Cottagecore Shoes: What to look for the get the vibe right

Lucia W.
Written by Lucia W. on
■ New inspo added on
Cottagecore Shoes: What to look for the get the vibe right

Before I get to the inspo, let me say one thing: Women’s cottagecore fashion can be very dreamy and fairy-like, but it doesn’t have to!

Cottegacore shoes is where this idea will shine through a little bit more. Here’s why.

Shoes built for the English country

Cottagecore is an aesthetic that roots in Victorian England. More particularly it’s about the romanticised life in English countryside at that time.

What did people wear back then?

Plastic materials were not yet a thing, so if you want authentic cottagecore shoes, the material should look a lot like leather. (It’s actually 2022, though. Get vegan leather. There’s no point in taking things too far.)

A more important thing to notice is that there was no such thing as fast fashion in old England. Shoes were meant to last even if they were being used for a lot of walking.

The typical shoe for the country life would be quite sturdy, it would probably have a bit of a heel and a thicker sole. Thin soles are designed for the life in the city, or for dancing.

This is where the “core” part of cottagecore come from: a return to a more simple way of living that still maintains a lot of connection with nature and the seasons.

Case in point: Women and men alike did a lot of jumping off of horse-drawn carriages. This means that men and women in the period that cottagecore admires almost always wore lace-up shoes. Even if they were cute pointy pumps, they were still often tied with shoestrings to keep them in place.

So, while low-cut ballet flats might have that fairy vibe to you, they are not really very cottagecore. Slip-on shoes were mostly worn at home.

TLDR: What to look for in shoes for cottagecore aesthetic:

  • Material looks like leather
  • Lace-up boots or heels with a single leather string
  • Natural colours, black or white

Below I’ve picked the best designer, high street and indie cottagecore shoes that I could find in July 2022.

Let’s first go through the classic version of the cottagecore shoe. That would be a leather lace-up ankle boot, good enough to walk on a country road.

I found that there’s plenty of shoes to be had that fit the generic description of a tie boot, but most of what I could find on Matches Fashion and other retailers didn’t fit the cottagecore aesthetic at all.

Gianvito Rossi via Matches Fashion

Gianvito Rossi via Matches Fashion

These boots were the best fit I found, and even so they would fit grandmacore a bit better, or even some branches of techcore.

In cottagecore, the challenge is to find a tie boot that is still feminine.

Etsy: Mosshe, Brown leather tie shoes

Etsy: Mosshe, Brown leather tie shoes

Turns out there is a lot of Etsy sellers that list these shoes. Cottagecore lovers are lucky because there’s some overlap with the dark academia aesthetic:

Etsy: YaLeiTW, Lace-up pumps

Etsy: YaLeiTW, Lace-up pumps

AmericanDuchess boutique, Paris lace-up boot

AmericanDuchess boutique, Paris lace-up boot

Either way, there are a few sellers who specialise in these aesthetics and have a lot of shoes to choose from. All images below by Etsy seller SHOEScaboclobrasil:

SHOEScaboclobrasil

SHOEScaboclobrasil

SHOEScaboclobrasil

I think the last two pairs are the perfect blend of rustic and dreamy. It’s the soft material, perfect details and natural colors, I think. These shoes transport me to a world of cottagecore magic.

In high street brands, you could get the closest vibe to that using ballet flats with a buckle strap. It is kind of white-washing the aesthetic, though.

Vagabond, Delia shoe in off-white cow leather

Vagabond, Delia shoe in off-white cow leather

I thought that Etsy had by far the best cottagecore shoes. They fit the aesthetic perfectly and the prices were not abusing it too much.

If on the other hand you wouldn’t mind that, then head over to the cottagecore shoes on the boutique American Duchess. These are expensive shoes, but the designs are not something you get to buy much anywhere else.

I chose three pairs of white cottagecore shoes below because it’s summer and white is the colour that would look best with a flowy cottagecore dress.

By way of final words, let me just say this: A lot of people are turned off by this stereotype of a “fairy”. The good news is that you don’t need the traditional women’s look for at all; there’s actually another way.

If your personal style is geared more towards minimalism, you can get the cottagecore vibe with clothes and shoes that are traditionally for men too.