Top Shoe Styles for Short Women

Flattering Footwear for Petites

So many shoes - so many choices! Short women can enhance their appearance by selecting flattering shoes. Unfortunately for shoe lovers, some styles just don't work very well for petites. Short women should avoid gladiator sandals and shoes with ankle straps, ankle cuffs, ties around the ankle, heavy heels, very chunky wedges, or square toes.

Although wearing high heels is the easiest way to look taller, higher isn't always better when it comes to heels. Wearing heels that are too high will call attention to the wearer, but not in a good way. Never wear heels that are so high that you feel off-balance.

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Classic Pumps

Gold Pumps
Gold Pumps. John Lamparski / Getty Images

Classic pumps will make legs appear longer, slimmer, and shapelier too, so they're an excellent choice for short women. If the pumps have a pointed toe, all the better because pointed toes elongate and make petites look taller. A V-shaped vamp can also help add to a longer look. Keep the heel height and width proportionate to your size. Heels that are too high can actually be dangerous, so don't wear heels that make you seem to wobble or look as though you're doing a balancing act. If you're a plus-size petite, select heels that don't look too delicate or fragile. They don't need to be chunky, just shapely and well proportioned.

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Peep Toes

Black Peep Toe Pumps
Peep Toe Pumps. Dominique Charriau / Getty Images

Shoes with peep toes are a good choice because they tend to elongate the foot and thus make you look taller. Wearing peep toes is also a great way to show off a pretty pedicure. Peep toes work well for short women whether they're on pumps, slingbacks, kitten heels, or flats. Open toes used to be considered inappropriate for work, but unless you work in a business/formal environment, shoes with peep toes are just fine for the office.

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Slingback Sandals

Slingback Sandals
Slingback Sandals. Jeffrey Mayer / Getty Images

Slingback sandals are another great choice for petites because they look light on the feet and don't add a heavy or clunky element to an ensemble. Slingback sandals are ideal for summer accessorizing. Select a heel height that you can comfortably wear. Straps on the slingbacks shouldn't be too wide. Narrower straps look better and are more in proportion for petites. If the straps extend along the top of the foot to form a V or along the sides of the foot, that type of design is a plus because it will tend to elongate and make you look taller.

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Kitten-Heel Slides

Kitten Heel Sandals
Kitten Heel Slides. Taylor Hill / Getty Images

Kitten-heel slides may seem as though they wouldn't work for petites because a kitten heel is short - usually about an inch or so. A kitten heel should have a nice curve, which makes it especially attractive on a slide. Although short women in kitten heels can't add as much height as they might with other styles, wearing kitten heels will give petites at least a little lift. No need to sacrifice a sexy appearance; your own bare heels will show in your kitten heel slides, which have a light appearance and are great for stylish summer appeal.

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Pointed-Toe Flats

Pointed-Toe Flats
Pointed-Toe Flats. Christian Vierig / Getty Images

Flats are just the ticket for loafing about, shopping, or even for the office. No, they won't add to your height, but you can select styles with pointed toes, a V-shaped vamp, or peep toes to help give you a longer look. Pointed toes work especially well to visually extend the leg, a good feature for the short woman.