Best Bridal Shoes for the Big Day Reviewed

Brides want everything to be perfect on their wedding day, and that includes their footwear. The choice of bridal shoes is one of the most important details of any wedding and can cause a lot of stress leading up to their big day. Hopefully, we’ve made that all-important decision a little easier with this comprehensive guide to the ten best bridal shoes. Shoes are always the most crucial part of any outfit, especially when a bride is walking down the aisle in her wedding dress.

Last Updated: June 8, 2018
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By Himmatpreet Kaur:

We have updated our list to bring you the most recent 10 best bridal shoes in a variety for price ranges and styles. We've also updated our criteria to provide you even more information about what to look for in a great shoe for your wedding day.

It really makes sense to go all out when it comes to bridal shoes. You will never be able to wear your wedding dress again after your big day, but you should definitely be able to wear bridal shoes again. That means that you’re totally justified in spending a little bit extra since you can wear them on your nights out and for formal events.

Featured Recommendations

Betsey Johnson Stela
  • Betsey Johnson Stela
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stunning design
  • Price: See Here
Anne Klein Fabulist
  • Anne Klein Fabulist
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Elegant style
  • Price: See Here
Nine West Leisa
  • Nine West Leisa
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Kitten heel
  • Price: See Here

When picking bridal shoes, there’s a lot to consider. Your decision will largely be based not on color because the shoe will match or complement your outfit, but style. There’s also your budget to consider. It may be one of the most significant moments of your life, but there’s no sense breaking the bank when there are other options in your price range. And last but not least, you definitely want to make sure the shoes are comfortable. Because the last thing you want is to stumble on your way down the aisle or sit out on the dancing at the reception!

 

10 Best Bridal Shoes

 

1. Betsey Johnson Stela

Coming in at number one, this stunning bridal shoe is hot. This gorgeous four-inch heel is one of the most popular on the market right now, and not just because of the reasonable price. With the Stela, Betsy By Blue has created an elegant yet sexy shoe with enough pizzazz to have everyone staring as you walk down the aisle. Glitter overlay and a chic bow come together to create a look that is not for the faint of heart.
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Bow Tie
That cute little bow tie on the front isn’t just for show - it has a pretty useful function. It helps the entire shoe stay on nice and tight, which keeps you stable as you walk.

Tasteful Glitter
Glitter can often come off looking cheap, but this is not the case with the Stela. And this is what we would expect from a top-of-the-line American designer like Betsey Johnson.

Cost And Value
One of the major selling points for this shoe is the value. It’s considerably cheaper than many of the other shoes on this list, which is quite the accomplishment seeing as it claims the number two spot.
Pros
  • Great Value
  • Tasteful Glitter
  • Functional Bow Tie
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Glitter can come off

2. Anne Klein Fabulist

You’re not bound to white or off-white shoes for your wedding. Shades of pink are popular as well as other colors including silver and gold, like this Anne Klein Fabulist dress pump. Available in five different colors, we love the blue and gold version for a little flash of color with any wedding dress or wedding suit. Super comfortable with a lower heel (2.25”) so you can dance the night away at the reception too.
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Gel comfort
The footbed in the Fabulist features gel technology for great comfort on your big day. The last thing you need to worry about when you’re celebrating your wedding is sore feet. With a gel insole, you can be assured of hours of wear without discomfort.

iFlex Technology
What do you need to dance the night away beside a comfortable shoe? A shoe that is flexible and the Fabulist is. Up to 90° of flex in the sole will allow you to execute those moves you’ve practiced for your first dance.

Cost and Value
The Anne Klein Fabulist falls into the lower range of prices for shoes on this list. It’s a great choice for the budget-conscious bride who still wants a great look to complete her wedding outfit. Beautiful, comfortable and dance-worthy. You really can’t go wrong with this number.
Pros
  • Leather upper
  • Synthetic sole for traction
  • 25” heel
  • iFlex Technology
  • Adjustable buckle
  • Gel footbed
Cons
  • Sizes run small

3. Chinese Laundry Teaser

If you want to make a real impact with your shoes and gain almost 6” of height, these platform sandal stilettos are for you. Available in the flashy silver above, in white, black or a tan color, these shoes are going to be noticed. They are also very affordable for the bride that wants a statement-maker for a reasonable price.
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Add Height
With a 2” platform and a heel that is 5.75” inches high, these shoes will give you nearly 6 full inches of height. These shoes are great for making a statement but they also are great if you want to fill a size gap in those photos.

Strappy, Light Style
This stiletto has a light and strappy style that will suit most wedding dresses or wedding suits. It’s not for the beach or brides who aren’t accustomed to heels but it is great for warm weather weddings where something light and breezy is called for.

Cost and Value
These shoes also fall into the lower range of prices on our list. They are a good value in a dramatic, height adding, strappy stiletto platform. You won’t break the wedding budget in these very tall shoes.
Pros
  • 75” heel
  • Strappy style
  • Tall platform
  • Available in silver and white
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Little traction

4. Jimmy Choo Romy

4. Jimmy Choo Romy
Beautifully made in Italy, if glamour is what you’re going for you can’t go wrong with Jimmy Choo’s Romy. It has a 3.5” heel and is well built with high-quality materials and an elegant design. Shimmer and sparkle in a variety of colors including white, silver, and gold that will compliment your wedding attire beautifully.
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Leather lined
Leather makes a fantastic lining because it is natural, doesn’t irritate the feet and allows your feet to breathe. Cool and dry feet during your wedding day is one less thing to have to worry about. Plus, you’re looking hot. No, seriously, hot.

Durable sole
The high-quality construction of this shoe means that it will last a very long time. Wedding day, formal occasion, first anniversary, the one after that. This shoe will suit a number of occasions making it well worth the investment that you make.

Cost and Value
This is not an inexpensive shoe by any means. However, this is a case of you get what you pay for in a great way – high quality, durable, and glamorous, these shoes will make your wedding outfit and many other outfits down the road. You’ll want to wear that formal dress to work just to put your Jimmy Choos on, we promise.
Pros
  • Leather upper
  • Leather sole
  • Glamorous sparkles
  • Elegant design
  • 5” heel
Cons
  • Watch out for knock offs

5. Chinese Laundry Rubie

5. Chinese Laundry Rubie
This moderately high, kitten heel with its cute rolling strap style, will make a great addition to your wedding day ensemble. It is lightly padded and constructed of a soft, micro-suede. This is a very flattering, very affordable shoe to finish your bridal look.
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Scalloped straps
The scalloped straps on the Rubie offer up a unique, flowing design that will look great with a full-length dress, shorter styles or even slacks for your big day. Available in a variety of colors, the shoe is affordable enough that you and your bridesmaids can be coordinated cute.

Comfort for your day
The insole is lightly padded and the heel is not so high as to put pressure on your forefoot and midfoot so you will be comfortable in this shoe throughout your wedding festivities and still have the energy for dancing at the reception. The adjustable strap ensures a good fit at the ankle.

Cost and Value
The shoe falls into the lower range of prices for the list. For a good value, you get a cute, unique shoe that is low enough to be comfortable and tall enough to add height and an elongating line to your legs.
Pros
  • Micro-suede straps
  • Synthetic sole
  • 75” heel
  • Scalloped straps
  • Padded footbed
Cons
  • Straps may dig

6. Steve Madden Slithur

6. Steve Madden Slithur
This edgy Steve Madden dress sandal is a great complement to most wedding outfits. Made of quality leather in a cage design, this shoe is youthful, fun and oh so stylish. Choose the shoe to match your wedding outfit or pair another color choice to give your bridesmaids height and an open, edgy style.
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Leather upper
The leather straps on this stiletto will be strong and comfortable. Leather is a natural material that is comfortable and breathable against the skin yet strong enough to make into straps that won’t give out during your wedding events.

Madden style
Steve Madden shoes are youthful, chic and modern and these shoes are no different. With a 4” height, the stiletto lends tall, lengthening lines to your profile while giving the shoe a deceptively delicate appearance.

Cost and Value
These shoes are mid-range in terms of price. For a small investment, you will have a unique bridal shoe that will also be wearable on other formal or less formal occasions. The chic and modern style can be pair after the wedding with a pair of jeans to make them casual, a summer dress for a day function or even another formal dress or suit.
Pros
  • Versatile shoe
  • Modern, edgy style
  • Leather upper
  • 4” height gained
  • Padded footbed
Cons
  • Sizes run small

7. Nine West Leisa

7. Nine West Leisa
Nine West’s Leisa is a cute little kitten heel with a delicate ankle strap and open toe design. It will suit any number of wedding day outfits and is small enough and comfortable enough for dancing and for being on your feet greeting guests. It is a simply designed shoe that will also suit other outfits and events after the wedding – work or play, you will get a lot of wear from these shoes.
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Simple two-piece
This simple two-piece sandal has an adjustable ankle strap and a closed heel cup for fit. The heel is a reasonable 2.5” kitten heel that will be easy to walk, stand and dance in. It’s simple, elegant design will pair well with a number of wedding attire choices.

Padded insole
This cute heel comes with a padded insole for your comfort. On your wedding day, you shouldn’t have to worry about stressed or tired feet and you won’t have to with the comfort this Nine West shoe will provide.

Cost and Value
This shoe is at the low end of the range in terms of price. It’s a real value when you consider how versatile, comfortable and simply styled it is. You’ll reach for these in your closet over and over again.
Pros
  • Leather upper
  • Two-piece style
  • Kitten heel
  • Padded insole
  • Versatile heel
Cons
  • Not very durable

8. Badgley Mischka Kiara

8. Badgley Mischka Kiara
Two Badgley Mischka shoes make our top ten list - this is the Kiara, which is a conservative yet stunning bridal shoe which has been worn by countless brides on their big day. This 4.5-inch stiletto heel features a peep-toe and a signature rhinestone cluster. It also has a leather sole and a textile upper.
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Rhinestone Heel
The rhinestones are tastefully and professionally done, and won’t come loose. They add just the right amount of sparkle to an already beautiful shoe, and won’t catch on your dress either.

Comfort
It’s possible to wear these for hours on end without getting uncomfortable, which is amazing considering they’re a 4.5-inch heel. This is largely due to the padded leather footbed.

Cost and Value
These shoes are definitely a little bit more expensive than some of the other shoes on this list, but the quality matches the price, and some would even say they’re a steal.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Rhinestones don’t catch 
  • Satin upper
  • 4.5 inch heels 
Cons
  • Can be tight at the toes

9. Badgley Mischka Salsa

9. Badgley Mischka Salsa
This is a gorgeous peep toe heel with a rhinestone brooch on the toe that was made specifically by Badgley Mischka for brides. The d'Orsay style is a classic. This 3” heel will go very well with most wedding dresses and suits. A designer bridal shoe at price lower than many other designer shoes!
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D’Orsay classic
The d’Orsay style is open at the outsides of the midfoot, sometimes on only one side and many times on both. The style has been with us since the 18th century (when it was a man’s shoe style) and has become a classic, with beautiful lines that shoe off the foot and elongate the leg.

Durable construction
The upper and sole on this shoe are both leather, which is a durable, breathable material. The shoe will last long past your wedding day so you can wear it to other formal or semi-formal events or anywhere you want a little rhinestone, classically styled fun.

Cost and Value
This shoe falls in the mid-range pricewise. It is a fantastic, classic meets modern update heel that will make you feel and look absolutely stunning on your wedding day. A bit of an investment, the shoe is durable and will last you through several other events and occasions, becoming a favorite dressy addition to your wardrobe.
Pros
  • Leather upper
  • Leather sole
  • Classic d’Orday style
  • Modern update
  • Peep-toe
Cons
  • Sizes run small

10. Vince Camuto Stellima

10. Vince Camuto Stellima
This shoe is available in a number of colors and we love the white with silver and gold accents on the vamp and closure for brides. Beautiful! The tassel tie closure for the ankle strap is a unique detail that will add character to your wedding shoes.
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Flexible sole
With a flexible sole, the shoe will move with you and go where you go, great for dancing in if you’re comfortable with the height. A flexible sole also prevents strain from stiffness and allows your foot to move naturally. Flexible soles aren’t for everyone. If you have flat feet, forever, these shoes will be uncomfortable.

Padded footbed
If you’re going to be in a high heel for yours, a padded footbed can go a long way to making the experience more comfortable. High heels put a strain on your forefoot and midfoot but a padded footbed helps to cushion and distribute some of that pressure, meaning you can wear them longer.

Cost and Value
The Vince Camuto Stellima is priced in the mid-range of the list. For the investment, you are getting a very unique shoe with a unique closure and fun, youthful style. These shoes will pair well with many bridal dresses and suits and will also become a summer fave for other occasions as well.
Pros
  • Padded footbed
  • Leather upper
  • Synthetic sole
  • Flexible sole
  • Tassel closure
Cons
  • Sizes run narrow

So there you have it. Hopefully, that will have narrowed down the daunting choice of which bridal shoes to wear on your big day. But even with this list of just ten options, there is still a lot to consider.  We know it is not an easy choice but we hope we have given you a lot of inspiration.

The most important thing to remember when choosing bridal shoes is to be true to yourself. Don’t just buy shoes because of the price tag or the brand name associated with it. Buy the shoes you really love, the ones you can see yourself walking down the aisle in. Your wedding day is supposed to be about you, so choose shoes that make you excited.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Bridal Shoes

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Style

Shoes are an essential part of the whole wedding theme. You’ve spent a lot of time and perhaps a great deal of money choosing the perfect wedding dress or outfit to wear for your day. You want a pair of shoes that matches your attire well, doesn’t clash and expresses your personal taste and style.

Whether it’s understated elegance, fun & flirty, youthful and energetic, or unique and individual you will find a pair of shoes on this list that will suit you. Each is a modern take on a classic heel and in a variety of heights that will please anyone, from those who have never worn a heel before to those who have a closet full of 6” stilettos.

In terms of style here is our advice to you:  Choose your dress or suit first. It’s what brides tend to stress the most about. Ensure you’re happy with the style, color, fit. Once you’ve chosen the “one”, then come online and have a look for shoes that complement your outfit AND grab your heart.

Does your dress look best with a little ballet flat, a kitten heel or can it handle the dramatic height of a stiletto?  Is the dress light enough for strappy sandals or is a closed toe d’Orsay more the way to go. Sparkly or satiny or matte?  We’re sure we’ve chosen shoes that can inspire your purchase.

If you’re going non-traditional Western, will the shoe complement the color of your dress?  Today’s generation is not bound by color and luckily, neither are most of the shoes above. Metallics like gold and silver are popular as are rhinestone detailed heels. Even in a white dress, you could consider a very bright and vibrant shoe that matches your flowers or choose an ultra-bright white to go with your Cinderella blue gown. The choices are endless and the color is entirely up to you.

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Versatility

We love shoes that you can wear more than once. After all, shoes are an investment. You may not be able to wear that gorgeous Vera Wang wedding gown with a full train again but your shoes are a whole other story. We looked for shoes that were versatile enough to wear on other occasions after the wedding, to give you the most value for your hard-earned dollar. Every shoe in our list, even those specifically designed for brides, can be worn on other occasions, including other formal or semi-formal events but some can even become a great pairing with a sweater and a pair of jeans.

Durability helps to inform versatility. We looked for shoes that were durable enough for a demanding wedding day but also durable enough to be worn again and again. In the case of durability, it’s a case often of ‘you get what you pay for’ and the more expensive a shoe, the more durable it tends to be.

We also carefully read the reviews and rejected all shoes that were said to fall apart easily or which did not have a stable heel, which are signs of very low versatility and durability.

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Build Quality

As the quality of shoe goes up, usually so does the price. We looked for shoes where the build quality at least matched and usually surpassed the price, ensuring that you get the best value for your money without sacrificing good materials. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is a shoe failure – straps that break, heels that snap, insoles that collapse.

We looked at how the shoe was constructed, especially at the heel (which are usually glued on with small nails that help secure the heel while the glue dries). We read reviews to ensure strappy sandals would stay strappy sandals and not a twisted mess.

Here are some tips on what to look for in a quality heel:

  • Connection – the heel should be solidly connected to the sole of the shoe. Straps should also be solidly glued or sewn onto the shoe. If it’s glued (and it usually is), there shouldn’t be any gaps where the adhesive might fail. Adhesives peeping through the joint is a sign of poor manufacturing and a shoe that may fail from too much adhesive. Read reviews to determine whether other users have had any heel or strap problems.
  • Padded insole – there is no excuse for even a wide-open sandal to not have some padding in the insole. Otherwise, your foot will be resting on a bare sole which is very uncomfortable.
  • Lining – lining should be soft fabric, suede or leather for the comfort of your feet. Harder fabrics and some synthetic fabrics can irritate the foot.
  • Straps – The straps of a sandal should never cut into the heel, ankle or other parts of your foot. Quality straps are lined to prevent this from happening but again this is a great place to read over the reviews to see if other users have had strap issues. Your feet should not be scraped and bleeding on your big day – or any other day.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Can/should wedding shoes be dyed?
A: It depends on the shoe and your preferences. If you’ve found a shoe with a style and design that you love, but it’s not the right color, you probably won’t be able to dye it white; it’s extremely difficult to make change a dark color to a lighter one, although the other way around is pretty easy. You’d be better off sticking with a shoe that you can dye to a darker color or that already matches the shade that you want. Also, you must take into consideration whether you’ll be anywhere wet for your wedding, as water can cause the dye to run. That means that if you’re getting married on a beach or during a time of year when it’s likely to rain, dyeing your shoes is probably not the best idea.

Q: What’s the best brand for bridal shoes?
A: As you can see from our list, Badgley Mischka is often a dependable brand for excellent bridal shoes. Jimmy Choo is another well-respected name in this niche. Others include Anne Klein and Vince Camuto. All of these brands tend to demand quite a pretty penny, of course, but there’s a reason for that – it’s because they’ve consistently proven to produce some of the highest quality bridal shoes in the industry.

Q: Are used or knock-off shoes just as good as big brands?
A: Despite the temptation of a lower price, it’s best to avoid used shoes if possible. The newer the shoes, the more likely they are to not wear down quickly or have any other problems. When you’re buying something completely new – when you’re the shoes’ first owner – you can feel assured that the shoes are fresh, clean, and at peak quality. On the other hand, it’s understandable and acceptable if you want to go for a knock-off brand, as long as you make sure that the quality is just as good as the design the shoes are mimicking. Most of the time, they’re comparable, but it can’t hurt to be safe.

Q: What’s better–satin or leather?
A: This is mostly a matter of preference. Leather tends to be a bit sturdier and tougher against the elements, so it’s less likely to break down or tear easily. It’s also fairly comfortable as a general rule. However, satin is usually even more comfortable, and its texture is a bit shinier and softer, so it probably complements more wedding dresses than leather would. Also, satin is easier to dye than leather, which is important to keep in mind if you want to change your shoe color. Of course, satin does scuff more easily than leather and can be harder to clean; you’d have to be very careful while you wear them. Ultimately, it’s up to your personal style and how much effort you’re willing to put into caring for your shoes.

Q: Is it necessary to break in the shoes before the wedding?
A: “Necessary” is a strong word, but it would definitely be a wise idea. Even if you only want to wear the shoes once, you don’t want to be completely uncomfortable for several consecutive hours or injure your feet in any way. Who wants their wedding tainted with that kind of inconvenience? You don’t need to take the shoes out anywhere, and in fact, you shouldn’t (or else you’d risk soiling them); just wear them around your house for a little while every day in the week or so leading up to the wedding. Then you can make sure that they’re ready.

Q: Should I have an extra pair of shoes, just in case?
A: It certainly can’t hurt! The most predictable thing about life is its unpredictability. For example, say you decide to dye your shoes and aren’t expecting rain or contact with any water on your wedding day, but despite your best efforts, you step in something that causes the dye to run. You probably won’t want to risk ruining your dress, decorations, or floor with the dye, not to mention it would probably look tacky to walk around with partially-dyed and runny shoes, so you’d probably be grateful to have a backup pair to wear. You don’t need to spend an equal fortune on them, but just make sure that you’re prepared for the worst.

Sources

  1. dancegeardirect, should-i-choose-leather-canvas-or-satin-ballet-shoes, Website, Jun 08, 2018
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