Shoes to Wear With Skinny Jeans

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The Shoe's the Thing

Woman wearing J Brand jeans and Sam Edelman shoes on city street
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

You've shopped until you nearly dropped and finally found a pair of skinny jeans you can feel confident in. But what shoes are you going to wear with them? You may have plenty of shoe styles in your closet but be aware that they're not all made to match with your body-conscious denim. Why would you want to bring down your carefully planned outfit with the wrong footwear when there are so many cute shoes to wear with skinny jeans? We've done the legwork for you in choosing the best shoe-and-jean combinations when you wear slim-fitting denim so you can look your best from head to toe. Plus. we save you trying-on time by telling you what shoes to avoid when you're accessorizing your skinnies.

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Pointy-Toe Heels

Street style jeans and high heel shoes
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

One of the best, and sexiest, looks with skinny jeans is with high heels. Pairing your skinny-leg jeans with shoes that share their narrow silhouette emphasizes that vibe. One of the reasons that some women find skinny jeans a challenge to wear that they can make your legs look stumpy if you wear the wrong shoes. A pointy-toed high heel is an ideal match for skinny jeans. High heels elongate the legs, while a pointy-toe shape extends the long, lean line of your pants all the way to tips of your toes. The upshot is you'll look longer and leaner overall. If you're self-conscious about your feet looking big in pointy toe shoes, just choose a shoe with a shortened point, rather than a longer one.

What to avoid: Round-toed and square-toed high heels go in and out of style but give both of these a pass when you're wearing skinny jeans because they can have a thickening effect on your legs. If you're dressing up, you might also want to stay away from chunky platform heel shoes, which are easy to wear but can look weirdly out of proportion with narrow leg jean styles, creating an unflattering horse's hoof effect that's decidedly casual.

High heels on Amazon Fashion:

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Ballet Flats

Street style jeans and a sweater
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

What could be more easy and chic for daytime style than adopting the French woman's uniform of skinny jeans and simple ballet flats? If you want to wear comfortable flat shoes with your skinny jeans, choose a pair with a pointed toe to create a more elongated effect for your legs. You can match an essential pair of Audrey Hepburn-style ballet flats to the color of your jeans, as pictured here, or try metallic or embellished flats for a fun, youthful look. Ballet flats look especially good if you are tall.

What to avoid: While ballet flats can look chic with ​skinny jeans, this look isn't the most flattering if you're petite. Flat shoes can have a shortening effect when paired with a tapered pant leg, so if you’re concerned about this, opt for heels instead. 

Ballet flats to try:

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High-Heeled Sandals

Street style jeans and blazer with sandals
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Sexy, high-heeled sandals look spectacular with skinny jeans. You can wear white sandals in summer, as pictured here, or try a go-to black, pointy high-heeled sandal for a classic, fierce look that works with all denim washes. A neutral shade of high-heeled sandals is great, too, for a barely-there effect that's sexy and flattering for wearing on dates. Partial to rainbow hues? Skip the rainbow bright shoes and add a pop of color with your pedicure, instead.

What to avoid: Brightly colored sandals can look a bit (ahem) trashy with tight jeans. Go as bold as you dare if you think you can pull it off but when in doubt, stick with classic hues.

Sandal options from Amazon Fashion:

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Loafers

Street style Gucci purse and loafers with jeans
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

When you want to dress up skinny jeans for the office and heels aren't on your agenda, reach for a classic pair of menswear-inspired leather loafers for a fashion-forward, easy-to-wear look. Flat loafers are great for adding some boy-meets-girl edge to your usual workday outfits.

If comfort is your watchword, you can choose an always-stylish slip-on loafer style. Or pump up the fashion volume in a pair of snazzy patent leather loafers with pointy toes, inspired by men's tuxedo styling. Whichever loafer you choose, you'll want to wear a pair that's crafted from high-quality leather. Neutral tones rule the shoe store shelves, but you'll also find trendy metallic loafers for sale (the latter are best saved for wearing after hours unless your office is very creative or casual). Dark-wash jeans are a perfect match for black loafers, while medium washes work well with brown, red, and oxblood leather shoes.

What to avoid: Skip the loafer look when you're wearing white jeans; these shoes are super versatile, but they can look clunky paired with white denim.

Leather loafers on Amazon Fashion:

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Ankle Boots

Street style jeans and ankle boots
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Ankle boots (sometimes called "booties") are trendy for casual wear and even dressier outfits, but they can be a challenge to wear with skinny jeans. Wear the wrong pair of boots and the effect can be more clunky than chic. The trick to wearing these fashionable boots with skinny jeans is all about choosing the right style. Look for short boots with a pointier toe shape that fit you snugly around the ankles. Wedge and stacked-heel styles can also look good because they give you some flattering height.

While short boots won't elongate your legs like a taller boot will, you may be willing to make the trade-off for modern style. Unless you have model proportions, though, pay special attention to matching your boot color to your jeans shade (as in, wearing a darker boot with dark-wash jeans, and so on), to keep your leg line long.

What to avoid: Skip any ankle boots with wide tops, which can visually cut you off at the ankles, and blunt-toe styles.

Stylish ankle boot options:

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Sneakers

Street style photo of woman wearing black jeans and Adidas sneakers
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Skinny jeans and sneakers can look fresh if you style the rest of your outfit smartly. For a fashionable look that blends old-school style with modern fashion, try wearing basic white sneakers with skinny jeans and a leather jacket. This look is effortlessly stylish for weekend wear. You could also swap the leather jacket for a tailored blazer over a button-down shirt for a classic look with skinny jeans and sneakers.

What to avoid: Just say no to puffy or chunky sneakers that are clearly meant for wearing at the gym.

Classic sneakers that look good with skinny jeans: