Different Types of Heels: Ultimate Guide to Ladies Shoe Styles

Ladies’ fashion footwear comes in all shapes and sizes. There are a variety of different types of heels that you can add to your shoe collection.

Heels are a girl’s best friend and the perfect addition to any outfit. At Miss Black, we know the power of a good pair of high heels. Slipping on a pair of stilettos can make even cosy loungewear look fabulous. After all, there’s a reason there are so many quotes about high heels.

Ranging from court heels, to wedges or stilettos, here’s all you need to know about the different types of heels on shoes.

Different Cute Heel Types

Cute heels come in all different types. You get thick heels, thin heels, tall heels and low heels, but these aren’t their official names. And the shoe titles aren’t just for shoe designers. Knowing the name of the heel types you’re looking for can make online shopping a lot easier.

Finding your perfect pair of Miss Black heels can be a lot easier when you know the name of the shoe you’re searching for.

Stilettos Shoes

stiletto heels miss black

If you need to add to your height, make a statement or simply love to be tall, then stiletto heels are your perfect heel type. Stilettos are the tallest (and sexiest) of all heel types. However, walking in them can be a challenge due to both the height and the ultra-slim heel. But with practice, balance and determination, any woman can rock a pair of heels.

When it comes to these types of heels, sometimes bravery is needed as well since some stilettos can even reach up to 20cm.

Platform Heels

platform heels

Platform heels can range from short heels to tall heels. You can identify platforms by looking at the sole. Platform heels boast a thick sole under the shoe, adding a chunky look. You can get platform stilettos, boots, and even platform sneakers.

The thick sole makes a strong statement in any pair of heels. And this platform can help make the heel more comfortable, especially if you’re dealing with over 9cm. The platform helps make sure there is less of a height difference between the back and front of the foot, making the lift less intense.

These are the perfect shoes for a night on the town since these tall high heels are sure to turn heads.

Kitten Heels

Finding a comfortable heel is every shoe lover’s ultimate goal. If you’re looking for a heel you can wear for long periods of time, kitten heels are the way to go. Kitten heels don’t get much higher than 8cm, making them a great choice if you’re not confident walking in higher heels.

Kitten heels are also a popular choice for women on the taller side. They allow you to wear beautiful heels, without towering over all your companions. Perfect for parties, work events, or even as a matric dance shoe, a cute pair of kittens are a must for any girl.

Pumps

If you don’t have a pair of pumps in your closet, you’re missing out. They work with a variety of outfits, allowing you to dress them both up and down. Whether you’re in need of office heels or a pair of shoes for going out, pumps can do both.

Pumps don’t have an uncomfortable heel height, it’s usually between 5 and 8cm in height. Making it ideal for longer periods.

We’d recommend adding a pair of black and nude pumps to your closet, you won’t regret it since they are so versatile.

Ankle Strap Heels

Chic heels don’t get much better than a pair of ankle strap heels. These timeless heels are effortlessly trendy, making them essential. Identifying a pair of ankle strap heels is simple. As the name suggests, they boast an ankle strap. This is usually secured via a buckle, but there are some exceptions.

ankle strap heels

Ankle strap heels can vary in heel height, but the strap makes sure the shoes stay firmly on your feet and keep you comfortable.

Wedge Heels and Wedge Sandals

If you don’t have a pair of wedge shoes, we’d be surprised. These trendy heels are flush like most high heels, but there is no gap between the heel and the sole. This allows for more stability and makes walking on a patch of grass easy. They also distribute your weight more evenly.

wedge heels

Wedge shoes come in both a wedge heel and a wedge sandal. The main difference between the toe is the upper design. They have the same type of heel, but wedge sandals are more open with a sandal upper. They make great everyday casual heels and look amazing with a summer dress.

Cone Heels

You can spot cone heels by the cone-shaped heel. They are wider and thicker at the sole of the foot and then narrow down to a delicate tip. This allows for more stability than a straight heel.

This style of ladies heel works for all different kinds of heels and, as such can vary in height.

Sling Back Heels

Defined by the strap that goes around the back of the ankle, a sling back heel boasts elegance as well as stability. The thin strap goes around the Achilles heel and is often used as an alternative to an ankle strap. It also makes the shoes easier to slip on and off.

Some heels boast both a sling back strap and an ankle strap, allowing for a strappy look and ultimate security when walking.

High Heel Sandals

sandal heels

Just because the weather is hotter doesn’t mean you have to resort to flats and flip flops. High heel sandals can have any type of heel but feature a sandal upper. This allows them to be cool and the perfect companion for summer outfits. And for the ultimate statement, buy yourself a pair of stilettos sandals.

Peep Toe Heels

As the name suggests, peep-toe heels show off your toes. If you’ve just gotten a pedicure, this type of heel is a great way to flaunt your flawless toes. This heeled shoe comes in all shapes and sizes, identifiable by the peephole in the front.

peep toe heels

This pretty heel is perfect if you’re looking for high heels for summer and adds an elegant look to casual and formal looks.

Cork High Heels

Cork high heel shoes never seem to go out of style. This can be attributed to their stunning look and the fact that the cork material adds both softness and cushion to your step.

You can spot these heels by the cork material, which is used on a variety of high heel types.

High Heeled Boots

Adding an edge to a skirt, dress, or even a pair of jeans, high-heeled boots are a ladies’ shoe essential. You should at least own one pair if not two or three. These fashion shoes will keep you dry in rainy weather and make sure your feet and legs are toasty on those chilly days.

high heeled boots

They come in different heels types and also different lengths. Over-the-knee winter boots are by far the sexiest heels for winter.

Ankle Booties

Perfect for in-between seasons like Autumn and Spring, ankle booties are another essential. Boasting a variety of different heel types, these shoes will help keep you warm and dry on days where it’s not cold enough for full high heel boots.

ankle boots

Ankle boots usually come with a medium heel in a chunky style but are mainly identifiable by their ankle length.

Spool Heels

Spool heels live up to their name. The heels look like a spool of thread, showing off a thicker heel at the sole and base with a narrow middle. First seen in Europe during the Rococo and Baroque periods, this hourglass heel is a unique high heel shoe.

Mules

mules

Slipping in and out of shoes is easy with Mule heels. Identifying a mule is reasonably simple, this type of shoe comes up high over the top of your foot. They can either be open or closed and vary in terms of heel height. Made popular in the 90s, this shoe works in leather, suede, or canvas.

Ballroom Dance Shoes

If you’re looking to do some dancing, you can’t go wrong with a pair of ballroom dance shoes. This heel type provides a lot of support, making them great for weddings, parties, or even matric dances. They are secure, featuring an enclosed back as well as an ankle strap for extra security.

These shoes boast stability with a lower heel but also one that’s high enough to elevate you.

Cut Out Heels and Net Heels

Unique heels have become more and more popular, and if you look at a pair of cut-out or net heels, you’ll see why. This heel type is beautiful, making a strong fashion statement.

net heels

These shoes usually have creative cut-out patterns on the shoe. These can be laser cut, pin punched, or any other method that allows skin to show through.

Corset Heels

One of our personal favourites, these shoes are similar to a mule or ankle bootie. These shoes can be spotted by the corset design that ties together the toe sides of the shoe. These lace-up heels are a stunning shoe for all seasons, and we’d recommend adding a pair to your shoe closet.

Closed Toe Heels

Closed toe high heels are another shoe that can come in both smaller and taller heels. These are the opposite of a peep toe, covering your toes completely. If you haven’t had the time to treat your toes, these heels are an asset.

French Heels

Similar to spool heels, the French heel boasts a wide top and curved bottom with a thin middle. These are good heels if you’re looking for something low, since they are typically quite short. These shoes are also known as Pompadour heels or Louis Heels.

Oxfords

While the traditional Oxford shoe had a flat heel, more recent times have seen a heel added to these classics. They look similar to mens formal lace up footwear and school uniform shoes and work well with smart or casual outfits. These formal heels are a must add to your collection.

oxford shoes

Block Heels and Square Heels

Short to medium in height, chunky or block heels boast greater stability than thinner heels. These shoes are identifiable by their wider, square base. You can find chunky heels in a variety of styles like ankle boots, mules or even peep toe heels.

chunky block heels

Comma Heels

Taking its look from the comma, this stylish shoe with a heel is fashionable. The crescent shaped heel makes a statement that will turn heads for sure.

Espadrille Heels

Taking their roots from the traditional Spanish sandal, Espadrille shoes are becoming increasingly popular around the world. These heels add lift to the traditional flat shoe and can have either a heel or wedge base.

Espadrille heels can be identified by their fabric upper (usually made from canvas or cotton fabric). This is paired with plaited fibre sole or woven esparto rope.

Court Heel

Worn in royal courts many years ago, court shoes are now mainstream shoes worn by women all over the world. They are very similar to pumps and the heels are usually small to medium in height. These versatile shoes are a staple for any shoe lover.

court heel

Cuban Heel

Inspired by mens shoes, the cuban heel is short to medium in height. You can usually find this heel type on closed shoes such as ankle boots, loafers and Oxfords.

They have a solid appearance but can sometimes boast a slight taper.

Flared heels

Inspired by the 70’s, retro flare heels are iconic. These shoes boast a slim base that widens towards the bottom, similar to flared jeans.

flared heels

Lace Up Heels

Taken from either the ballerina shoe or roman gladiator sandals, lace up heels are a shoe that has stood the test of time. The ballerina shoe is a feminine style shoe that oozes elegance and class. While the gladiator shoe boasts strength and edge.

blue lace up heels

Which Heels are the Most Comfortable?

No matter if you’re looking for simple heels or an intricate pair of fashion high heels. Either way, expanding your shoe vocab can help you identify the most comfortable heels. Knowing which heel types to look out for can ensure you find the most comfortable shoes.

Generally, lower heels are often more comfortable than higher heels. Wedge heels and block heels provide better support. And an ankle strap or sling back strap can also help you feel more secure. A comfort sock can provide a smoother base for your foot and a platform can help make the heel more comfortable.

Final Thoughts on Different Heels on Shoes

Whether it’s ankle boots, wedges or a pair of skyscraper stilettos, knowing about the different types of heels can help you know exactly what you’re looking for when shopping for shoes. No matter what your style is, these higher shoes will all make you look fabulous.

How many types of heels do you have in your collection? Leave us a comment below and tell us.

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