30 Types of Heels Every Woman Should Know

This unique heel shape resembles a comma because of the thin heel that turns inward or outward. Though comma heels can come in varying lengths, you will typically find them ranging from 1 to 2 inches in length. Comma heels are typically skinny, but there are blocked comma heels as well.

40 Different Types of High Heels

different types of high heels

Not all shoes are built alike. From heel type, heel size, material, and support, knowing how heels differ from one another will enable you to pick the right pair for your next outing. Let’s take a look at 40 different types of high heels every gal should know.

1. Classic High Heels

classic black high heel

A classic high heel is defined, simply enough, as a shoe with a heel that’s raised higher than the toe. Classic high heels can range in heel sizes, but average heights are usually between 2 ½ in. to 3 ½ inches in height. Classic high heels can come in a variety of materials and styles, but they typically feature black leather uppers with no straps and a closed toe.

2. Pump Heels

Black pump shoes

Pump heels are a more formal type of heel and are characterised by their short heel length. The term “pumps” dates back to the 1500s and is derived from the term “pompes” which described shoes without heels. Traditional pump heels are made of black leather with a closed toe and the heel is usually no longer than an inch.

3. Stilettos

Siletto Heels with flower print

The iconic stiletto is easily identifiable by its long, steel, skinny heel. Stilettos can range from 3 to 5 inches and will often feature a pointed closed toe. Classic stilettos are usually constructed out of leather, but the materials and styles can vary for both formal and informal events. Luxury designers such as Louis Vuitton have put identifiable touches on their stilettos, which include cherry red bottoms.

4. Kitten Heels

black lace Kitten Heels

Kitten heels were the quintessential training heels for young ladies who were often referred to as “kittens”. Kitten heels have an innocent allure with their short stiletto heel of 1.5 to 2 inches. The heel has an identifiable curve that starts at the top of the heel and tapers into a curve on the back of the shoe. Kitten heels come in varying styles and materials, including sandals and strap backs.

5. Wedge Heels

Black Wedge Heels

Wedge heels offer optimal comfort because of their sole support. The heel on a wedge stretches from the back of the shoe to the front. Because of their optimal support, wedge heels are often elevated and can range from 2 to 4 inches in height.

6. Block Heels

Beige Block Heels

Block heels offer more support than traditional heels but less than that of a wedge heel. The block of the heel can range from 1 to 2 inches in width and 2 to 4 inches in height. Block heels are an emerging trend and come in a variety of materials and styles. Depending on the season, block heels can be open toes, closed, or strapped.

7. Lace Up Heels

Lace up heels can come in all styles, though in today’s shoe landscape, lace up heels are often associated with block heels. They are also especially popular with wedge heels. The lace up closure starts at the back of the shoe and wraps around the ankle, usually two or three times. Because of this closure type, lace up heels are the quintessential summertime heel.

8. Mule Heels

tan and gold mules

Mule heels are a simplistic type of heels in that they feature a tight and supportive front closure but have no closure on the back of the heel. The closure in the front is usually crafted from a solid piece of material that wraps from one side to the other. The construction mimics a raised sandal in that there is nothing securing your heel to the shoe. For this reason, mule heels are usually elevated by no more than 3 inches.

9. Chunky Heels

Black Chunky Heels

Chunky heels can be very supportive because the heel is blocked and wide while the toe is elevated with a platform. Chunky heels can sometimes be mixed up with platform heels because the elevation is in both the back and front of the shoe. Chunky heels are typically made out of a durable rubber, are secure to the foot via a toe strap and ankle strap, and can be extremely comfortable to walk in.

10. Ankle Strap Heels

brown ankle strap heels

Ankle strap heels are a very elegant shoe option for any formal event. Ankle strap heels are primarily secured to the foot by a buckle strap around the ankle. They can often feature a single strap around the toes or a closed toe construction. Heel types will also vary, though ankle-strap heels usually feature a blocked heel of 2 to 3 inches.

11. Peep Toe Heels

Taupe Peep Toe Heels

Peep toe heels feature a mostly closed toe construction with the exception of a small opening of about an inch at the toe’s front. Peep toe heels can come in classic heel styles as well as boot styles. The heels can also be stiletto forms or blocked heels. The materials of the shoe can vary, though you’ll typically find peep toe heels made out of a durable leather or suede.

12. Ballroom Dance Shoes

Ballroom dance shoes are different from heels in that the sole of the shoe is flexible, allowing the wearer to move freely while dancing. The top of the heel is wide and sturdy and can sometimes flare slightly at the bottom. Styles of ballroom dance shoes vary, but they will usually have an ankle strap and open toe construction. They will also be decorated with gemstones and perforations

13. Oxford Heels

Oxford heels offer the formality and elegance of a classic men’s Oxford shoe with a feminine touch due to a raised heel. The heel on an Oxford shoe is typically a Cuban heel and is no more than 2.5 inches in height. Oxford heels are usually made out of sturdy leather uppers with an aesthetic lace up front closure.

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14. Slingback Heels

yellow slingback heels

Slingback heels are a type of shoe that features a single strap that wraps around the back of the heel and connects to the sides of the shoe. Slingback heels often have a low profile heel, whether it be a block heel or a kitten heel. Most slingbacks feature a pointed closed toe construction though summer slingbacks can feature a single strap securing the toe to the shoe.

15. Cuban Heels

Black Cuban Heels

Cuban heels will often be no more than 2 inches in length and are easily distinguished by their block structure and slight curve at the top of the heel. Cuban heels can be on both male and female shoes and are typically associated with ballroom dance shoes and Oxford heels.

16. Square Heels

Black square heels with lace-up fasteners

Square heels are a sort of spin off of chunky and blocked heels in that square heels have a wide base and are usually short in height with no more than one or two inches tall. Square heels come in a variety of styles, including slingbacks, ankle straps, and full closure shoes.

17. Espadrille Heels

Orange Espadrille Heels

Espadrille heels are similar to wedge heels in that the heel extends from the back of the shoe all the way to the front of the shoe. In true espadrille fashion, espadrille heels are made out of wooden cork and wrapped in esparto rope. The heels typically have a lace-up closure and can be incredibly comfortable to wear.

18. Cone Heels

Baby Blue Cone Heels

Cone heels are iconic in their triangular shaped heel construction with a wide top base that tapers down to the bottom. Cone heels can vary from 3 to 5 inches and offer a little bit more stability than stiletto heels do. They come in a wide array of styles, materials, and closure types and are versatile for any event.

19. Spool Heels

Black Spool Heel

Spool heels were a once-popular type of heel in the 1860s and 1950s. Spool heels feature a wide top that tapers in the middle and then flares out again on the bottom, creating a unique shape that resembles that of a spool. Spool heels can be comfortable because of the support provided by the wide base and wide top. Though the heels typically don’t extend more than 2 1/2 inches in height.

20. Cut Out Heels

Gold cutout heels

Cut out heels are a decorative type of shoe that have patterns cut out on the uppers of the shoe. These patterns can be floral, geometrical, or simple in design.

21. French Heels

The French heel is similar to a spool heel in that it has a wide top that attaches to the back of the shoe and then tapers down in the middle and then flares out slightly on the bottom once again. French heels are sometimes referred to as Louis heel or pompadour heels.

22. Very High Heels

Very High Black Heels

Very high heels are the sister of stilettos in that the heel can extend for really as high as you want it to. In order to keep the foot from overstretching and to make very high heels possible to walk in, they will usually be accompanied by a platform in the front of the foot. The platform helps to offer stability when walking, and though it does add a bit more support, very high heels can still be tricky to walk in.

23. Medium Heels

Pink Medium Heels

Medium heels are often the perfect combination of comfort and style. Medium heels range from 2 to 3 1/2 inches in height and the heel type will usually be blocked or thick, offering a higher level of support. Styles vary with medium heels and include closed toe, open toe, and ankle strap buckles.

24. Lobster Claw Heels

Lobster claw heels have been made famous by the likes of designer Alexander McQueen and Entertainer Lady Gaga. These outspoken high heels feature a thin stiletto type heel that curves slightly inward and A front platform that is typically the same size as the heel. The front platform features a claw like shape similar to a lobster’s claw. Lobster claw heels are cumbersome to walk in and are typically reserved for extreme fashion shows.

25. Cork High Heels

White Cork High Heels

As the name implies, cork high heels are made out of a tight cork construction and the heel can either be blocked or wedged. Cork high heels may often feature a small platform on the front as well for added height. These heels are typically reserved for summertime wear and can be extremely comfortable and lightweight.

26. Corset Heels

Beige Corset Heels

Corset high heels are typically made out of a durable leather and feature a lace up front closure similar to a corset. The shoes will often also have a stiletto thin heel. The shoe itself can come up to the top of your ankle or the middle of your calf.

27. Heels with No Back

Striped Heels with No Back

Heels with no backs, or mule heels can be great additions to any summer wardrobe. They come in varying styles including open toed, though closed toed can offer more support in lieu of the strapless back.

28. Lita Heels

Formally known as the Jeffrey Campbell Lita, this type of shoe is a chunky heeled boot with a blocked 5 inch heel. The boot also features a 1 to 2 inch platform that curves on the bottom inwards toward the toe. Lita Are known for their crazy combinations, lace up front closure, and durable leather uppers.

29. Fantasy Heels

Fantasy Heels

Fantasy heels have an air of mysticism in them and are often the heel of choice for themed outfits, costumes, and other expressive attire. The most common type of fantasy heel features butterfly wings on the back of the heel or some sort of fantastical decorative artwork on the top half of the heel. Fantasy heels almost always have a thin stiletto heel and may be accompanied by a small platform in the front.

30. Scarpin Heels

Black Scarpin Heels

Scarpin heels are easy to identify with their iconic pointed toe that gives the foot an elongated look. The heel on a scarpin is typically thin and skinny like that of a stiletto. Because many scarpin heels don’t offer much of a platform on the front of the shoe, this can make them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Often, this is the shoe of choice for professional events.

31. High Block Heels

High Block Heels

High block heels offer the height of a stiletto with the comfort of a blocked heel. These heels typically consist of a single strap across the toes and a buckle strap across the ankles. High block heels will often come with a platform in the front that ranges from half an inch to an inch in height. Though the material of the shoe varies, high block heels can typically be found in solid leather and suede options.

32. Decorative Heels

White and Gold Decorative Heels

Decorative heels are the latest trend in shoe fashion as the decorations extend past the uppers of the heel and directly onto the heel. Decorative heels usually feature a steel or metal decoration that is focused on the top of the heel. Designers like Yves Saint Lawrence have adapted the decorative heel making it an iconic feature in many of its shoes.

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33. Slim Heels

Black Slim Heels

Slim heels can add length to your leg without the bulkiness that comes with other heels. The heel length can vary, but when the top of the heel attaches to the back of the shoe, it does so with a wide attachment that keeps tapering to a minimum. Slim heels will often feature straps across the toes and ankles as opposed to full coverage uppers.

34. Pin Heels

Black Pin Heels

Pin heels are similar to slim heels in that the heel is long and thin. Pin heels typically have no curve to them and are flush against the back of the shoe when they connect. This type of heel is most closely associated with ankle high boots so that a majority of the support comes for the front of the shoe, not the heel.

35. Comma Heels

This unique heel shape resembles a comma because of the thin heel that turns inward or outward. Though comma heels can come in varying lengths, you will typically find them ranging from 1 to 2 inches in length. Comma heels are typically skinny, but there are blocked comma heels as well.

36. Flare Heels

Flare Heels

Flare heels rose in popularity during the 70s. Just as the name suggests, Flare heels have an elongated block heel that is slimmer at the top and wider at the bottom. This heel type will range anywhere from 2.5 to 4 inches in height and about an inch to an inch and a half in width at the base. They also come in a variety of styles but usually feature an ankle buckle and a closed toe.

37. High Heeled Boots

Taupe Suede High Heeled Boots

High heels boots can offer an elongated look to the leg. The boot can come halfway up the calf or right up to the top of the calf. The material is often a smooth leather or suede and can be adorned with buckles and side zippers. The heel can be blocked, wedged, or a thin stiletto depending on comfort and support needed.

38. Ankle Booties

beige suede ankle booties

Ankle booties are an ideal option for cooler weather wear. Ankle booties will usually have a blocked heel though the skinny heel is pushing to make a comeback. The uppers are often a leather or suede material for optimal comfort and warmth, and there can be additional attachments like buckles and zippers.

39. High Heeled Sandals

High heeled sandals come in a variety of styles ranging from blocked heels to slim heels. Because there is limited support and security in the front of the shoe, the heel doesn’t typically exceed 2.5 inches. Depending on the sandals, there may be an additional strap on the back of the heel.

40. Wedge Sandals

brown wedge sandals (espadrilles)

Wedge sandals are iconic to summertime, casual outing, and tropical vacations. They feature the supportive and comfortable wedge bottom, which is usually made out of cork, rope, or some other lighter material. The shoe is usually secured to the foot through a toe strap and an ankle buckle or ankle wrap. Materials on the uppers vary but are typically lightweight canvas or thin pieces of leather.

Final Thoughts

Why settle for one type of high heel when there are so many different options to choose from? We hope this comprehensive list of high heel types gives you plenty of ideas for your next pair.

Recent Posts

30 Types of Heels Every Woman Should Know

Woman thinking on the sofa with many shoes.Beautiful colorful hi

Regardless of what Marilyn Monroe said; heels are a woman’s best friend! The right kind of shoe can boost your confidence, transform your look and make heads turn as soon as you enter the room. The only question is: which ones are best for you? When it comes to heels, the shopping aisles are broader than one might think. Whether you’re after extravagant stilettos, elegant pumps, or stylish boots, you can be sure the word of fashion will have you covered. When choosing your next pair of shoes, these are the different types of heels you should know.

Types of Heels

Most of us can probably only differentiate between two or three different types of heels. However, there are in fact, a great number more. Without realizing, most of them have probably crossed your path already. To get your fashion A-B-C up to speed, we have listed the most common types of heels below.

Block Heel

Block heels don’t just look super stylish, but a solid heel also tends to distribute your body’s weight differently, compared to thinner heels. Thus, they take a little pressure off the front of your foot, which results in a more comfortable stand.

Block heel

Cuban Heel

The Cuban heel is taking a cue from the boys. They are typically short to medium in height and found on ankle boots, Oxfords, loafers, and other closed shoes. While the heel is very solid in appearance, it can feature a slight taper from top to bottom.

Cuban heel

Comma Heels

This fashionable heel is, as the name reveals, shaped like a comma. Its unusual crescent form is a fashionable statement and it is incredibly eye-catching.

Comma Heel

Cone Heel

The cone heel is defined by a thick, sturdy base for a secure stand and a narrow, delicate tip. Cone heels can be used for all kinds of heeled shoes and can come in various heights. This heel style is versatile and timeless.

Cone heel

Decorative Heel

Is there anything more dreamy than a beautifully decorated heel? It’s amazing what happens when shoe designers let their imagination run wild. If only we could wear pretty little things like this every day of the week.

Decorative Heel

Flare Heel

Just like flared jeans, this heel gained popularity during our favorite flower power period, the ’70s. Flare heels are characterized by a slimmer base that gradually widens towards the bottom.

Flare Heel

French Heel

The French heel, also known as the Louis heel or pompadour heel, is a variation of the spool heel. Just like the latter, the French heel features a wide top, a thin middle, and a rapidly curved bottom part. Furthermore, they are typically on the shorter side.

French heel

High Heel

High heels come in all kinds of shapes and heights. Every heel of at least four inches or more can fall into this category. The most common types of shoes worn with a taller heel are pumps, stilettos, and heeled sandals.

high heels

Kitten Heel

Kitten heels are great if you’re uncomfortable walking in higher heels, or if you’re on the taller side but don’t want to abstain from wearing pretty heels because of it. This type of heel is typically thin and always below three inches.

kitten-heels

Medium Heel

Medium heels have the perfect office and everyday height. They are between three and four inches tall, which makes them ideal work shoes as they improve your posture without putting too much strain on the balls of your feet.

medium heel

Slim Heel

Slim heels are a sexy pick for a night on the town or a dressy occasion. The thin, tall heel adds visual length to your legs and some spring to your step.

slim heel

Spool Heels

This decorative type of heel originates from Europe during the Baroque and Rococo periods. Its hourglass shape resembles the spool of an old spinning machine, which is where this heel got its name.

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Spool Heel

Square Heel

Square heels, similar to the block heels, are typically on the thicker side and rectangular in shape. This style looks extra chic in combination with a pointy pair of pumps but is also often found on booties and other shoe models.

square heel

Thick Cuban Heel

The thick Cuban heel is a chunkier variation of the Cuban heel. They are commonly used for tall boots, ankle boots, and other sturdy types of footwear.

Thick Cuban Heel

Very High Heel

Very high heels can reach heights of up to eight inches or more. Really, the sky is the limit. These shoes are usually equipped with a platform in the front in order not to overstretch the foot and make the walking experience more comfortable.

Very High Heels

Different Types of Heeled Shoes

When it comes to heels, there are no rules as to which types go with what kind of shoe. So it’s not surprising you’ll find all sorts of combinations starring back at you from the shelves of the shoe aisle. Whether you’re after chunky pumps or thin-heeled ankle boots, there is something for every taste.

Ankle Booties

A cool pair of ankle boots belong in the wardrobe staple of every woman. They’re the perfect in-betweener for cross-season dressing. With a chunky, medium heel your feet will last you all day long.

Ankle Boot

Pumps

Pumps are another classic, and every girl should own at least one pair. You’ll see how a timeless set of black or nude pumps will quickly become your go-to allrounder: they are perfect for your weekly nine-to-five but can also be effortlessly combined with a pair of jeans or a cocktail dress for social engagements.

Pumps

Heeled Boots

A good pair of heeled boots will keep you fashionably warm and dry on colder days. Styling tip: a smaller heel will dress your outfit down, while a tall heel will achieve the opposite effect.

heeled boots

Platform Heels

Platform heels feature an additional plateau in the front of the shoe. This adds comfort and also a few more inches to the height of your heel. Platform heels are best worn for nights-out and other off-the-clock occasions.

Platform heel

Wedge Heels

We’ll admit that the words comfort and heels usually don’t go very well together, but as far as tall shoes go, wedge heels are champions in that category. The wedged sole distributed weight evenly for a pleasant walking experience and a fashionable look.

wedge heels

Wedge Sandals

If you’re looking for an everyday sandal with a little extra height, a wedge sandal will be your friend. The flat wedged heel will keep you comfortable without looking too chunky, they also look super cute when paired with a light summer dress.

Wedged sandal

Stilettos

It doesn’t get much sexier in the shoe department than a stiletto heel. However, with a height of three to four inches and an ultra-slim heel, these babies are not for inexperienced walkers.

Stilettos sandals

High/Mid/Low Heel Sandals

Nothing complements a summer outfit like a cute pair of heeled sandals. To keep your feet nicely wrapped and aerated during the warmer months of the year, we’d like to introduce you to the whole variety of sandals at your disposal.

high mid low heeled sandals

Slingback Heels

Slingbacks are defined by a thin strap around the heel, which secures the foot on the shoe. The absence of straps on the bridge of your feet visually elongates and slims your leg.

Slingback sandal

Ankle Strap Heels

Like the name already suggests, ankle strap heels are fastened via a strap around the ankle, which is often, but not always, combined with a slingback strap for added security.

ankle strap sandals

Peep Toe Heels

Peep Toe Heels

Peep toe heels are shoes, with a peephole in the front. These summery shoes add elegance to any outfit and a bit of vintage charm to A-line summer dresses.

Mules

If you prefer to slip in and out of your shoes rather easily, mules will be your thing. The 90s trend has recently been making a big comeback and looks especially fabulous in velvety textiles like suede.

Mules sandals

Lace-Up Heels

Lace-up heels typically originate from two different sources of inspiration: the classic ballerina shoe or the Roman gladiator sandal. While the former carries more of an elegant, feminine vibe, the other reinforces a strong and sexy tone.

lace up heels sandals

Cut-Out Heels

Cut-out heels feature creative patterns along the shoe, which pretty much turn your foot into a fashionable piece of art.

cut out heel sandals

Oxfords

The Oxford sandal has found inspiration from men’s lace-up footwear and traditional school uniforms. These sharp-looking shoes are the perfect addition to casual and smart dressing.

oxfords sandals

Espadrille Heels

Espadrille heels originate from the traditional Spanish sandal. The shoe features either canvas or cotton fabric and a flexible sole made from woven esparto rope.

Espadrille sandals

Types of Heels FAQs

What are the types of heels?

The different types of heels include block, Cuban, comma, cone, decorative, flare, French, high, kitten, medium, slim, spool, square, thick Cubans, and very very high.

Which type of heel is most comfortable?

Generally, the lower and thicker your heels are, the more comfortable they will be. It places less pressure on the balls of your feet and doesn’t require compensation from your leg and foot muscles to stay balanced. The ideal height, according to podiatrists, is between one and two inches.

How do I choose comfortable heels?

The best way to choose comfortable heels is to try them on. Consider when you’ll be wearing them, for how long, how much walking or standing you need to do, what surfaces you’ll be on, and how often you already wear heels. Heels that are comfortable for wearing to a dinner date will be different from heels that are comfortable for work or attending a cocktail event. If you never wear high shoes, it’s a good idea to work your way up to stilettos, as heels can not only be uncomfortable, they change the way you walk, which can take getting used to.

What type of heels should I wear?

The heels you wear should suit both the occasion and your style. A lovely pair of stilettos are great for dinner dates, while Cuban heeled boots are brilliant for exploring the city. If you’re off to a wedding, something lower is a good idea so you can dance the night away, while square heels look amazing paired with tailored slacks in a corporate environment.

Can high heels be comfortable?

High heels can be *relatively* comfortable, but you need to get used to them. If you only wear flats or joggers, you’re going to have to build up some stamina. Heels change the way you walk, how you stand, and the shape of your foot. Choose styles with extra padding or a platform under the ball of the foot and thicker heels to help keep you balanced. Straps can also add comfort and stability, and always wear your shoes in to avoid nasty blisters.

Are 2 inch heels high?

No, two-inch heels are considered a low heel.

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