What’s contained in your capsule wardrobe should depend on your profession. If you work in a traditional office, starting off with black shoes — such as a captoe oxford — is recommended. Otherwise, brown shoes should be the mainstay of your wardrobe.
I don’t work in a professional office, but do schedule occasional interviews. I primarily teach, meet with clients in artistic settings, and visit universities. Dressing appropriately means a primarily smart-casual wardrobe which requires brown shoes.
This list will break down my capsule wardrobe from most formal to casual.
1) Black captoe oxford- the most standard black shoe for interviews to be worn with navy/dark grey suits. This shoe will get the least wear (for my purposes), but is still an essential shoe.
2) Dark brown oxford austerity brogue- a versatile model. It looks smarter than a full-brogue shoe because there are no perforations.
It looks less like a country-shoe and has a quiet subtlety. It teeters between smart-casual, and depending on your outfit, can pair well with casual jackets and sport coats; however, they are too smart for jeans.
3) Suede brogue adelaide (dark chocolate)- less smart than the austerity brogue given the suede texture and brogued pattern. These shoes works well with cardigans and sweaters paired with chinos, corduroys, or any other casual pant.
4) Suede 2 eyelet derby (mid-brown)- I would commission these with a rubber sole to wear on rainy days.
The 2 eyelets provides a distinct look from the other two shoes, yet it is still casual and works well with jeans.
5) Slip-on loafers- I don’t particularly like penny or tassel loafers so I would prefer a plain, slip-on loafer in dark brown.
Slip-on shoes are so easy to put on. But this would not be amongst the first three shoes I would buy.
6) Aubercy sneakers- For the most casual of occasions if you just need something to slip on with jeans or chinos. I typically don’t wear sneakers, but so love this model, especially in dark grey. They pair with anything casual, which excludes sports jackets and suits.
Having five or six of these shoes should probably cover most of your smart/casual occasions.