person wearing white Nike running shoes standing on black concrete path

Even with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the average adult will walk over 75,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s roughly equal to walking around the planet three times.

Combined with the time we spend standing, it’s safe to say the typical person will spend thousands of hours on their feet. Hence the importance of footwear in the lives of most people.

There are countless types of boots and shoes for sale. These varieties come in an almost equal array of different colors and styles. Which shoes one chooses to own and wear depends on their style and taste as well as their hobbies and occupations. However, generally speaking, everyone should own a core set of footwear to cover most anything life throws their way.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at eight types of essential footwear for modern living:


Also known as trainers or tennis shoes, sneakers are designed for optimum comfort and support during strenuous sports and other forms of exercise. They’ve also become a pillar of modern casual wear, especially streetwear. The versatility of sneakers for women and men makes them an essential form of footwear for the modern age, especially for those who find themselves on their feet for hours at a time.


While closed-toe footwear looks nice and can provide essential support and safety, they’re also prone to make your feet cramped and sweaty when worn for long stretches of time. That’s where sandals enter the picture. Perfect for warm weather, sandals allow your feet to breathe while also providing more room on all sides. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to have at least one pair of leather or rubber sandals in your shoe closet.


Slip-on shoes are a practical form of footwear for a variety of situations. For example, the ease with which they can be taken on and put on makes them ideal for airport security. They’re also suitable for running errands and doing chores around the house.


Just because you don’t work in construction doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from owning a pair of steel-toe boots. That’s because steel-toe boots provide additional safety for those moving heavy furniture or working around heavy objects that could fall or tip over with little to no warning. While typically too heavy to be worn out and about for extended lengths of time, the protection steel-toe boots provide makes them a practical form of footwear for anyone to own.


Most city slickers and suburbanites find themselves yearning for the great outdoors. The two best ways for them to do so are to go camping or go hiking. With this in mind, it’s a good idea for most people to own a pair of hiking boots. That’s because hiking boots provide an extra layer of protection for those walking through rugged terrain, especially when in wet and slippery conditions.


The number of times you’re expected to dress in formal attire may vary, depending on your lifestyle and profession. But nearly everyone is bound to attend a funeral, wedding, or other formal engagement at least once in their lives. Having at least one pair of dress shoes keeps you from being forced to break in a new pair at the last minute.


If you live in a region with especially brutal winters, then you already know the importance of having a good pair of warm winter boots in your closet. Those living in places with snowy winters which get through it with nothing but basic footwear are missing out on dry socks, warm toes, and less risk of falling on ice.


Few things are as unclean as wearing your outside shoes inside your house. You’re tracking in all the filth that’s attached to the sides and soles. However, not everyone likes the idea of wearing slippers around the house due to reduced mobility. The solution is to buy a pair of comfy shoes you only wear indoors. These house shoes will make it easy to get chores done without worrying about spreading germs and dirt throughout the house.

Everyone’s preferred forms of footwear are different. However, shoes and boots provide a functional purpose as well as a fashionable one. With this in mind, it pays to have a decent range of footwear you can wear in a variety of situations. Your feet will thank you!


Alex Farina is a freelance writer from Ohio. He enjoys writing about design, fashion, nature, and technology.