Know Your Heels: A Guide To All Things High Heels

Carmen Lopez at Current Boutique warehouse. Pre-loved paradise of high heels!

You either love shoe shopping… or you love it but sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by all of the possibilities, especially when it comes to high heels. One of the biggest questions that our stylists frequently run in to is, “How do I find the right heel for me or for this event? How do I know what heel is going to work best?” The concerns with finding the right heel are doubled when you’re shoe shopping online and can’t try it on in the store!

And you LOVE high heels. Who doesn’t? High heels are the epitome of femininity and stunning fashion. 

But high heels are especially hard to buy! There are so many different styles, heights, widths, heels, and more. How do you even narrow the search? 

We’ve got you. We worked with our stylists to come up with a high heel guide that will make buying your next pair of heels a breeze. This guide will help you filter and narrow your shoe search, whether browsing the store or scouring our online Current Boutique for the perfect heels. 

Heel Height

How high do you want your heels to be? 

Pick your height based on comfort as well as style. For example, you might not want to wear high stilettos if you’ll be running around at a conference for 12 hours a day. But you may not want to wear kitten heels if you’re going to the clubs with your girlfriends. 

You especially want to make sure you can walk in your heels. The worst fashion faux pas is falling in your heels! Shorter heels are typically easier to walk in unless you have a platform, so keep that in mind when making your selection.  

Pumps (medium)

Pumps are the “go-to” when you think of high heels. They’re the classic look: about 2-3 inches in height and usually low cut around the front of the foot. They can be either pointed, rounded, or square. Learning to walk in pumps is a girl’s greatest fashion feat (foot pun intended). 

Kitten heels (short)

Kitten heels are the shortest type of heel you’ll find, typically no more than 2 inches in height. These are comfortable and easy to walk in, so they’re usually best for situations where you’ll be on your feet awhile. These used to be the epitome of ladies’ fashion, and then they went out of trend for awhile. We’re pleased to see that they’re back in vogue—and it seems like they’ll be here to stay for many years to come! 

Stilettos (high) 

Stilettos are only recently trendy as of a few decades ago, but they’ve become the embodiment of “sexy” and “stylish.” These heels can be up to 8 inches, which creates a gorgeous leg-lengthening effect. 

Stilettos often include a platform. Platform shoes are those that have a “lift” on the front of the shoe, meaning that the sole of the shoe is thick in the front. This creates less of a height difference between the front and back of the foot, so it’s easier to walk normally (rather than on your tip-toes).

Fashion tip: If you have trouble walking in high heels, platform stilettos offer a more comfortable shoe while maintaining the stiletto elegance and sultriness. 

Heel Style 

What does the actual heel itself look like? How stylish is it? How easy is it to walk on?

Stiletto-heel

This is referred to as the stiletto heel, but it can actually be any height. This refers to the heel style that is thin and long, with the same width at the top and bottom. 

Chunky Heels

This is a general term for any shoe that has a square, wide heel. They provide more stability than stilettos because the heel itself is thicker, so chunky heels work great if you’re 

Wedges 

We. Love. Wedges. Wedges are heels that connect at the sole from the front to the back. It’s becoming more common for wedges to be made from a lot of unique materials, from cork to suede and beyond. Wedges are often thought of as a summer trend, but they also look great in the fall—especially if you have mule wedges! 

Cone Heel

Cone heels look like ice cream cones! They’re wider at the sole of the foot, and they’re narrower down towards the base or floor. These have become a more popular design option, especially for modern shoes with cutouts or unique toplines. 

Spool Heel

Spools have a heel that is thicker at the sole of the foot, narrow in the middle, and thicker again at the base. These have a more traditional look to them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out of style. In fact, these shoes are really easy to walk in, and they work for almost any occasion! 

Psst… French heels look like spool heels, but they’re slightly more curved. 

Oxfords

Oxford shoes give off an English boarding school vibe—in the best possible way! They’re a flat heel with a rounded topline, which denotes a professional style. Oxfords are becoming more and more popular in the fashion world, but the height of the heel keeps getting higher with more modern trends. 

Topline

This refers to what the top of the shoe looks like. Basically, what does the shoe look like when you look down? Is it open or closed? Is it timeless or funky? 

Sandals 

Sandal heels look like sandals, but they have a heel on the back. This means the top of the shoe is open, and the majority of the foot is showing (including, and especially, the toes).

Wedge sandals are popular for spring and summer, while stiletto sandals tend to be a more formal or elegant footwear choice. 

Peep Toes

Peep toe shoes can come in all shapes and sizes. This refers to any shoe that has a “peep” of the toe, usually showing off the first two or three toes only. This is a great way to flaunt your pedicure without showing the entire foot, like a sandal. It also tends to create a timeless and fancy look to your heel. 

However, some women find that peep toes are uncomfortable because they push the toes together. If you aren’t a heel “pro,” you might want to steer away from the peep toes for the time being. 

Mule Heels

A “mule” heel refers to a shoe topline that comes up high over the top of the foot. It essentially covers part of the (or the entire) top of the foot. These are popular options in the fall, because they’re easy to walk in and they provide a little extra warmth as the weather starts to cool down—but they’re still super stylish and stunning! 

Corset Heels

Corset heels tie both sides together. They get their name because they look like a traditional corset going up the middle of your shoe. These heels tend to be a mule style or ankle bootie, and they’re one of our absolute favorite looks for the fall season. 

Cut Outs

Cut out shoes are funky and modern, and the “hot” cut out look tends to change based on the season. These are usually mule heels that have patterns cut out, which creates an embellished and intricate look to the top of the shoe. Cut out heels are a great way to spice up a more basic outfit. 

Fashion tip:Pair funky, colorful cut outs with your little black dress to keep it elegant yet stylish! 

Espadrilles 

Espadrille heels are increasingly popular, and we’re finding a lot more of them on the runway—and in our Current Boutique selection! Espadrilles are any shoe with a fabric top, which makes them more comfortable and casual. They can be heels or wedges, and they tend towards an “everyday” vibe regardless of heel type. 

Straps

Some heels have a basic “counter,” meaning the toe box and the heel of the shoe are made from the same piece. These are the most “classic” type of heel you’ll find. 

Strappy shoes are becoming more and more popular, though. Strappy heels are especially shaping up to be a popular option for fall 2019! 

Ankle Straps

Ankle strap heels have a strap that goes around the entire ankle. Not only are these gorgeously fashionable, but they also make the heel more secure (so you’re less likely to roll your ankle).

The strap actually wraps around the full span of the ankle. This “breaks” up the look between the foot and the leg, creating the illusion of longer legs and dainty ankles. This makes ankle strap heels a stunning option to pair with skirts or dresses. 

Sling Backs 

While ankle straps go around the entire ankle, the sling back goes around only the Achilles heel. This “half strap” look around the heel, as opposed to the ankle, is a strikingly elegant style that’s great for fancier events. 

3 Heels Every Girl Needs

Tan Platform Heels

My go-to shoe for just about any occasion—whether it’s a presentation at work or hitting the town with the ladies—is a tan platform heel. Choose a heel height you feel comfortable with, but get it with a platform so it’s easy to walk in. Platforms are incredibly versatile, because they’re comfortable enough to stand on your feet for hours but elegant enough for just about any situation you’ll run into. 

Why tan shoes? Because a neutral tan color can go with everything! Tan shoes look incredible with black skirts, white dresses, blue jeans, and everything in between. 

Tan platform heels are a wardrobe essential for every stylish lady. 

Black Ankle Straps 

Like tan, black shoes can match with just about any outfit. Black ankle strap heels are strikingly elegant with a touch of stunning femininity. They’ll keep your ankle supported while also creating a thinning look for the lower half of your legs. 

The best part is that black ankle straps are both super trendy… and gorgeously timeless! Having a pair of black strappy heels means you can hit the town any time, any year, and still look wildly in-fashion. 

Mary Jane Heels

Mary Jane heels are cute and classic. These have a thinner heel with a strap across the top of the foot. This makes them easy to walk in, and you’ll instantly feel gorgeous and feminine. 

Speaking of, I’ve recently worn out my favorite black Mary Jane heels. Time to browse Current Boutique to find my next fave pair! 

3 Heels You Need For Fall 2019 

Corset Ankle Booties 

Ankle booties are a must-have for the fall season. This season, lace-up or “corset” ankle booties are especially hot. The ankle bootie is reminiscent of cooler weather (plus it’s super easy to walk in), and the lace-up part adds a bit of intrigue and style that will absolutely “wow” anyone who sees your outfit. 

High Heeled Boots 

As the weather gets cooler, boots are coming out. This fall, we’re noticing that heeled boots are becoming more fashionable. Chunky heel boots, like riding boots, used to be really trendy, but now we’re seeing the heel get slimmer and more stiletto-like.

If you want to keep your calves warm, lengthen your legs, and show off your gorgeous sense of style, high-heeled boots are the way to go this fall 2019. (Psst… They look especially gorgeous with midi and mini skirts and an oversized sweater. Swoon!) 

Oxfords (or the like) 

Fall in love with a shoe that has a short, chunky heel. Why? Because you never know when you’ll need heels + comfort! Oxfords are fancy enough for a date with the Queen, but they’re also casual and comfortable enough to wear to work every day. 

Fashion tip: Buy a funkypair of Oxfords! The Oxford style is professional and elegant, so a bold color or animal print will add a bit of pizazz. 

High Heel Heaven 

It’s “back to school” season, which means a fresh fall start. So there’s no better time to go shoe shopping than right now! Whether you’re looking to buy a timeless pump or a funky heel, fall 2019 is shaping up to be the” season of the shoe”! 

Start browsing Current Boutique to find gorgeous designer heels and other shoes at a fraction of their original ticket price! 

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