Style SOS: Which shoes to wear with skinny jeans?

Skinny jeans have become a staple item, both in stores, and in many people’s wardrobes. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always easy to style, though, and one of the most common questions we get is from people wondering which shoes to wear with skinny jeans. Well, we’ll get onto that shortly, but before we do, it can be useful to know which shoes NOT to wear with skinny jeans first…

Some shoes NOT to wear with skinny jeans…


Shoes: Topshop

Very chunky platforms with skinny jeans

Cute shoes, sure… But the clumpy, chunky shape of the shoe against the super-skinny leg of the jeans throws the proportions of the outfit totally off and creates that “hoof” effect that looks great on horses, but a little bit comical on humans. This kind of look certainly draws attention to your shoes, but it can also make your feet look at least three sizes larger than they are, and out-of-proportion to the rest of you.

flatforms with skinny jeans

Shoes: Zara

Flatforms with skinny jeans

Of course, we’d argue that flatforms don’t look good with ANYTHING. If they MUST be worn, though, they’re possibly one of the worst possible shoes to wear with skinny jeans – unless, of course, you want to look like a golf club. Flatforms and skinny jeans are a GREAT way to make yourself look like a human golf club.

which shoes to wear with skinny jeans?

All shoes: Shopbop

Shoes which emphasise the ankles

No one likes the “cankles” effect, and wearing shoes designed to chop the leg in half at the ankle are a really easy way to create cankles where they don’t exist. This becomes even more of an issue with jeans which hug the ankles anyway, so chunky straps or gaping leather around that area are probably best avoided.

Shoes to wear with skinny jeans

So, those are the shoes to avoid wearing with this style of pants, but which shoes SHOULD you wear with skinny jeans? Here are some suggestions…

pointed toe court shoes with skinny jeans

Shoes: Zara

Pointed or almond-toed pumps with skinny jeans

The skinny leg of these jeans works best with a similarly slimline shoe style: rounded or squared toed can look clumsy when paired with a skinny leg, so look for pointed or almond toes instead. One word of warning: if you’re choosing a pointed toe, go for a short point rather than an elongated one if you don’t want to exaggerate the length of your feet.

strappy sandals with skinny jeans

Barely-there sandals with skinny jeans

If you’re having trouble working out which shoes to wear with skinny jeans, what could be easier than shoes that don’t draw attention to themselves? Barely-there sandals require extra attention to your pedicure, but they work with almost anything: skinny jeans included. Peep toes can also be a good choice with skinny jeans, because the open toe makes your foot look smaller, thus helping to eliminate the “gold club” effect.

heels with skinny jeans

Shoes: ASOS

One of the reasons some women fear skinny jeans is their ability to make short legs look even shorter, and even a little stumpier than they really are. For this reason, shoes with heels can be more flattering with skinnies than shoes without: they’ll help elongate and slim the leg, and can be a killer combination with the right skinny jeans. You don’t need to go for skyscrapers, either: even a small heel will have a flattering effect on the leg. If you really want to avoid heels of any kind, however…

ballet flats with skinny jeans

Ballet flats with skinny jeans

There really isn’t much that the good ol’ ballet flat won’t work with. If you’re worried about the “stumpifying” effect flat shoes can have when worn with skinny jeans, however, go back to the first point and look for flats with a pointed or almond toe to create a similar, elongated effect on the leg.

Knee boots with skinny jeans

This article is technically supposed to be about shoes, but in colder climates, there are few things easier than a pair of knee-high boots worn with skinny jeans. Just make sure your boots are wide enough to tuck the jeans into without cutting off your circulation…

Wear with caution…

ankle boots with skinny jeans

Boots: Giuseppe Zanotti

Ankle boots can be tricky to wear with skinny jeans because they emphasise the ankles and can also have a foot-enlargening effect. Done right, however, this can actually make for a really nice, casual look. The key to making this work is in finding fairly slimline boots which don’t gape too much around the ankle, and which taper at the toe. It might take a bit of searching, but trust us, it’ll be worth it.

red sneakers and skinny jeans

Shoes: ASOS

As with ankle boots, sneakers and skinnies can make for a great, casual look, however you need to pick the right sneakers. As with our other tips, try to avoid chunky, overly-rounded shapes, such as running or athletic shoes. A pair of low-rise Chucks, however, can work just as well as a pair of ballet flats- and maybe be a little more comfortable into the bargain.


  • June 27, 2013


    I wear them only with low boots. ALso you didn’t mention normal boots, then the skinny jean can be completely tucked in up to the knee. I can’t do that because my legs are too heavy but I wish I could !

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