Certain types of shoes can only be enjoyed for a finite period of time. This expiration date rule applies to footwear that epitomizes fashion zeitgeist; any style that’s popping up on all the street style blogs and magazines you read, every fashion-focused Instagram feed you follow. It’s the IT piece of the moment, one that you’ll definitely be sick of six months down the road, but still look back on fondly in an "oh, remember when everyone wore Miu Miu sparkle booties in 2011?" kind of way.
Because buying the season’s more popular pairs of shoes is such a short-term investment, it’s important to have plenty of timeless options in your closet as well. That’s where the nine tried-and-true boots, flats and pumps in the slideshow above come in, each so ubiquitous in popular culture—and for so long—that it never feels dated. All our picks not only transcend current trends, but are easy to weave into almost any outfit, so buying one—or all of them!—is your best defense against wardrobe crisis. You are, after all, going to need something to slip on when those wedge sneakers/beaded sandals/other such shoes-of-the-moment stop feeling so cool. Click through for the most classic footwear of all time.