What to Wear: The Best Shoes for Capri Pants

You Need the Right Footwear to Carry Off Capris

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While capri pants look great on some women, they often fall short on others. Body shape has a lot to do with how capri pants look, but another big factor in successfully wearing them is pairing them with the right footwear. Here are some of the best shoes to wear with capri pants, as well as a few of the worst options.

The Best Shoes for Capri Pants

  • Ballerina Flats
    Ballerina flats are the classic choice for pairing with capri pants and a favorite for many women. Leather, satin, peep-toe, even sneakers can be had with ballerina/skimmer cut, and nearly any of them will work with capri pants because they're streamlined, fitted, and show a lot of the foot. This helps elongate the part of the leg that shows.
  • Flat, Skimpy Strap Sandals or Flip Flops
    Skimpy, dainty, delicate flat sandals work well with capri pants for the same reason ballerina flats do: they show a lot of foot and elongate the legs. If you're going for a more dressy look, try embellished or metallic flat sandals. But if it's a carefree appearance you're after, anything from canvas to patent leather will do. Just remember to keep them light.
  • Fitted Canvas Sneakers
    In addition to low-cut, ballerina type sneakers, you can also pair capri pants with lace-up sneakers like classic Keds for a totally casual, beach-comber look.

Exercise Caution when Pairing the following Shoe Styles with Capris

  • Wedges
    A lot of women wear wedge shoes with capri pants, and though it occasionally works, wedge heels are bulky. If nobody can pry wedges out of your hands (or off of your feet), then at least look for styles that have very delicate uppers.
  • Pumps
    Pairing pumps with capri pants is another one of those "sometimes works" propositions, but for the most part, it creates a retro, "pin-up" vibe. If you've been trying to figure out how to cultivate that look, well, now you know. But if you have no interest in looking like a Vargas girl, then you'll want to steer clear of wearing pumps with capri pants.

    The Worst Shoes for Capri Pants

    • Bulky Sneakers and Cross-Trainers
      You see this look a lot at suburban shopping malls, and it's easy to understand that it's all about comfort. But it's not a flattering look for anyone. If you love wearing capris and need to pair them with the most comfortable shoes you can find, try a pair of slim, canvas sneakers instead. If it's the cross-trainers you can't give up, try them with a pair of boot-cut yoga pants instead.
    • Sandals with Heavy Straps
      Whether they're flats or heels doesn't matter, sandals with really thick straps don't play well with capri pants; they're just too overwhelming for such a slim silhouette.
    • Clogs
      There are no heavier-looking shoes than clogs, which is fine if you're pairing them with jeans or pants. But whether they're rubber, wood or leather, they're way too bulky for capri pants.