Heels are surely one of the most transformative elements of women’s wardrobe since they can help dress up an outfit and create a completely different mood. And though most of us only differentiate between several types of heel shoes, there are a great number of them. In this guide, we’ve listed the most common types of heels you may need in your footwear rotation.
From sky-high stilettos to modest pumps, heels can transform your whole outfit. Wearing a beautiful pair of heeled shoes with a plain dress can instantly add pizzaz to your whole look, elongating your legs and giving some spring to your steps. The right kind of shoes can drastically boost your confidence and make heads turn as you go. The main questions are: "which heels work best for you?" and "for what occasions?".
Most of us know only the most popular heel types like pumps, platforms, stilettos, and wedges. However, there exist a lot of other types of heeled shoes that you might not even know the name of. Wondering what are they? Below we offer a full women’s guide of different heels as well as share some great tips and recommendations on how each type can be styled.
Just as the name suggests, spool heels look like a spool of thread - the heel is broad at both ends but narrow in the middle. This shape helps create a better balance, making spool heels ideal for everyday, office wear. Jessica Alba rocks the spool heels with a chic all-white trouser suit.
With a thick sole from heel to toe, platform heels are another ultimately comfortable option suitable for hours-long wear. They are very supportive since there's less of a height difference between the back and the front of the foot. Platforms are best worn for nights-out when you want to display your looks while dancing at the club. They look ultimately sexy with bodycon dresses or any other well-fitted outfits. Heidi Klum prefers silver sandals with a thick sole and sexy mini in sequins.
Would you like to add some height without the teetering? Then thick heels may become your best friends. Being slightly chunky in appearance, they put less pressure on your feet and elongate your legs visually, giving your body a slimming effect. The thick heel is commonly used for knee-high boots and is best matched with midi skirts.
Compared to other platforms, these are very classy and ideally work for business meetings. Closed-toe platform heels look quite formal and can be paired with elegant gowns for black-tie affairs as well as with skinny jeans for a casual yet dramatic look.
Pencil heels are a very sexy choice for a night on the town or any other off-the-clock occasion. This type of shoes looks very dressy with a thin, tall heel that lengthens the appearance of your legs and helps you support an upright posture. Miranda Kerr mixes black pencil heels and whites for an airy, pulled-together look.
The pointy, vampy heels look chic and go amazingly well with different types of dresses from flirty bodycons to formal gowns. Exactly how the name suggests, the V-front shoe has a quite sharp V-shaped front and usually a short-to-medium heel. This type of heel gives a good level of support and is suitable for all-day wear. Victoria Beckham is effortless in striped shirt paired with V-front shoes and a midi skirt.
Low platform shoes make a great compromise between functional, elegant flats and sexy, sky-high heels. These are a chic yet sensible type of footwear that is comfortable enough for daily wear. Christina Hendricks looks luxury in a blue cocktail dress and nude low-platform shoes.
Just like it sounds, these shoes are made of the cork material that feels ultimately soft and adds some cushion to your steps. Cork heels may vary in style but any of them will surely add variety to your wardrobe.
Backless heels are a summer must-have for any woman. From low-to-the-ground styles to sky-high heels, closed-toe designs and strappy silhouettes, they nicely reveal your heel and have that perfect casual vibe for town walks. Priyanka Chopra works her white-hot curves in white blazer dress with transparent heeled mules.
Medium heeled shoes provide much more stability than traditional stilettos. Available in a wide variety of styles, they go well with both pencil skirts and styles with flowing hemlines. Yet, Blake Lively breaks that rule by matching a printed jumpsuit with medium-heeled court shoes.
A pair of ankle heeled booties are a staple in a wardrobe of any woman. It’s perfect for transitional weather when a full boot seems to be overkill. These elegant heels stop above the ankle and offer a great middle-ground on spring or autumn days.
Generally, these are heels with a wide base, typically square. Chunky heels provide more stability than stilettos and traditional high heels since they distribute your body’s weight differently and take off the pressure from your feet.
As the name implies, these heels are shaped like a cone with a thick base and a narrow tip. This style is versatile, timeless and looks particularly good with maxi skirts or straight fit trousers
With an ultra-slim and ultra-high heel, stilettos are definitely the sexiest type of shoes out there. Being the highest of all types of heeled shoes, stilettos can reach up to 20 centimetres, bringing that great lengthening effect on your legs. Undoubtedly, stilettos can make a striking statement, though they are not the most comfortable babies to walk in. Nicole Kidman is chic in classic stilettos paired with wide-leg jeans and navy coat.
If you’d like to unleash your inner seductress without going overboard when primping for a romantic date or going dancing with friends, high-heel wedges may be an answer. They are more comfortable than stilettos yet not less sexy.
Pumps are another timeless classic. Black or nude pumps can easily become your go-to pair of shoes that can be styled with skinny jeans for casual wear or a cocktail dress for some social engagements.
Ankle strap heels have a very refined design and can upgrade any feminine silhouette. But the whole idea behind ankle strap high heels is that they can not only make your whole outfit look cute but also provide added support to your feet. These shoes won’t get easily shaken off or kicked, which makes them ideal for summer parties.
Just like the style of the heel, the height of the heel also affects the comfort of shoes. The most common heel height makes about 7-8 centimetres but the right height for your needs and the occasion you’re attending may be higher or lower.
These heels are chunky and short enough so as not to make your feet aching after a whole day. They are perfect for wearing to work or any other occasion when you’re going to spend all day on your feet.
This is considered to be the most classic heel height. Comfortable yet elegant, these heels are great for business meetings or dinners. Moreover, if you choose a fairly thick heel, you will experience no discomfort even if you wear them all day long.
These heels are more appropriate for evening wear. Yet, be ready that if you aren't used to this height or you're a "beginner", your feet are likely to get tired and might even become swollen by the end of the day.
To be slightly easier to walk in, shoes with 10cm + heels usually have a platform at the front. In general, they are perfect for petite women and will also work for girls who would like to add extra height to their profile. The useful tip: extra-high shoes should be broken in before wearing them out.
We’ve tried to cover all common types of heels that can be found out on shelves of shoe shops. How many of them did you know and how many do you have at home? Eight? Ten? All? Maybe, after reading this post, you'll get inspired and replenish your shoe collection with a new pair of heels!