10 Worst Shoe Styles for Short Women

Steer Clear of These Footwear Choices if You're Petite

The style of any type of footwear can have a major effect on the appearance of a short woman. Certain shoe styles make petites look taller and thinner while others do just the opposite. Here are the 10 worst shoe styles for short women to wear.

of 10


Wedges. Barry King / Getty Images

Understandably, many women like wedges because they seem to provide more stability when walking, and there's no sense of teetering on a narrow heel. However, the substantial soles of any wedge shoes add a weighty appearance to the leg. That's the reason that wedge shoes rate among the worst shoe styles for petites.

of 10

Shoes With Chunky Heels

Chunky Heels
Chunky Heels. Estrop / Getty Images

Like wedges, shoes with big, chunky heels may provide women more stability when they are walking or standing, but, again, the large heel does nothing to contribute to a short woman's appearance. This heel style is not flattering because it will make legs appear shorter and thicker, and a woman who has short legs will look much better in a shoe style that makes the legs appear longer and slimmer.

of 10

Shoes With Extreme Platforms

Platform Heels
Platform Heels. Estrop / Getty Images

A little platform shouldn't pose a problem for a short woman, and, indeed, it will provide a little lift, but shoes with extreme platforms make a short woman look almost as though she's walking on stilts: not exactly the fashion statement most women would like to make.

of 10

Shoes With Ankle Straps

Ankle Strap Heels
Ankle Strap Heels. Barry King / Getty Images

Shoes with ankle straps visually cut the leg off right at the ankle, a very bad look for petites whose goal is to visually elongate the leg. However, shoes with ankle straps don't need to be completely removed from a short woman's wardrobe because there's a way to wear shoes with ankle straps that won't make legs seem chopped off.

of 10

Gladiator Sandals

Gladiator Sandals
Gladiator Sandals. Robin Marchant / Getty Images

No matter whether gladiator sandals are flat or extend to the knee, the many straps of the gladiator style make for a look that's anything but sleek. When there are so many other styles of sandals that look better on a short woman, there doesn't seem to be any reason to wear gladiators.

of 10

High-Top Sneakers

Black Converse High Tops
High-Top Sneakers. Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle/Getty Images

Of course, for participation in athletics, a high-topped sneaker might be desirable, even necessary. There's really no other reason for a woman who wants to look fashionable to wear this unflattering style.

of 10

Heavy-Looking Shoes

Heavy-Looking Shoes
Heavy-Looking Shoes. Melodie Jeng / Getty Images

If a shoe looks as though it's weighing a woman down, it's too bulky or heavy to include in her wardrobe. What woman wants to look as though it's a major struggle just to lift her foot?

of 10

Sky-High Stilettos

Nude Stilettos
Stilettos. Dominique Charriau / Getty Images

Most people think stilettos are a great style for a short woman because she can increase the appearance of her height just by wearing them. But there is a tipping point — literally. Stilettos that are too high make a short woman look out of proportion, and since they also make walking difficult, stilettos that are too high can call attention to a woman's appearance, but not in a good way. Best bet for petites who want to wear stilettos well is to keep the heel height to four inches or less.

of 10

Mid-Calf Boots

Mid-Calf Boots
Mid-Calf Boots. David Livingston / Getty Images

Boots that end at mid-calf make a horizontal line right across the thickest part of the calf. Not only does this break up the appearance of a long, slim leg, but it also introduces a cut-off line, just as shoes that have ankle straps do. A much better style choice for petites who want to wear boots is a sleek, knee-high boot.

of 10

Furry Boots

Fur Boots
Furry Boots. Daniel Zuchnik / Getty Images

Big, fluffy, furry boots definitely rate a thumbs down unless they're worn to a costume party. Wear them only if you want to look like a bear. Otherwise, steer clear!