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Types of High Heels

If you want to create a perfectly polished look, a new pair of high heels can complement any casual or formal outfit. The latest designs add a sophisticated touch to your ensemble for any occasion. When searching for new women's dress shoes for a wedding or girls' night out, consider these tips and types of high heels before making a decision.


Tips for Buying High Heels

Color and Sizing

  • Choose colors that suit you - Every woman should own a pair of high heels in neutral black, nude and brown shades. However, don't be afraid to change it up every once in a while. Consider shoes in bold hues like blue, red or yellow for a pop of color
  • Research sizes and try on shoes - Make sure you read reviews and check a sizing chart when you shop. Every brand sizes their shoes differently, so try on a pair beforehand to see if it fits.
Materials
 
  • Consider different types of materials - High heels come in a variety of materials like leather, faux leather, suede, faux suede, plastic, nylon and other synthetics. While leather and suede typically cost more, they're breathable and tend to be more comfortable to wear than other options.
  • Look for comfortable soles - Find shoes with a rubber sole and a rubber layer at the bottom of the heel to prevent slipping. This construction helps give you the grip needed while walking or hitting the dance floor.

Types of Heels

Kitten Heels

Kitten designs offer the appeal of a cute pair of shoes with short heels that are easy to walk in. These heels are usually less than 2 inches tall and can be found in the same designs as 5-inch stiletto heels.

  • Comfort - These shoes are lower to the ground and have thicker heels to help distribute weight evenly, making them very relaxing.
  • Fashion tip - Cropped skinny jeans with kitten heels can instantly dress up denim without committing to tall heels. You'll want to choose designs with slender heels and a sleek style that doesn’t draw too much attention to the heels. These shoes are much easier to walk in, so there's no need to compensate width for height.
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Stiletto Heels

Named after the stiletto dagger, these shoes feature tall thin heels that are notoriously sexy and give women elongated height and a slender look. Stiletto designs typically have heels that measure approximately a centimeter in diameter and are as tall as 10 inches.

  • Comfort - The thin heels can put more pressure on the ball of your foot.
  • Fashion tip - Consider wearing your stiletto heels with a dress or skirt for dressy occasions. You can also pair your stilettos with a pair of skinny jeans, cute t-shirt and matching accessories. These types of shoes can dress up any daytime outfit or formalwear, so you look stylish for a date or night out with the girls.
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Wedge Heels

Wedge heels have full heels that range from the front to the back of the shoe. These designs come in both open-toe sandals for warm temperatures and regular closed-toe styles for cold weather.

  • Comfort - If you want extra height but aren't comfortable in stilettos, try wedge heels. The shoes don’t have a break between the heel and sole, creating even weight distribution and providing more comfort than more complex styles.
  • Fashion tip - Consider wearing wedge sandals with everything from shorts and a cute top to a sundress. These styles are easy to dress up and down, but they’re strictly a spring and summer style because of the open-toe design. Closed-toe wedges are the perfect fall and winter. Whether you prefer the wedge boot or just a simple wedge style, these shoes go with everything from casual denim to a skirt with warm tights.
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Cone & Prism Heels

Cone and prism heels, have thick tops and are thin toward the ground. Their heels come in round, triangular or prism shapes. Generally, cone designs are available in shorter styles, but there are no limits when it comes to high heels.

  • Comfort - The comfort level can depend on the height and width of the cone point. Many of these shoes offer more support at the heels of your feet, making them more comfortable than stilettos.
  • Fashion tip - Combining booties with cone heels are comfortable, practical and extremely stylish during the fall through the early spring. Consider also wearing your prism heels to dress up a casual outfit. These can convey a less formal look, which is ideal for a laid-back office environment or a fun date night.
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Types of High Heel Shoes

Mules

These shoes are characterized by backless slip-on designs and regained popularity in the 1950s thanks to Hollywood starlets like Marilyn Monroe. Often found with higher heels, some mules come in a flat styles as well.

  • Comfort - Like many heels, comfort depends on the height of the heels. Sometimes mules are harder to walk in over long distances because there is limited ankle support.
  • Fashion tip - Since they offer more coverage than typical pumps but still show a little bit of skin, peep-toe mules are great transition shoes from winter to spring or summer to fall. Keep the ratio between skin and shoe balanced. When wearing trousers, mid-length skirt or dress, the long, lean silhouette is flattered by mule heels.
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Pumps

Similar to stilettos, pumps normally come in closed toe or peep-toe styles. These designs are a classic style of high heels with closed backs.

  • Comfort - People that frequently wear high heels can rock pumps easily. However, a beginner may find them difficult to wear for long periods of time.
  • Fashion tip - Corporate climbers can wear pumps to work as long as they're not sky-high heels. Whether you pick a dress to go with your shoes or the other way around, dresses and pumps fit seamlessly together. You can take your outfit up a notch with the sexy appeal of these shoes. Consider a pair in classic colors like black or nude to create an effortlessly chic look.
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Slingbacks

Slingback heels have straps that go around the back of your ankle. These types of shoes come in peep toe, closed-toe or sandal designs.

  • Comfort - The comfort of slingback heels are really dependent on the height and thickness of the heels.
  • Fashion tip - Pair your slingbacks with your favorite pair of jeans, a clutch and a cute top for the perfect night-out look. Summertime dresses and slingback heels look fashionable together. Like mules, you want to make sure the proportion of shoe and skin is approximately equal and looks balanced.
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Platform

Platform shoes come in a wide variety of designs, from peep toes to split toes. The defining characteristic features a platform where the ball of your foot is or throughout the entire sole of the shoes, which gives you more height.

  • Comfort - Platform heels can be deceivingly comfortable. They look like they're sky-high with the extra lift, but thanks to their platforms, your feet aren't arching as much as they would in other tall heels.
  • Fashion tip - These types of shoes are more fitting for events outside of the workplace. Save a pair for a night on the town or a date. If you want to create a more casual look, consider wearing closed-toe styles with jeans, a cute blouse and matching set of accessories.
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Sandal Heels

Sandal heels are the perfect way to show off your pretty pedicure, and they're ideal for any summer event. Often available in stiletto heels or wedge styles, sandals expose most of your feet and generally feature straps and open-toe designs.

  • Comfort - If your sandals have thick heels and more ankle support, they tend to be more comfortable than other configurations.
  • Fashion tip - Wear your sandal heels to work with a sophisticated pencil skirt and blouse or an office-appropriate dress. For a night on the town, pair them with a dress, mini skirt or jeans to create a simply chic look.
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