Whether you've just started working in a shoe department and want to be able to talk the lingo, or you've recently gotten really into fashion, knowing your shoe definitions is a useful skill. When it comes to high heeled shoes, we have a special place in our hearts. So we've decided to create the ultimate list of types of heels. Some of these have gone out of style but with the cyclical fashion industry, we won't be surprised if they make a comeback soon. Without further ado, we give you 27 heel types. Think you could ace the quiz?
High, Mid and Low Heel Types
- Kitten Heels
We recently wrote about kitten heels and love the style for the comfort / fashion mix. They're great for parties or work events where you don't need the extra height but will be on your feet for awhile.
Also known as simply high heels, pumps are usually wider and between 2 and 3 inches in height. They're typically low cut around the front.
The highest of all the high heels, stilettos can reach up to 8 inches. While these heights can cause problems walking for many, it's a worthy skill for the lengthening effect they have on one's legs. Note: many stilettos are also platforms due to the height (see below for platforms).
Ankle Strap Heels
A favorite of the Clickless team, ankle strap heels are very much in style right now. The height of the heel can vary, but the one common denominator is the strap that goes around the ankle, making the heels more secure and comfortable to walk in.
- Wedge Heels
There are two different types of wedge shoes: wedge heels and wedge sandals. Wedge heels are flush just like a high heel would be, and there is no separation from the heel to the sole.
- Wedge Sandals
While they have the same type of heel as a wedge heel, wedge sandals have a more open, sandal upper.
- Cone Heels
Wider at the sole of the foot and narrower at the base, cone heels form what you might expect: a cone. Just picture an ice cream cone on the bottom of your shoe. Disclaimer: while we know you love your shoe collection, please try not to eat them.
- Sling Back Heels
Unlike ankle strap heels, the sling back heel just has a strap that goes around the back of the achilles heel. This provides a more elegant look while still achieving the function of stabilization.
- Platform Heels
You can see platform heels from short to tall. The main thing that makes them platform is the part of the shoe under the sole is thicker. Many say this makes the higher heels more comfortable because there's less of a height differential between the back and front of the foot.
- High Heel Sandals
With varying heights, a high heel sandal is anything that has any of the heel types listed here (high, stiletto, kitten), but with a sandal upper.
- Peep Toe Heels
Somewhat of a tease, peep toe heels come in all shapes and sizes. All they need is for a pop of your colorful toenails to show to be a peep toe!
- Cork High Heels
These heels simply refer to the cork material used to make them. They can vary in height and style, but the cork material makes for a softer, more cushioned step.
- High Heeled Boots
Steve Miller said, "in the wintertime when all the trees are brown, wear high heeled boots". Okay, we made that last part up. But these babies pair well under or over jeans or even with a skirt or dress.
- Ankle Booties
Making their comeback within the last few years, high heeled booties, or ankle booties, are great for spring or fall days when a full boot is overkill.
- Spool Heels
If you think of a spool of thread, you may understand the concept of spool heels. The heel is thicker at the sole of the foot, narrow in the middle, and then comes back out at the base.
Mule heels are any type of heel that comes up high over the top of the foot. You could have an open or closed to mule; the height of the heel can vary.
- Ballroom Dance Shoes
Strappy shoes that typically have an enclosed back and ankle strap, ballroom dance shoes have lots of support for (you guessed it) getting your groove on. They're low enough to be stable but high enough to provide a little vertical lift. They're becoming more popular at weddings.
- Cut Out Heels
Getting more on the funky, cool side of high heel types, cut out heels are any type of heel that has a portion of the upper cut out for effect.
- Corset Heels
Similar to a mule style of heel or a bootie, the difference with a corset heel is that the two sides are tied together as a traditional corset would be.
- French Heels
Also known as Louis Heels or Pompador Heels, these are similar to spool heels wherein they are short but have some curve to the heel.
The traditional Oxford has that academy look with a flat heel. But lately, we're seeing Oxford heels come on the scene. The heel is still flat at the base, but with more height than a traditional Oxford.
- Chunky Heels
This is the general term for any heel with a wider base that is typically square. They're usually on the short to medium side, and provide more stability than traditional high heels or stilettos.
- Comma Heels
Think of the comma. Yes, we're referring to the punctuation mark. Now line that up with the heel of a shoe, and you have a comma heel!
- Espadrille Heels
Somewhat new on the fashion scene, Espadrille shoes have a fabric upper and a plaited fiber sole, made popular worldwide by Toms. Espadrille heels are a take on this traditional flat, and can have a heel or wedge base.
- Fantasy Heels
Here's the wildcard heel type to cover all of the crazy designs out there. There are so many types of heels you could never think of in your head, and yet they do exist. We're not sure who wears them other than maybe Lady Gaga, but they do exist.