Chanel shoes are something unique, classy, and always wearable. Fashionistas and minimalists alike are sure to appreciate a Chanel shoe, which is guaranteed to look stylish at every occasion.
Chanel shoes represent the Chanel lifestyle: the lifestyle of a woman who is active yet always elegant, a woman who likes to travel and explore but can be ready at a moment’s notice for any sophisticated affair.
Chanel shoes are not single-occasion accessories: a pump can be worn for a day of business meetings or at an evening cocktail party, while a ballerina flat can be worn for a day of shopping or for a day at the office. After all, as Coco Chanel herself proclaimed, “with four pairs of shoes, I can travel the world.”
If you think it’s time for you to invest in a pair of Chanel shoes, then we’re here to help. We’ve gathered the 17 most iconic Chanel shoes, starting with the classics but also featuring some newer designs. We also give a brief history of the House of Chanel’s footwear creation, which will further illuminate Coco Chanel’s and Karl Lagerfeld’s philosophy towards shoe design.
To finish things off, I want to make sure you are never made the fool: Chanel shoes are some of the most frequently counterfeited fashion items, so I’ve put together a guide to identifying fake vs. authentic Chanel shoes.
Your Ultimate Guide to Chanel Shoes: Contents
From all-time classics to athleisure sneakers to classy boots, these are the best Chanel shoes you should consider investing in!
1. Chanel Two-Tone Slingbacks
The Chanel two-tone slingback is the shoe that started it all! It was introduced in 1957, and being the designer’s first shoe, a ton of thought went into its design and construction. The original color is nude and black, with the nude intended to elongate the leg, while the black cap at the end intended to shorten the foot – a remarkable flattering effect.
These Chanel shoes were also designed to fit almost any occasion, as Coco Chanel herself said, “we leave in the morning with a beige and black, we lunch with beige and black, we go to a cocktail party with the beige and black. We are dressed from morning to night!”
The original design had a blocky heel, but after a few short years it was abandoned for an itty-bitty one. In 2014, Karl Lagerfeld simultaneously brought us back to the past while also modernizing the Chanel slingback with a sturdier heel even blockier than the original, for which our feet are mighty thankful.
These days Chanel slingbacks come in various two-tone options and at various heights, but the classic beige and black still rule. They are made of goatskin, with grosgrain for the toe cap, and are best purchased directly from Chanel.
2. Chanel Two-Tone Ballerina Flats
The Chanel ballerina flat is nearly as iconic as the slingback! These flats have remained true to their classic shape for many years now, simultaneously exuding both femininity and easy comfort.
Like the slingbacks, Chanel flats also come two-toned, with various color options. Even the solid colored ballet flats have the iconic toe cap. They are usually made of lambskin, although you will also find goatskin and calfskin options. Unlike the flats crafted by many other brands, Chanel flats all have a tiny low heel in order to give some arch support.
There are also some versions of the ballerina shoe with a short 1 or 1.5-inch heel.
I’ve decided to recommend this white and black version of the ballerina Chanel shoes, which first showed up in 1994 and has remained a staple since. The best place to get them is directly through Chanel, of course.
3. Chanel Goatskin Black Lace-Ups
One of Chanel’s great inspirations, both for her collections and in her own personal style, was menswear. In shoes that translates well into leather Oxfords and Derby brogues: classy lace-up men’s shoes that happen to look excellent when worn with a Chanel tweed skirt suit.
These days Chanel offers all kinds of menswear-inspired lace-ups, but these sleek black ones are my favorites. These Chanel shoes are made of patent and regular goatskin, along with an elastic at the center that lends a modern touch to the shoes. You can buy them from Chanel, where you also have the option of a similar but sequined pair.
4. Chanel Two-Tone Espadrilles
Coco Chanel loved yachting and was thoroughly inspired by all things nautical in her designs. This led to the striped Chanel mariniere blouse, yachting pants, and of course, Chanel espadrilles.
Espadrilles were historically worn by Spanish sailors. They stand out because their sole is made of woven rope, rather than traditional leather. This makes them a lightweight choice for footwear that has a very raw, natural feel.
Unlike other Chanel shoes, which are mostly made in Italy, the espadrilles are made in Spain. My favorite Chanel espadrilles are made of lambskin colored beige, with black at the toes i.e. the OG Chanel two-tone color combo.
Since espadrilles are considered a more casual shoe, it is a nice little feature that their front is embossed with the CC logo – after all, you wouldn’t want anyone mistaking them for any ol’ pair of espadrilles. Get this pair from Chanel, either in two-tone or in black!
5. Chanel Ecru & Gold Sneakers
Chanel is considered responsible for promoting a more casual, sporty style, so sneakers are a mandatory part of this list! While the sneakers are definitely a more modern addition to Chanel shoes, they are certainly true to Coco’s legacy and attitude – particularly these tweed sneakers that are sporty but not overly so, with some very elegant design elements.
The light color is perfect for spring and summer – particularly for a sunny vacation that involves wandering the streets of a Mediterranean capital. The tweed fabric of these sneakers is another nod to Coco Chanel’s legacy, as the designer started using tweed in her designs in 1924, popularizing it for women’s wear by creating the iconic jackets, skirts, and dresses we’re so familiar with today.
You can find these lovely sneakers, along with some sportier options as well, directly through Chanel’s website.
6. Chanel Mid-Calf Quilted Leather Boots
While Coco herself loved wearing boots, the first boots to show up on a Chanel runway only came once Karl Lagerfeld took over as the House’s creative director. He commissioned Raymond Massaro, of the Massaro shoemaking house that had made Chanel’s own boots to custom and who had also crafted the very first two-tone slingbacks, to make boots for the Chanel fashion house.
The quilted leather design of these boots is heavily associated with Chanel, originally showing up on the Chanel 2.55 bag. There is some controversy, however, in the quilted leather as a shoe design element. Christian Louboutin claims that he is responsible for this particular design element, having worked as a freelance shoe designer for the house of Chanel at the time the first quilted leather flats were released.
Much like the boots Chanel herself loved to wear at all occasions, these boots are made of simple black leather, reach mid-calf and are not too tight. They are classic Chanel in the sense that they can easily be worn from day to night, from the street to the office to the party.
The quilted leather is made of lambskin, while the toe cap is made of calfskin. These Chanel shoes also come in a sleek black fabric version and a beige tweed version, and are best purchased from Chanel.
7. Chanel Tweed & Suede Short Boots
With these short boots Karl Lagerfeld simultaneously paid homage to Chanel while also breaking away from Coco’s traditional style. These boots are heavy-duty, with a thick outsole perfect for colder days, and a slightly punk vibe thanks to a black suede toe cap, heel, tongue, and flap over the laces.
There is a chain detail surrounding the top part of the outsole, further cementing the punkish vibe. The homages to Mademoiselle Chanel herself stand out in contrast: the dark tweed fabric used for the bulk of the boot and some pearl buttons on the flap covering the laces.
If you would like to wear Chanel shoes but are looking for a tougher look, you cannot go wrong with these boots, which are available directly from Chanel.
8. Chanel Calfskin Pumps
These Chanel shoes are office wear perfection, though in true Chanel fashion they could also work perfectly for cocktail hours once the work day is done. They give a darker take on the two-tone design, with the body of the shoe made of navy blue calfskin, and with the toe cap made of black suede calfskin.
The solid 2.8-inch heel is comfortable enough for standing and walking in, while the design itself is classically elegant. These are the kinds of pumps you’ll find yourself wearing again and again, so pick them up from Chanel.
9. Chanel Pearl & Velvet Strappy Mules
Slip your feet into a pair of strappy mules, and you’ll be ready to face any evening occasion in mere seconds. While there are plenty of two-tone options for Chanel mules that echo the good ol’ slingback design, the ones I chose actually break the mold by presenting a strappier, more upscale option for evening wear.
These Chanel shoes are made of black velvet and grosgrain, with the front strap decorated with a lovely ribbon, and the vamp straps studded with elegant pearls. The 3.1-inch heel is thick yet classy, giving a bit of height but still supporting the foot. You can buy these gorgeous Chanel shoes directly from the house’s own website.
10. Chanel Pointed Toe Lace-Ups
These gorgeous goatskin lace-ups were released as part of the Chanel fall/ winter 2018-2019 collection, and they give an autumnal, fantastical feel to any outfit. The golden color is particularly unique and beautiful, while the pointed toe and narrow heel make me think of men’s shoes from the 15th century.
These Chanel shoes are all Lagerfeld innovation, and would likely be appreciated by the most daring of fashionistas! A more understated black version also exists, for those who need a more practical shoe. To get them you’ll have to go to Chanel.
11. Chanel Quilted Leather Loafers
You can think of loafers as the first casual shoe, or at least it’s the earliest casual shoe style that is still popular today. These comfy yet stylish slip-ons became a fashion staple in the mid-‘30s, and while they were initially intended as men’s shoes they became readily popular with women.
These days loafers have transcended their casual history and have become appropriate even for professional situations – something that is very fitting for Chanel shoes. These Chanel loafers are made of classy quilted white calfskin, with a low-heeled black insole that ensures comfort.
These loafers have a very unisex vibe, and their white shade works well with the preppy vibe loafer shoes often exude. The best place to get them would be Chanel.
12. Chanel Black Suede Calfskin Thigh-Highs
People don’t usually associate sex with the Chanel brand, but that’s exactly what makes these thigh-high boots so astonishing. These Chanel boots are versatile though – you could wear them under a long skirt for extra warmth in winter, or with a slinky LBD for a wild night out. The heel is quite high, but it’s solid enough to support the foot well.
Another option with these Chanel boots is going for an equestrian look, by wearing them with a pair of tight jeans or leggings tucked in – they are slouchy enough to accommodate even a pair of trousers. This kind of look will also be a great way of showcasing one of Coco Chanel’s beloved past times: horse riding and watching horse races.
To get these iconic Chanel shoes, or perhaps a pair of thigh-high boots with a lower heel, go to the Chanel online store.
13. Chanel Mary Janes
There are many photos of Chanel wearing Mary Jane shoes, especially in the mid-‘20s. These silver Mary Janes came as part of the resort 2019 collection, inspired by Chanel’s time on the yacht of her lover, the Duke of Westminster. There is also a version of these iconic Chanel shoes in stark white calfskin, which are nearly identical to the shoes she wore on that yacht.
The design of the Mary Janes is heavily based on Coco Chanel’s own shoes, with the same rounded toe cap, lightly curved 1-inch heel, and a leather-covered button along the strap. The silver goatskin version, however, is a modern take on the feminine shoe that transforms it into something that can be worn during both day and evening. They are available directly from Chanel.
14. Chanel Lambskin Sandals
These Chanel sandals also come from the recent resort collection. While these kinds of sandals were not exactly something worn in the years that Coco Chanel herself was active, they absolutely embody what one wants to wear during a cruise. While these simple sandals are strappy and light, keeping the feet cool during a hot day, they also give enough support thanks to a strap that goes around the ankle.
They are available in both red and blue, and are adorned with a bling CC logo at the middle strap, to ensure that anyone who sees you wearing them knows that you have a preference for the casually luxurious. Find these Chanel shoes on the Chanel website!
15. Chanel Patent Pumps
While Chanel shoes normally lean towards a lower, more comfortable heel, the brand still has you covered even if you want a more impressive pump. This pump boasts a 4-inch heel, with an understated version of the embellishment that skinnier Chanel heels are often decorated with.
The color is a leg-elongating beige, and the shoe is made of sexy and sophisticated patent calfskin leather. It is a sleek shoe perfect for any occasion, and would pair well with evening dresses and pantsuits alike.
When a shoe veers this far from Chanel traditions, it is important for people to know which fashion house made it – that is why there is a little CC logo near the ankle. These classic Chanel shoes are sold online though Chanel.
16. Chanel Calfskin Running Shoes
It is one thing to present a Plimsoll-style sneaker on a ready-to-wear runway, but in 2014 Karl Lagerfeld made a serious splash when he sent models out on the Chanel Haute Couture runway wearing truly sporty running shoes. Many fashion critics were dismayed by the audacity, but those who know the history of the fashion house saw a lot of reason in his decision.
During World War I, Coco Chanel opened a sportswear store in Deauville, the resort town in which she and many other high-society Parisiennes escaped during the war. Many consider Chanel one of the designers most responsible for the acceptability of sportswear in day-to-day life. In fact, because of Chanel, items that were once considered sportswear are now considered day-to-day wear.
In this way, Lagerfeld was absolutely paying homage to his predecessor, and has continued to do so by presenting new pairs of sporty Chanel running shoes on the runway every season. That is why these sporty running shoes in white, navy blue, and red absolutely deserve a spot on this list. The best place to purchase these Chanel sneakers would be directly from Chanel.
17. Chanel Golden Mules
In 1994 the coolness of a lounge outfit was reestablished with Uma Thurman’s mob wife character Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction. Everyone remembers the black calf-length trousers and oversized white button-up that she wore, but these alone were not enough to establish the character’s wealth and untouchability. That is why costume designer Betsy Heimann finished the look off with a pair of golden Chanel slippers, which instantly gave the look an air of effortless luxury.
The most recent iteration of golden slip-ons from Chanel come in the form of these gorgeous mules. They are made of durable, shiny goatskin, and are embellished with the Chanel CC logo at the front. They are available to purchase from Chanel.
Coco Chanel is an iconic fashion designer who is credited with totally transforming women’s fashion in the 1910s and ‘20s. Her designs marked the end of restrictive clothing for women, paving the way for fashionable, chic clothes that are also comfortable enough for a woman with an active life. In doing so, she totally changed the fashion world, breaking the rules and deciding for herself when leisurewear and sportswear would be worn (with the answer often being always).
The first Chanel shoes were introduced in 1957. It was the two-tone slingback, of course, about which I’ve already written in some length in the beginning of the article.
This shoe, like all the other first Chanel shoes, was made to suit the life of a woman like Coco Chanel: an active woman with a flourishing social life and refined tastes, a woman whose wardrobe is finely curated, a woman who travels so much that she needs shoes that can suit any occasion. It is no surprise that when the slingbacks were released they immediately made it into the closets of celebrities like Jane Fonda and Brigitte Bardot.
The slingbacks were the only Chanel shoes for as long as Coco Chanel herself was alive. The shoe was crafted by Massaro, a renowned family-owned French shoemaking atelier. Since then, the shoemaker collaborated with the House of Chanel on countless items of footwear, until it was officially purchased by the fashion house in 2002.
In 1983, a little over a decade after the designer’s death, Karl Lagerfeld was appointed as the new creative director of the House, and with his arrival came many more shoe designs. When Lagerfeld joined the House of Chanel he made it a point to look to Coco Chanel’s life and earlier designs for inspiration. This is how the two-tone design returned.
Over the years, the beige and black design of those first Chanel slingbacks became emblematic of the house’s diverse footwear options, with pumps, ballerina shoes, boots, and even espadrilles being released in the same color pattern, along with other two-tone options. Every season Karl Lagerfeld chooses a new color palette to introduce, both in solids and two-tones.
These days you will see all kinds of color options in recent Chanel collections, with lots of iconic Chanel shoes released each season featuring a lot of black as well as bronze, copper, and gold metallics, silver and white, nautical reds and blues, as well as clear PVC shoes and boots.
If you’ve got your heart set on a pair of Chanel two-tone slingbacks, then you definitely want the real deal and not a fake. Unfortunately, the world is filled with fake designer shoes, with Chanel being one of the top brands for counterfeiters to reproduce. With this guide a pair of fakes will never fool you!
Buy Directly from Chanel
By buying directly from a Chanel store you can be 100% certain that your Chanel shoes are originals, and you don’t even have to do any detective work. However, this means that your only options are newer Chanel shoes. If your heart is set on a vintage pair of Chanel, then unfortunately you might have to get closer and personal with the shoes.
Chanel shoes are made to the highest standards of construction – it’d better be, with such a high price tag! Most Chanel shoes are made in Italy (though in the past some were made in France) of high-quality leather and by expert shoe makers.
Learn to identify well-made shoes by looking at the small details: the seams should be clean and straight, there should be no bubbling or folding anywhere in the leather, and there should be absolutely no glue residue along the insole.
Real Good Leather
Chanel shoes are made of high-quality leather and suede, including lamb, goat, and calf. The leather feels soft and is never coated with a plasticy or shiny finish.
Brand Markers on Bottom and Inner Cole
When you buy Chanel shoes, you want everyone to know they’re Chanel. That is why you should look for Chanel brand markers both on the insole and outsole of the shoe. The insole will normally say CHANEL in all-caps, below it will be the Chanel CC logo, and above it, it will say where the shoe was made (usually Italy, sometimes France, and Spain for espadrilles).
On the outsole you should look for the CC logo, the “Made in” stamp, and the shoe size, which will normally show up in a European size, but will occasionally also show up in American sizing.
Serial Style Number
Look for a serial number on your Chanel shoes that is stamped in the same color as the insole brand stamp. The style stamp may be omitted from strappy shoes where there is no room for stamp.
No Card, No Problem
Unlike Chanel bags, Chanel shoes, jewelry, and ready-to-wear clothes do not come with an authenticity card. Chanel shoes do usually come with a dust bag, not to mention the Chanel box. Unfortunately, when you buy vintage, these items often get lost, not to mention that they are fairly easy to fake.
Find an Authenticator
There are Chanel fanatics all over the Internet, and you can reach out to them in order to verify the authenticity of a pair of Chanel shoes you might want to buy (or may have bought already).
By posting a few images on a Chanel-enthusiast forum like Purse Blog, you can have an army of fanatics examine and give their input as to whether your Chanel shoes are real or not. You can also opt for a paid service, like Authenticate First.
Photos via @collagevintage, @aylin_koenig, @fashion_jackson