The anatomy of fashion shoes and how to choose them

In every outfit, your shoes complete your entire appearance, no matter what you are wearing. The perfect fashion shoes will work well with your outfit, will be appropriate for any occasion, will suit your personality, will flatter your proportions and they must be comfortable. Read on to find the perfect shoes for you.

The Anatomy of a Shoe

Learning about the individual parts of a shoe can help you to choose the perfect fit for your outfit and delegate what appearance you are trying to convey.

The heel has great variations. It can be a flat shoe without an actual heel or it can be very tall. Stilettos have a very tall and skinny heel, whereas wedges have a thick and chunky heel that may be stacked. The latter is the most supportive type of heel and is best for people that don’t wear heels very often. They are the most comfortable and easiest to walk in, especially if you will be on your feet for a long time at an event.

The toes of a shoe also have a lot of variations. It can be a closed toe, where you don’t see your toes at all or a peep toe that shows your toes. The closed toe shoe is considered much more formal than the open toe shoe. Closed toe shoes are also more appropriate for wearing to work.

The vamp is the opening in which you place your foot into the shoe. It may include straps that come up high on the foot near the ankle or it can be an ankle boot to fit into the high vamp category. The low vamp shoes will actually make your legs look much longer and make your foot appear much more slim.

The sole of a shoe is the area under the front of the foot that touches the ground and it can be very thin or a thicker version. The thicker soles make it appear much heavier such as platform shoes that give you extra height.


Flattering Your Vertical Body Shape

Vertical body shapes are balanced, short legs with a long torso or long legs with a short torso. If you stand in front of a full-length mirror, you can easily decide which of these three vertical body shapes you have.

The balanced body shape is the perfect vertical proportions. If you have a balanced body and are slim, the best shoes are not ultra high heels, but any other style.

The other two vertical body shapes strive to make their body look more balanced by increasing or decreasing the appearance of the legs length. This is accomplished by using the correct areas of the shoes anatomy.

A higher heel, thicker sole and lower vamp all make your legs look longer. A longer and more pointed toe will make your legs appear more slim, but also will make your feet look larger. Nude colored shoes that match your bare leg, blend with your hosiery or hemline of a dress make your legs appear longer.

If you want your legs to look shorter, you should choose flat shoes with a wide or square toe, thin soles and high vamp in bright colors.


Ankles, Calves and Thighs Proportions

If your ankles, calves or thighs are a bit thick, the best shoes for you will avoid being too extreme. You don’t want shoes that are very delicate or too heavy in their appearance as these styles make your legs appear thicker. The best types of heels in this case are a stack heel in a medium width or a column heel, which is chunky in appearance and a medium height. These work much better in this case than a short and thick kitten heel or a tall stiletto heel.

Feet Proportions

The toes of a shoe will also affect how the length and width of your feet are perceived and can make your feet and legs appear shorter and fatter or longer and slimmer. Round style toes make your feet look wider and make your legs look shorter. Pointed toes will make your feet appear slimmer and longer.

Shoes to Flatter Any Outfit

Your shoes should add to some aspect of your outfit to tie in your entire appearance. Gone are the days of matching purses and shoes in color when there are so many other options in fashion shoes from which to choose.


Choose to match your shoes with a color in your outfit. Choosing a nude tone to match your hose or hemline of a dress makes you legs look longer. If you choose a bright and fun color in a shoe then make sure you wear some of the same color above the waist such as red shoes with a dress that has a red neckline. This will give the appearance of elongated legs.

Nude shoes work well in spring and summer as they elongate your legs and they can match any number of outfits. Nude shoes also allow you to wear a higher vamp, such as a gladiator style.

Don’t be afraid to match your shoe color to your hair color. It will give you a complete outfit appearance, but your shoes don’t have to be the exact color of your hair, just close to it.



Repeating a texture in your outfit with your choice of fashion shoes is a great balancing act. Suppose you have a dress with a belt in an alligator texture, choose shoes that mimic the alligator texture.


Try to stick to the same theme in your shoes that is in your outfit. You could pair a snake print shoe with a jungle dress that is leopard or tiger inspired or if you are wearing a tribal inspired outfit a wooden shoe that is beaded will be within the same general theme.

Formality Levels

Match your shoes to the formality level of your outfit. Pumps with heels go well with a suit and casual sandals work well with a summer dress that is light and airy. Evening dresses dictate a bit more formal shoe such as a dressy sandal. The thicker the sole of a shoe the more casual it is and matte shoes are more casual, whereas shiny shoes are viewed as much more dressy.


Following these tips when you are choosing shoes to complete your outfit will help you to look fabulous on any occasion.

Author Bio:

Jenny Larson has a degree in journalism and has over 10 years experience in writing. Her specialty lies in the plus size market, as she is a curvy woman herself. She writes candidly on many subjects that plus size women face on a daily basis, such as how to choose the perfect clothing for any occasion that compliments a specific body type. Her passion is fashion, clothing, hair and makeup and she writes from an insider’s view on these subjects.


  1. Καλημερα Ντέμη μου!
    Ωραία αναρτηση!
    Προτιμώ τα flat μοκασίνια και μπαλαρίνες!
    Καλο ΣΚ!!Πολλα φιλακια!!

  2. Shoes are so important, they can make an outfit shine – or not 🙂 I love shoes, and around 4 years ago I only wore high heels.But now I love flats and round toes shoes. Ok, that the post says it makes legs look shorter, but I favor comfort these days! It is a great post! Hope you have a very lovely weekend!

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