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The Perfect High Heels for Any Occasion

a woman sitting on a gray couch putting on nude high heels

High heels have been popular women’s shoes for ages. Since women are shorter on average than men, some women like the extra height that high heels give them. They feel more powerful with the extra height, or they enjoy the confidence boost that comes with a few extra inches. Other women feel more feminine and attractive when they wear high heels. Others find high heels give them a more powerful or professional air than flat shoes do. High heels are also great because they’re such a versatile type of shoe. Heels come in dozens of types and styles, which means that there is a high heel that fits every wardrobe and every occasion, from formal to casual to professional. The extra area granted by the heels also leaves room for more decorations on the shoe than those of their flat-soled counterparts. There are many reasons to invest in some high-heeled shoes.

What to Consider in High Heels

If you want to add a new pair of heels to your closet, here’s what to think about:

  • Type: High heels come in many different designs. There are pumps, stilettos, wedges, block heels, kitten heels, flare heels, square heels, platforms—the list goes on. Think about what type of high heel you want. Do you want thick and chunky heels or pencil-slim ones? Do you want plain heels or heels decorated with rhinestones or ribbons or something similar? Do you want high heels that are sandaled, strappy, open-toed, closed, boot, or sneaker-like? Do you want heels that lace up, buckle, zipper, or slide on? Think about what style you’re looking for, as this will go a long way towards narrowing down your search.
  • Color: You can find high heels in just about any color your heart desires. Basic, classic, bright, jewel-toned, pastels, earth-toned, and nude shades are just a few of the colors available. There are also plenty of patterned high heels out there. Animal prints like snakeskin and leopard print or floral patterns are most common, but they are by no means exclusive. Whether you want your footwear to be eye-catching or neutral, there is a high heel color and pattern out there for every style and taste.
  • Height: The average high-heeled shoe is going to be around 3.5 or 4 inches in height, but there are plenty of other heights available, too. Anything 3 inches or below is considered a low heel. Anything that is above 4 inches in height is considered above average and will most likely have a platform under the soles to make them slightly easier to walk in. 6 inches is more considered as extra tall and are rarer (but hardly impossible) to find. Consider which height is best for you, your feet, and where you’d be wearing your new heels; the heel height you wear to the office might be very different than the heel height you want to wear to happy hour or a wedding.

Best Stilettos: DREAM PAIRS Women’s High Stiletto Heels

Stilettos are one of the most well-known types of the many high-heeled shoe styles. They’re known for being easier to walk in compared to some other high heels, for building muscles in your calves, and for giving your legs a leaner appearance. These particular stilettos have a trendy, open-toed, almost sandal-like appearance that will look great with a wide variety of outfits. Wear them with a fancy outfit or dress them down with your favorite pair of jeans. The heel is about 4.5 inches high with a quarter-inch platform. The TPR rubber sole and latex padded insole will give you additional foot comfort as you’re walking around in these heels. Get them in sizes 5 to 11, with half sizes available. You also have 14 color options, including classic black, white, glittery gold, silver, bright blue, red, a floral print, and more.

Best Stilettos

DREAM PAIRS Womens Karrie High Stiletto Pump Heeled Sandal, Black/Nubuck - 5

An open-toed stiletto high heel with a comfy insole that will look great whether dressed up or dressed down.

Best Classic Pumps: Calvin Klein Women’s Pump

Fashion trends might come and go, but a classic pair of pointed-toe pumps will always look timeless. They’re minimalist while also presenting a stylish and aesthetically pleasing design that will match any dress, suit, or business casual outfit in your wardrobe. With 20 different colors available, ranging from bright and bold to nude and muted, you should have no trouble finding a pump that perfectly fits your look. This pair has a 4-inch heel and is designed for your feet to slip easily in and out. The synthetic sole and flexible construction give you greater comfort and freedom of movement. The padded foam insole provides further cushioning and helps with shock absorption as well. They’re available in sizes 4 to 11, including half sizes.

Best Classic Pumps

Calvin Klein Women's Brady Platform Pump, Caramel, 9

A pair of timeless pumps with a 4-inch heel and a pointed toe with a flexible construction and cushioned insole.

Best Low Heel: DREAM PAIRS Low Heel Pump Sandals

Not all high heels need to be towering or sky-high. If you want some of the extra height that high heels provide but you don’t feel secure walking in super tall ones, you’re new to wearing heels, or you find too-tall heels uncomfortable, a pair with small heels like these faux leather, sandal-style pumps are an excellent option. You can choose between sizes 5 and 12, with half sizes included, and 24 various colors and patterns. The 3-inch heel, with its chunky, square shape, gives you more support and balance, ideal for anyone not accustomed to walking in high heels. The rubber sole gives you some traction, while the latex padded insole provides some cushioning comfort while you walk and move to give your feet some relief. The buckle at the ankle provides these high-heeled sandals with a secure closure that is also stylish.

Best Low Heel

DREAM PAIRS Womens Chunk Low Heel Pump Sandal Nude Suede - 7

A sandal-style high heeled shoe with a low, chunky, square-shaped heel.

Best Unique Design: Fashare Women’s Bow Tie Back Heels

These shoes are for anyone who likes a cute and uncommon design in their high heels; not just anyone on the street or in your office will own them. These faux suede pumps have a 4-inch heel and a knotted bow on the back of each shoe for a unique, adorable, and attractive decoration. The toes are closed and pointed with a buckle closure on the ankle strap. The ankle strap can be removed if you find it uncomfortable or you ever want to mix up your look a bit. You have the choice between 14 different colors or a leopard print option, with sizes as small as 5.5 and up to size 11. This includes all half sizes in between. These pumps slide on quickly and are comfortable for all-day wear. Match them with jeans or shorts, a skirt or dress, tights or leggings, casual wear or formal wear. They can be worn year-round, so your feet are sure to look fashionable no matter the season.

Best Unique Design

Fashare Womens High Heels Pointed Toe Bowtie Back Ankle Buckle Strap Wedding Evening Party Dress Pumps Shoes A-Black

A pair of pumps with a removable ankle strap and a knotted bow on the back for a cute and unique year-round style.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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