Over the years I've gone from searching out stand out styles to include higher end brands or even overseas. One of the new things I love are when designers do one off work or capsule collections (more to come on that). Then you know it is really unlikely that someone is going to have the same shoes on as you are.
The other thing that is fun is to customize shoes to get exactly what you want truly ensure you have a shoe unique to you. Shoe Missy, the designer I mentioned previously, inspired me to "make/embellish" a pair of custom espadrilles.
These were my inspiration from Topshop in the UK (about $75).
I also like the Christian Louboutin espadrilles that came is several colors (notice the little toe-cap - about $350)
Here is my base shoe, nearly identical to the Louboutin's, from Target (about $25)
After an hour or so and some red acrylic paint, here's what I ended up with (pardon my phone pic):
Pretty close and cute, huh? Since I couldn't change out the ribbon, I added a little red plaid heart button to the back of the ankle.
Voilia! I'm a summery peppermint with totally custom shoes just for moi!