types of heels

7 Types of Heels & How to Pair Them With Your Outfits

By: Katie Pierce

Shoes may be the last thing you put on before you head out, but they are just as important as the clothes you wear. A pair of heels can not only make you stand tall and confident, but it can also take your look to a whole other level.

Here are the types of heels to consider and how to style them!

The 7 Types of Heels You Should Know About

You can never go wrong with heels, whether you’re dressing for a casual coffee date with friends or a formal black tie event. Finding the right pair or style may be challenging at first. There are many different types of heels out there, and knowing how to style them can be tricky.

Here’s a simple guide to the basic types of heels you should know about and some outfit ideas to work with!

Stilettos

When one thinks of heels, a stiletto may be the first one that pops up in their head. Stilettos are a classic. They can come in different variations, from closed-toe pumps to strappy sandals. But the signature stiletto heel always looks thin and pointy.

Those who are used to this type of heel will stand by its ability to give the optical illusion of longer and slimmer legs and better posture. They’ll also tell you that wearing stilettos can be quite a challenge and will require your calves and quads to help you maintain your balance. Stilettos can create such a powerful and elegant look that you can wear them for almost any occasion.

Our Suggestion

Try pairing stilettos with a pencil skirt and a basic button-down for a boardroom meeting. For a sleek look at a company gala, you can wear a classic black gown with strappy, bejeweled stilettos and a matching jewelry piece.

Kitten Heels

Kitten heels are like the cute (but still stylish!) baby sister of stilettos. They are around one to two inches tall. This is one of the perfect styles for heeled shoe beginners or those who walk around a lot at work, which can make wearing 3- to 5-inch heels unbearable. They’re also a great option for an office outfit or a casual dinner date.

Our Suggestion

Add softness and contrast to your work blouse and trousers combo by wearing kitten-heel pumps in the color of your choice.

Wedges

Wedges are among the most comfortable heeled shoes available. If you’re still new to wearing heels but want to add a little height, then wedges are your best bet. Though they are not as sleek-looking as stilettos, they are still very versatile and, of course, comfortable.

You can find wedges in neutral colors, which you can pair with jeans or leggings, but we think wedges look great with casual dresses, too.

Our Suggestion

Pair espadrille wedges with a flowy midi or maxi dress for an easy-breezy summer vacation look.

Platforms

If you’re looking for comfortable high heels, consider platforms. Despite their big personality, these chunky, high heels are surprisingly versatile. The height at the sole and heel of the shoes adds stability—definitely not something everyone would expect from wearing heels.

Depending on the color, material, and height of the platforms you choose, you can add not just height but personality to any outfit.

Our Suggestion

Platform heels can go with almost anything! But our top two platform looks are these: a short dress and platform combo for legs that look a mile long, or wide-leg trousers and platform duo for a retro but still very “now” outfit.

Heeled Boots

Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean you have to put your heels away. There are plenty of options for high heeled boots that will go great with any fall or winter outfit. Remember, though, to make sure the pair you choose has the right soles for the weather. Choose heeled boots that have traction soles for a stylish but still safe and comfortable look for cold weather.

Our Suggestion

Neutral colored heeled boots are your best bet so you can mix and match them with your fall and winter coats. You can also never go wrong with versatile brown or black boots.

Sling Backs

Sling back heels can come as kitten or stiletto-style. They come in a variety of colors and styles (e.g., pointed toe, peep-toe heels, or sandals), so experimenting with this type of shoe can never get boring. The right pair can take you anywhere, from a busy day at the office to a romantic candlelit dinner to a wedding reception—that’s versatility.

Our Suggestion

A pair of neutral sling-back heeled sandals is a great option for a wedding look, especially if you’re in the bridal party. It can add the height you need for a gown while keeping you comfortable throughout a fun but busy day.

Ankle Strap Heels

If you’re not a high heel person at all, or find them to be cumbersome and ill-fitting, then consider heels with ankle straps. Ankle straps provide for a more snug and secure fit so you don’t have to worry about your shoe slipping off when you walk.

Our Suggestion

For busy working women, then is a great option to pair with work pants, work or formal dresses, and skirts.

Final Thoughts

Adding a pair (or six!) of heels to your wardrobe is a great way to expand the number of looks you can have throughout the year. So what are you waiting for? Complete your outfit with a pair of the right heels and a warm, confident smile.

Author Bio: Katie Pierce is a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s bored adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of screaming kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the next morning.

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