Heel styles come in many shapes and sizes. With so many different options available, finding the perfect heel for an outfit can be a challenging process. Whether you're styling your look for the office or a night out on the town, learn more about the different types of heels and how to wear them.
13 Types of Heels
There are many different types of heels that you can add to your shoe wardrobe, including:
- Stiletto: Stiletto heels are the classic high heel that can give you height and lengthen your legs. Stilettos can range in height from one to 10 inches and typically feature a pointy, thin heel. This signature heel can be the perfect complement to cocktail attire, leggings, or to spice up a double-denim look.
- Block: Block heels are chunky heels that have a square or cylindrical appearance. The heel shape distributes weight evenly, making them one of the more comfortable types of heels you can wear. Block heels work great with skinny jeans, casual skirts, and various dress silhouettes.
- Kitten: If you’re looking for a pair of low-impact heels to wear with your slip dress or selvedge denim, kitten heels are a great option. Kitten heels are a short stiletto heel that pairs well with pantsuits, office attire, denim jeans, and various other options in your capsule wardrobe.
- Slingback: Slingbacks have a thin strap that wraps around the heel, which helps secure your foot inside the shoe. Slingback heels keep the bridge of your foot bare for an elongated, straightforward look. Closed-toe slingbacks are a staple in office attire. Learn about the four different office dress codes in our complete guide.
- Ankle strap: Ankle strap heels are a moderate-to-high heeled shoe that features a strap that wraps around the ankle and fasten by buckle, clasp, or tie. While ankle strap heels are a versatile shoe, they can make the legs appear shorter and are best suited for taller wearers.
- Mules: Mules are a slip-on shoe available in various textures (like suede or canvas) and a range of heights. This heel type is backless and typically pairs best with summer dresses, midi skirts, and day-to-night looks.
- Peep toe: If you want to give your feet some breathing room, a peep-toe heel has an opening in the front of the shoe that offers a little exposure to your toes while maintaining your elegant look. Peep toes are incredibly versatile and work well with everything from skinny jeans to evening gowns.
- French: A French heel is a short, tapered heel that gets wider towards the bottom. Also known as a Louis heel, this heel type works best with dressy attire.
- Cuban: A Cuban heel is a low heel with a curved back and straight front. This heel is commonly seen on cowboy boots, brogues, loafers, and Oxford shoes. You can wear this heel type with jeans, sheath dresses, or a casual maxi skirt.
- Spool: Spool heels have an hourglass shape, where the top and bottom are wide, and the middle tapers in. This pair of heels works with boot-cut jeans and pencil skirts.
- Platform: Platform heels provide height to the whole shoe, rather than just the heel. The bigger the platform, the shorter the heel will feel, making it easier to walk in for some wearers. You can wear this versatile heel with jeans, cocktail attire, or flowy maxi dresses.
- Corset: Corset heels are a striking shoe that is available in a number of variations. Most corset heels contain the foot on either side and feature a corseting lace up the front (like a corset for your feet). These heels pair well with mini skirts, bodycon dresses, and little black dresses.
- Cone: A cone heel has an ice cream cone-shape, with the broader part of the heel connected to the shoe’s body, tapering to a thinner point at the tip. Wear cone heels with flowy dresses like A-line silhouettes and maxi skirts.