NYC Neighborhoods By Shoe: Our Well-Heeled Guide

New Yorkers change shoes as frequently as they change their minds — and it makes sense — for a business meeting uptown, you need a more sophisticated silhouette, while shopping in Soho requires agile-yet-chic, tourist-navigating sneaks.
So, we paired up (shoe pun intended) some of our favorite kicks with NYC 'hoods that match their distinct vibes. Consider this your well-heeled guide to getting around town (cab hailing not included). And no, you may not need to wear Pierre Hardy wedges in the West Village, but cobblestones suck so much more without them.
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The Lower East Side Power Sandal
Bar hopping, vintage crawling, or dining for brunch, lunch, or dinner at one of the LES' latest new hotspots means you'll need a practical-yet-fashionable shoe to take you from morning to night (cuz, duh you're not going home to change!). This season, we're especially digging the chunky sandal heel — paired with jeans (and eventually a summer dress!) — that meets the experimental vibe of this 'hood with the sophistication of a New Yorker that really knows what's up.

ASOS Hercules Heeled Sandals, $76.30, available at ASOS.
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The Soho Sneaker
Notorious for some of the city's best shopping and the tourists that come along with that, Soho requires a thoughtful shoe. Yes, you want to look put together, — you know, should you catch the eye of one of the street style photographers that lurk on the likes of Mercer and Broome streets. But, you also need to be comfortable (and agile!) to navigate the head-achingly busy sidewalks, and all of the must-have merch in the bustling stores. These Nike dunks have it all, and (what do you know!?) are available for purchase in this very neighborhood itself.

Nike Dunk Sky High Vintage Wedge, $130, available at Nike, 21 Mercer Street (at Howard Street); 212-226-5433.
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The West Village Wedge
Cobblestones are one of NYC's biggest obstacles, so your best weapon is a killer wedge. For a day of shopping on Bleecker, followed by an intimate dinner at one of the city's most sought-after tables, we suggest a dressed-up pair like these Pierre Hardy dreams that kind of took our breath away. For the ritzy 'hood and shoe to match, it's best to start saving.

Pierre Hardy Wedge, $839, available at The Corner.
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The Tribeca Killer Work Shoe
Whether your office, apartment, or destination is in this upscale waterside 'hood or not, you should probably take note of these shoes. Kick-ass in silhouette, style, and designer (hello, Tabitha!) they immediately say "I mean business" in a way that industrial Tribeca understands all too well.

Tabitha Simmons Wicked Booties, $1,575, available at Barneys, 660 Madison Avenue (at 61st Street); 212-826-8900.
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The Upper East Side Pump
Classic, polished, upscale — we're describing both the UES and our swoon-worthy shoe pick: the Manolo Blahnik BB pump. This iteration is ideal for spring in breathable leather and a pop-of-color shade that will last morning till night and give "Uptown Girl" a whole new meaning... Now if we could just get the disposable funds for the zip code...and kicks.

Manolo Blahnik BB Perforated Pump, $645, available at Neiman Marcus, 1450 Broadway (at 41st Street); 212-840-1200.
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The Upper West Side Skimmer
The UWS is quiet, sure, but there is still some serious style going on by way of brand-savvy students and mothers alike. Whether you're headed to Lincoln Center, The American Museum Of Natural History, or popping in to some big-label shops on Columbus, you're going to need a stand-out flat. To us, that means comfortable and, duh, metallic.

J.Crew Viv Metallic Flats, $188, available at J.Crew, 1035 Madison Avenue (at 79th Street); 212-249-3869.
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The Fort Greene Oxford
Not just your average oxford (or neighborhood), this duo seems like an unexpected but perfect match. Great for kicking around some local boutiques with high-end taste, or visiting a hidden beer garden, these shoes are more than casual, but still not too dressed up.

Messeca New York Clear Inset Oxford, $195, available at Shopbop.
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The Williamsburg Bootie
Heading to Williamsburg can mean many things: Bar hopping, vintage shopping, or eating (indoor or outdoor, obvs) at one of many R29-approved restaurants. So, it's best to have a practical and transitional shoe that, like you, is up for anything. While we move into spring, we're keeping our eyes on these perfectly perforated Rachel Comey booties in a perfect non-color that will match with everything we have in our closets.

Rachel Comey Dazze Bootie, $449, available at Rachel Comey.

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