Walk with the best of them in these five types of cool, sexy, and classy heels. You don’t have to be Lara Croft to look great in stilettos!
Whether you’ve recently begun working in a shoe department and want to learn the vocabulary, or you’ve recently developed an interest in fashion, knowing your shoe definitions is a valuable skill. We have a soft spot in our hearts for high-heeled shoes. As a result, we’ve decided to compile the definitive list of heel types. Some of these have fallen out of fashion, but given the fashion industry’s cyclical nature, we wouldn’t be surprised if they make a comeback soon.
1. Kitten Heels
Kitten heels are often made of opaque or shimmering fabric. The high-heeled look is completed with small kitten heels attached to the stiletto platform.
Kitten heels are perfect for formal events or work attire. Pairing them with a jumpsuit, as outlined in this article, can make a chic and sophisticated statement. Their shorter height will not only keep your feet comfortable, but also accentuate your legs without being too overpowering.
Pumps are a type of shoe. The distinguishing characteristic is that the heel is concealed in the shoe’s upper part, making it look flat. This design is intended to make women appear more ladylike or perhaps simply comfortable for evening events. Pumps are often closed in the toe with a strap across the foot, consisting of elastic material or laces. They are usually worn with dresses, although they may also be worn to formal workplaces when closed-toe shoes are required. Pumps come in various materials and styles, including sling back, peep-toe, square-toe, chunky heel, and block heels in nylon/fabric or leather.
Stilettos are high-heeled shoes that typically have a platform or wedge heel. Stiletto heels are generally white leather or patent leather for the upper, and the sole is covered with decorative fabric. The footwear’s distinctive shape is typically defined by its pointed toe, although an articulated platform shaft may also define it. Stiletto heels worn without pumps may be called high-heeled boots, though they are very different in design from ankle boots (often called stiletto boots). Stilettos debuted in the 1940s as an exotic style for adults; however, they quickly gained popularity among teenagers and were adopted by Hollywood actresses.
Looking for chic and versatile options to match those stilettos? Check out 40 Types of Shoes to Wear with Dresses besides Heels for more inspiration on how to elevate your dress shoes game. From loafers to flats, there are many other footwear styles that can complement your outfit and make you feel comfortable and stylish at the same time.
4. Ankle Strap Heels
Ankle strap heels have a stiletto heel attached to a strap going across the foot. The strap is flexible but often becomes uncomfortable when tightened too much. There are many ankle strap heels, including the Amelia, which appears like a pump but is an open-toe style. The Louis style has a higher platform and is closed at the ankle with two straps.
5. Wedge Heels
Wedges have been popular since the 1960s with young people. They have a thick sole and a wide or wedge heel. Wedges can be seen in casual and formal designs, making them easy to wear with jeans or dress pants. Wedges are becoming more popular in styles for younger children, especially for dressy occasions.
6. Peep-toe Heels
Peep-toe heels have a toe hole on the front of the shoe that can expose toes or fabric. The back of the shoe may be closed, like an ankle strap heel, but peep-toe heels are often worn with an open-toe design. Unlike stilettos, peep-toe heels are not usually very high; however, they may come with a small platform or wedge heel. Peep-toe heels can be made of leather or fabric and may include buckles or ties on the shoe’s straps.
7. Wedge Sandals
Wedges with a sandal design are popular among women of all ages, but particularly young women. Wedge sandals are most often worn with casual clothing, such as jeans and t-shirts; however, they may also be worn with formal clothing. They may be made of leather or fabric and come in lace-up or buckle designs.
8. Platform Shoes
Platform shoes have a wedge heel, which is the thickest part of the shoe. A platform is distinguished from a wedge because it also has an elevated toe area usually separated by a gap, making it possible to see the toes through this gap. Platform shoes come in both closed-toe and open-toe styles.
Make a statement with platform shoes, a trendy style that can give you the height you crave while maintaining comfort. Elevate your wardrobe and try pairing them with wide-leg jeans for a retro-inspired look that’s perfect for any occasion. With so many versatile outfit options, it’s easy to see why platform shoes have become a staple in many fashionista’s wardrobes.
9. Cone Heels
Cone heels are high-heeled shoes that have a cone-like structure on the heel. The small tip of the cone is at the ball of the foot, which leaves the middle of the foot free. Cone heels are most commonly seen in evening wear. They are usually made of leather, but they may also be made of fabric or other materials.
10. Sling Back Heels
Slingbacks are high-heeled shoes that have a back strap that goes across the foot. The back strap has no clasp but is instead adjusted by sliding the end of the strap in one direction or another. Slingback heels are typically made of leather, but they may also be made in fabric or other materials. The sling is a slingback that does not wrap around the ankle, but it does enable a woman to adjust her shoe to make it more comfortable, often after she has already put on her shoe.
If you’re wondering what shoes to wear with a dress, take a look at our outfit ideas for 2023. For a elegant and chic style, try pairing your dress with sling back heels that have a low to medium heel height. With a strap that goes around the back of the ankle, sling back heels will keep your feet secure while adding a touch of sophistication to your look.
11. High Heel Sandals
High-heeled sandals usually have a wedge heel, although the heel may come to a point, making it possible to see the toes through a gap. High-heeled sandals are most often made of leather, but they may also be made in fabric or other materials.
12. Peep Toe Heels
Peep-toe heels have a toe hole on the front of the shoe that can expose toes or fabric. Unlike stilettos, peep-toe shoes are not usually very high. However, they may come with a small platform or wedge heel. Peep-toe heels can be made of leather or fabric and may include buckles or ties on the shoe’s straps.
If you’re planning to wear peep toe heels, it’s essential to choose the right nail polish. Nude or a matching color to your outfit are always safe bets to avoid colors that clash or draw too much attention. Check out 42 types of shoes for women for more style inspiration.
13. Cork High Heels
Cork heels are high-heeled shoes that have a heel made of cork instead of another material. Cork high heels may or may not be wedged; however, all cork heels require the wearer to wear socks, protective shoe inserts, and possibly padded shoes for comfort and support.
14. High Heeled Boots
High-heeled boots are similar to ankle boots, although high heel boots are often made of leather. High heel boots come in both open-toe and closed-toe designs, though closed-toe designs are usually more expensive.
Elevate your style with a pair of stunning high heeled boots. Check out the top 30 Celebrities In Thigh High Boots 2023 to get inspired with different styles and fashion ideas. Whether you prefer a chunky heel, stiletto, or platform, there’s a boot out there that will give you that extra boost of confidence and make you feel fabulous.
15. Ankle Boots
Ankle boots are typically worn with dresses or skirt suits, but they can also be worn with jeans or work pants when needed for everyday wear. Ankle boots come in both closed-toe and open-toe styles. They are the most comfortable boots for many women due to their soft leather uppers, thin soles, and flexible ankle straps.
16. Spool Heels
Spool heels have a thick sole and a high wedge heel, which makes them very similar to wedges. Spool heels are most commonly seen in ballet flats and boat shoes, but they may be seen in other styles as well.
Mules are shoes with an open back and no heel. They are most commonly made in flat styles, but they may also be made in wedge designs. Mules come in leather or fabric.
Looking to add a pop of style with a pair of mules? Check out these 35 simple outfit ideas to wear with mules for inspiration. From pairing them with sundresses to skinny jeans, mules can be a versatile addition to your wardrobe.
18. Clog Heels
Clog heels have a thick sole similar to a platform heel, but they usually have a heel high enough to be worn outdoors only when the ground is dry (suede clogs do not work well on wet ground). Clog heels come in both leather and suede. However, they also come in many different colors. This makes them easy to wear with casual clothing or formal clothing.
19. Ballroom Dance Shoes
Ballroom dance shoes are similar to tap or jazz shoes, but they are made for ballroom dancing. Instead of tapping the shoe’s heel on the floor like tap shoes, ballroom dance sneakers slide on the floor. Ballroom dance sneakers come in both closed-toe and open-toe styles.
Looking for the perfect shoes to wear for your ballroom dance lesson? Check out our article on types of shoes to wear with white lace dress, where we also cover ballroom dance shoes that come in various styles and heel heights, providing comfort and stability for dancing the night away.
20. CutOut Heels
Cut-out heels are high-heeled shoes that have a pattern on the very top of the heel. These heels often come in gold or silver and allow a woman to add some color to her outfits by using the cutout pattern without looking like high-heeled shoes.
21. French Heels
French heels have a pointy toe and a very low heel, which makes them very similar to slippers. French heels come in leather or fabric.
If you’re looking to add a touch of sophistication to your wardrobe, French heels are a great choice. These heels are typically short, slim, and slightly curved, making them a more comfortable option for those who are not used to walking in heels. To find your perfect fit, check out our shoe size conversion charts here.
22. Oxfords Shoes
Oxfords are casual shoes that are similar to loafers. However, they have a single eyelet at the top of the shoe, so they are easy to slip on and off. The sole is usually flat instead of a wedge, but they are the most comfortable casual shoes for many women because they are flexible and soft.
23. Chunky Heels
Chunky heels are most commonly seen in ballet shoes, but they are also available for casual wear. Chunky heels are most commonly made of leather or fabric, but they may be made in other materials.
24. Gladiator Sandals
Gladiator sandals are open-toe sandals that have a strap around the ankle that wraps down across the foot and is fastened with a buckle at the side of the foot. Gladiator sandals can be made of leather or fabric. Most of the time, gladiator sandals are worn with casual clothes, but some of them can also be worn with formal clothes.
25. Fantasy Heels
Fantasy heels are high-heeled shoes that have a fantasy cut or design on the heel. Fantasy heels come in both leather and fabric, but they may also be made in other materials.
Take your style up a notch by pairing your fantasy heels with a corset top. Not sure what else to wear with a corset? Check out these inspiration outfits to help you create a mesmerizing look that’ll leave everyone in awe. Whether you’re going out for a night on the town or attending a special occasion, a corset and fantasy heels combo is always a winning choice.
26. Cuban Heel Sandals
Cuban heels are usually seen in booties, but they may be seen in other styles as well. Cuban heels have a Cuban toe with an open back that wraps up the ankle. They are typically fashioned out of leather, but they may also be made of fabric.
27. Comma Heels
Comma heels are very narrow heels that are made specifically for ballet flats. They come in both closed-toe and open-toe styles, but mostly come in closed-toe designs. Comma heels are very similar to flat sandals, except that they have a heel that wraps around the ankle.
Add a new short paragraph about comma heels: Looking for unique and quirky footwear? Consider trying out a trendy pair of comma heels. These playful shoes feature a silhouette that resembles a comma punctuation mark, boasting a playful and feminine touch. To complete your outfit, pair them with a cute dress or skirt for a chic and fashionable look. Need inspiration for your next dress? Check out our guide on types of haircuts for men that women love.
28. Decorative Heel
Decorative heels are beautiful shoes that are often seen in high-end shoe stores. They come in leather, suede, and other materials. However, they may also be made out of fabric or molded plastic. They may also be made in different colors or patterns, but most are made to match the rest of the outfit.
29. Flare Heels
Flare heels are shoes that have a very narrow heel and a huge, open-back. They are usually worn with dresses and skirts, but they may also be worn with jumpsuits or other casual outfits without looking too out of place.
Look no further for the perfect pairing to your favorite flare jeans than a chic pair of flare heels. The elongating effect of both the jeans and the heels will give a flattering silhouette to any body type. Whether you opt for a chunky heel or sleek stilettos, flare heels are a great way to elevate your style.
30. Slim Heel
Slim heels are most commonly seen in ballet flats and loafers, but they may also be seen in boots and other styles. They have a very thin and narrow heel that does not add any height to the shoe. Slim heels come in leather or fabric, although they may also be made of other materials as well.