As much as we love a mediocre book with spicy subject matter that can lead to some scandalous water cooler talk, this season, we’d actually take fifteen shades of black over 50 Shades of Grey. Luckily, playing around with “the new black” is the hot thing this season, so for those of us who always seem to return to this classic color (the one “true” color, among the fashion elite), we’re in luck: there are more shades, treatments, and styles of black this fall than you can shake a stick at.

Case in point: Dansko.  The Becky, Nevin and Nell all make clever use of shades of black, with etched, punched, and nailed details- and all with a classic (and comfortable) Dansko sole.

A bit funkier, the Rieker Liv combined folded and bunched black leather with brass rivet detail, contrast stitching, and their now-famous footbed.

On the slightly dressier side, the Surya (no, not Tom Cruise’s kid, nor the lady in the iPhone) from Wolky still manages to turn “basic” black into a bit of “oomph” with some subtle creasing in a nubuck that’s to-die-for.

The lesson: Black is always the new black. Other colors go up and down - and we certainly love them all - but you’ll rarely go wrong with a black shoe.  And when the options are this diverse (and fabulous), you shouldn’t be afraid to go back to black!