What makes a saddle shoe a saddle shoe is the strap of fabric over the top of the foot, which looks like a saddle. Usually, the fabric is a contrasting color. For example, the classic saddle shoe is a white shoe with a black saddle. In some cases, the heel of the shoe will match the saddle.
You can find saddle shoes in a wide range of colors, from the classic black and white to more modern tan and brown shoes, to blue and white and even gray and black. Some saddle shoes have done away with the contrasting colors and have a saddle that is the same color as the rest of the shoe.
Saddle shoes come in the classic oxford shape, which is perfect for wearing to work. Some pairs are slightly updated and have the oxford styling but a slightly higher heel. Others are fashioned to look more punk and have chunky platform soles. You can also find a simple pair of canvas sneakers with saddle shoe details for a more relaxed, weekend-ready shoe. Leather is a standard material for the shoes, but you can also find pairs made of suede or synthetic materials.
A few styles of saddle shoe are creative and great for a night out. Look for a pair with cut out details for wearing to your favorite high-end restaurant. A pair of boots with saddle shoe details, including the mid-foot saddle will look funky for a casual night out. If you can't leave your heels behind, choose a pair of saddle shoes with a 3 inch or higher stacked heel.
Saddle shoes range from very inexpensive to quite pricey, depending on the style and the manufacturer. A designer pair of saddle shoes, made by a company such as J. Crew or John Varvatos, can cost a few hundred dollars. Shoes designed to be worn as part of a costume are usually much cheaper, under $30, but also look very cheap and may not be a pair of shoes you want to wear in everyday life.
Basic, everyday saddle shoes can be had for under $100. Bass makes a few styles of saddle shoes, including one with a stacked heel that cost around $60. Keds and Vans make saddle shoe sneakers from canvas or leather for around $50.
You may have to hunt around for a pair of saddle shoes. A number of online boutiques offer the shoes, complete with free return shipping in case the size or style is wrong. You may be able to find a pair at a local department store or at a company's retail store. Some trendy stores, such as Urban Outfitters, have a number of saddle shoe styles available as well.