Slingback shoes are characterized by a small strap that wraps around the back of the heel. They are typically sandals but can come with a closed toe. These shoes got their name because the shape of the heel strap resembles the slingshot toy. Years ago, these shoes were considered to be very casual and only appropriate during summer months. However, they are now very versatile with different styles, high heel sizes, and materials that make them wearable for casual, business, and formal occasions.
This guide will make the shopping and selection process easier by discussing sizes and types of slingbacks,, the styles that can be worn on different occasions, adding embellishments, and the best places to shop for them.
Before Shopping for Slingbacks
Dressier shoes can be notoriously uncomfortable. However, there are a few simple things to do that will help ensure that the shoes can be worn for long periods of time without causing any discomfort. The first thing to do is to measure the feet to make sure that the shoe size is correct.
To do this, wait until the end of the day when the feet are the largest. Tape a piece of paper to the floor that is bigger than each foot and trace the outline of the feet onto the paper. Disagree Keep the pencil as close to the foot as possible when doing this and hold the pencil vertically. Once both feet are outlined onto the paper, measure from the center of the heel, to the furthest toe out. Be sure to measure both feet in case one foot is longer than the other which is a common occurrence. Next, refer to the chart below to determine the most accurate shoe size.
U.S. Women’s Shoe Size
Foot Length in Inches
After selecting the size, be aware of a few extra things to make sure the shoes will be comfortable. The strap of the shoe should fit around the back of the heel without squeezing or being too loose. Be sure that the front of the shoe is also sized appropriately.
Always look for slingbacks that have padding in them. If they do not have any padding, select shoes that have enough room to place a gel insert in them. Walking or standing for long periods of time can become very uncomfortable without a good amount of cushioning.
Lastly, keep in mind that shoes with higher heels will cause more discomfort and can only be worn for shorter amounts of time. If wearing high heels, try to find ones that have a good base. Pointy heels put more strain on the ankles, knees, and hips than other styles.
Because there is such a large variety of women’s slingbacks, there are styles that can be worn for any occasion and season. Finding the appropriate shoes is a simple process of selecting the shape of the slingbacks, the height of the heel, the material, and the decorative embellishments.
Types of Slingbacks
The different shapes of slingback shoes can range in levels of formality. Some styles can be either formal or casual depending on the decorative accents and material. The chart below discusses the various types of slingbacks and their comfort levels.
Type of Slingback
|Closed Toes||Closed toed slingbacks can feature any toe shape from square to pointy. They have a closed area for the toes but the remainder of the shoe is open. These can be comfortable or uncomfortable depending on the shape of front.|
|Enclosed||Enclosed slingbacks are only open at the heel area. These are typically comfortable because they provide support for the feet.|
|Open Toes||Open toed slingbacks have a thick strap over the toes or an enclosure over the middle portion of the foot. They are open at the front and the back. These usually have an average level of comfort.|
|Platforms||Platform slingbacks can be any shape but they feature a thick sole and a high heel. Typically platforms are uncomfortable due to their height.|
|Peep Toes||Peep toe slingbacks are enclosed at the front but have a small opening which shows one or two toes. They tend to squeeze the toes together and can possibly cause discomfort.|
|Pointed Toes||Pointed slingbacks feature an enclosed front that comes to the shape of a point. These can be uncomfortable because the point squeezes the toes together.|
|Rounded Toes||Rounded slingbacks have an enclosed front with a round shape. These provide space for the toes to move around so these shoes can be more comfortable to wear.|
|Sandals||Sandal slingbacks feature a small strap over the toes. These have the least amount of support and can be uncomfortable.|
|Squared Toes||Squared slingbacks feature a front that is in the shape of a square. Like the rounded slingback shoes, they can be more comfortable due to having space for the toes to move around in their natural position.|
These are the various different shapes and styles of slingback shoes to choose from. The next step is to decide how casual or formal the shoes need to be.
Slingbacks for Any Occasion
Slingback shoes can look fashionable at all occasions if the right shoes are selected. Use this chart to learn how to choose the best slingbacks for business casual, professional, evening, formal, and casual attire.
Slingbacks to Wear
|Casual||Lower-heeled, flat, or wedge slingbacks are perfect for staying at home or attending summer barbeques. Peep toes, open toes, rounded toes and sandals work best. Select materials such as patterned fabrics, synthetics, meshes, denim, or suedes. For a semi-formal look, leather can also be worn. Wear these shoes with summer dresses, shorts, jeans, capris, or skirts above the knee. Casual slingbacks can also be decorated with large flowers and ruffles.|
|Business Casual||For a polished look that isn’t overly business-like, select a medium sized heel with materials like leather, suede, or synthetic. Peep toes, closed toes, squared toes, and enclosed toes have a semi-formal feel that is perfect for the business casual look. These shoes work with dark jeans, slacks, and knee length skirts.|
|Evening||Dress for evening occasions by wearing a cocktail dress with high heeled slingbacks. Peep toes, pointed toes, platforms, and stilettos will compliment the dress. Synthetic materials are the best choice for evening attire and these shoes can be embellished with small bows, ruffles, or jewels.|
|Formal||For a formal look, wear platform, stiletto, peep toed, or pointed toe shoes. Again, these should only be made with synthetic material. They can also be embellished but the decorations should be kept to a minimum.|
|Professional||To be professional, choose closed toed, squared, or peep toe slingbacks. Materials such as leather, suede, or flat synthetic are the best. Only wear these with slacks or knee length skirts. High heels are best.|
These are the different ways in which to wear slingbacks at every kind of occasion. Shoes can be the most important factor in an outfit so it is imperative that they enhance the attire rather than take away from it.
Decorative accents can be used to add class to the shoes or to create a playful look. A plain, black slingback can have jewels or rhinestones glued on to make it appear more formal. Or a fabric print wedge shoe can have a synthetic flower added onto it for a stylish, summer look. Other options to embellish shoes with include ruffles, lace, and bows.
Shopping for Slingbacks
Slingback shoes can be found at local places such as specialty shoe stores, outlet stores, department stores, malls, and women’s clothing shops. However, brick and mortar stores can have a limited variety. It is because of this that many women choose to shop on websites like Monique Custom Shoes where they can customize your slingback shoes for any occasion or season.