shoes for Christian Dior, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent, our footwear needs feel safe in the hands of Michel Vivien. His eponymous label focuses on timelessness and femininity, creating seasonless soles free from fuss and frills. 

Patent boots pair so well with mini skirts—which happen to be extremely on-trend this season.

Comfy all-day heels your feet will thank you for.

You may not have heard of Robert Clergerie, but we’ll no doubt you’ll soon find a pair of loafers or chunky boots that feels destined for your wish list. Each pair is made in France, in a decades-old Romans-sur-Isère workshop.

We’re currently wearing loafers with everything from flares to midi skirts.

These platform boots will add a retro twist to any party-season look.

It was Amélie Pichard’s stint in the workshop of a Parisian shoemaker that sealed her fate. “The strong smell of dust, glue and leather sparked my passion for shoemaking, and I never wanted to leave,” she says. Her shoes range from eye-catching snakeskin boots to kitschy sandals.

Wear these statement snakeskin boots with an all black ensemble.

Fashion girls love clogs, and now I do, too!

As the brainchild of Jeanne Damas, it’s not surprising that Rouje is a brand characterised by effortlessness, simplicity and enduring design. When we’re not wearing its signature slip dresses, the boot selection has got our attention…

A forever classic. Plain and simple, I know I’ll get so much wear out of these.

I own knee-highs and ankle boots, but not a calf-high boot like these. Yet…

Minelli is Paris’s answer to Office or Aldo. You can shop its inexpensive but surprisingly premium shoes which often feel bang-on-trend. Right now, we’ve got our eyes on its loafer selection. Super, non?

Embrace sultry styling and pair this thigh-high silhouette with a short hemline.

Warm brown tones are a non-negotiable for autumn.

Sézane has made quite a name for itself in recent years; as a one-stop shop for clothing, accessories and jewellery, it’s an easy place to go to achieve French style quickly. What makes it special? The attention to detail and materials shouldn’t be overlooked, plus as a B-Corp certified brand, it’s got some strong sustainability credentials.

Choose Sézane’s footwear when you want something a little different, but thoroughly French.

Take from the office to Friday night drinks.

The new wave of minimalist design has inspired a multitude of trainer brands. Some are closely associated with expert craftsmanship, whilst others are solely focused on the art of simplicity. Zespa is known for both. 

Wear these retro kicks day in, day out.

Just add jeans and an oversized jumper.

Inspired by volume and proportion rather than fashion trends, French designer Pierre Hardy is renowned for his sculptural shoes. His boots are our favourite—often panelled with buttery soft suede in autumnal colours. 

In case you missed the memo: Lug-soled boots are here to stay.

Now that’s a heel worth suffering for. Not that you’ll need to—Pierre Hardy’s boots are super comfortable.

Family-run footwear label Sartore was founded by the couple Paul and Marcelle Sartore in the South of France. The brand plays with masculine and feminine influences to create a range of sharp, sophisticated styles. With clogs and cowboy boots in its latest collection, Sartore could quickly become your go-to brand this season.

French women are fully embracing the cowboy boot trend.

Wear with thick-knit socks in the cooler months.

“There is no need to suffer for beauty” is French cordwainer Laurence Dacade’s philosophy. Trained at the AFPIC School of Shoe Design and official footwear designer for Chanel, she uses her in-depth knowledge of construction to create comfortable styles that are feminine and functional. 

The kind of boot you’ll slip on every day.

Parisians might prefer pared-back style, but there’s always room for a little fun.

Roger Vivier opened his first boutique in Paris in 1937 and famously created heels for Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot and Queen Elizabeth II. Today, each shoe and accessory epitomizes the effortless elegance and je ne sais quoi of Inès de la Fressange, the brand’s ambassador. 

An elevated Chelsea boot belongs in every footwear collection.

When you’re going out-out but can’t hack heels, this is the shoe for you.

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

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