Best Clear Strap Heels Reviewed
These elegant shoes go well with any outfit on prom night or a wedding. They create an image of class and whimsy, and can be the perfect addition to either an elegant or casual outfit. To help you find the best pair of clear strap shoes, we've compiled a list of the ten best models available for purchase in 2018, so you're sure to find the perfect pair!
- Charles David Rome
- Steve Madden Charlee
- Pleaser Lip-108 Sandal
- Schutz Cendi
- Steve Madden Seeme
- Jessica Simpson Seena
- J. Adams Daisy
- Ivanka Trump Kaye 2
- Steve Madden Clearer
- Cape Robbin Benny
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Clear Strap Heels
1. Charles David Rome
Adjustable Buckle Closure
4 Inch Heel
A strappy sandal that comes in a number of upper variations, the Rome by Charles David is an elegant model that’s perfect for both summer nights on the town, as well as the more dressed up formal occasions where you’re expected to present yourself in the best possible light. The clear strap version is placed on a nude faux leather sole that’s perfectly subtle and can be matched with absolutely any outfit.Read more
Instead of going with one thick plastic strap over the toe area, the Rome features two thinner straps that are sewn in a criss cross manner, allowing not just for a more comfortable fit, but also a more sophisticated look.
While the fact that the lining of this shoe is less than ideal, the synthetic material is actually welcome in the outsole portion as it offers a more durable wear than leather, and might even prove to be more stable in terms of surface grip.
Cost and Value
With an average price for this type of high heeled shoe, the Charles David Rome costs more than what you’d expect of a synthetic model to go for. Nonetheless, it’s a great investment if you’re after a subtle sandal that’s not chunky in the strap areas, but instead offers elegant support over the foot.
2. Steve Madden Charlee
4.25 Inch Heel
Comfortable for Prolonged Wear
Somewhere between a mule and a sandal, the Steve Madden Charlee is arguably one of the most comfortable stiletto heels you’ll ever come across. Available in two options: the classic nude suede, as well as the fun-filled teal, it’s a great choice for both casual and more elegant occasions where you want to show off a bit of your foot, without doing too much.Read more
The two thick straps on the Charlee not only look great, but serve a specific function as well. The one that goes over the toes ensures a secure fit, while the upper strap wraps the instep for a higher level of support that ensures your foot doesn’t work overtime to keep this shoe on.
While suede is a great material in terms of quality, durability and comfort, it may put some off seeing that it’s an animal product. The Charlee features a manmade version that’s cruelty free, allowing you to enjoy these shoes without the feeling of guilt.
Cost and Value
Ranking average in terms of price but high in regards to comfort and quality, the Steve Madden Charlee hits that sweet spot between price, design and comfort level. It’s a great summer shoe to have in your closet, and the two color options allow for you to show off your unique style.
3. Pleaser Lip-108 Sandal
Buckled Ankle Strap
Four Inch Heel
Seductively grown up heel is sure to turn heads and make you the center of attention. Four inch tall heels and a one inch platform help add to you walking tall in a sassy but classy way. It's a surprisingly comfortable pair of shoes you'll very likely reach for whenever possible.Read more
Adjustable strap is perfect for any foot, as well as providing perfect ankle support. The metallic buckle is durable and provide long lasting strength.
We love the arch support this shoe provides when many high heels don't. The rubber sole provides great traction. We also loved how comfortable these shoes are for what they are.
Cost and Value
These clear shoes are perfect for any bikini competition and won't break the bank. With a price that's one of the lowest on this list, and the use of durable materials, it's a great choice both for competitions as well as for your private wear collection.
4. Schutz Cendi
Vinyl and Leather Upper
4 Inch Heel
While it may not necessarily be a strappy sandal, the Schutz Cendi is a unique take on the glass slipper with a mixture of transparent sides and a sporty yet elegant toe and heel that are available in a number of unique color and material options. If you’re looking for a pair of footwear that’s both original and classic, you should definitely check out the Cendi, as it will look just as good with shorts or jeans as it will with a long gown.Read more
While the clear part of the shoe is made out of vinyl, the toe and heel are constructed in leather, patent leather or calf hair, giving you piece of mind that the product you’re purchasing is made with materials that don’t just look premium, but are also easy to care for, and are durable.
Regardless of whether you plan on wearing any hosiery with these shoes or not, you will want an insole that’s going to be gentle to the skin of your feet. The full leather insole is not just soft to the touch, it’s also breathable, which is quite important in a pair of plastic footwear.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s above average, the Schutz Cendi may not fit everyone’s budget for a special occasion shoe. However, if you’re planning on wearing this style more often than just a couple of times, then this is a great investment, as you’ll be getting a quality pair of shoes you’ll love wearing.
5. Steve Madden Seeme
Clear Plastic Straps
Wrapped Heel and Buckle
4.25 Inch Stiletto Heel
True to Size
Too High for Some
If you’re keen on showing off your legs in a pair of designer stilettos made with a futuristic but elegant design, then the Steve Madden Seeme is one model you should definitely check out. Available in several color options, including black, a natural, a silver and a snakeskin color, you’ll easily pair this model with any outfit, be it fancy or casual.Read more
One of the features that differentiates the Seeme from similar models is the buckle that comes in the same color, and covered with the same material that’s featured in the sole and the heel of the shoe. This subtle detail can do wonders in terms of updating your look from niche to well thought out.
Sky High Heel
The 4.25 inch stiletto heel on the Seeme is reserved for those who are comfortable with this amount of elevation. Although it will take some time getting used to walking in these, they’re absolutely perfect for formal and special occasions where you want to put your best foot forward.
Cost and Value
For a pair of designer shoes, the Steve Madden Seeme comes at a surprisingly affordable price. While it’s still a more expensive shoe than some on this list, it won’t set you back a huge amount of money, while still providing you with tons of style.
6. Jessica Simpson Seena
Memory Foam Insole
Wedge Platform Heel
1 Inch Heel
Jessica Simpson shoes, a label which designs anything from western boots to the latest dressy and casual footwear, is all about being fun, flirty, and fashionable. The Jessica Simpson Seena fits that description seamlessly, as it is a great spring/summer sandal for that leisure traipse along the beach, or for a fun cocktail evening with friends. It has two clear straps crossed at the front, a memory foam insole and a platform wedge, amping up the comfort level.Read more
If you’re planning on spending the whole day on your feet, extra cushioning in the footbed is a must-have. The Jessica Simpson Seena comes with a memory foam insole, which takes shape of your foot and basically means you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds.
The benefit of a wedge heel is that, no matter how high it is, it is one of the most comfortable types of heels there is. In the Jessica Simpson Seena, your weight is evenly distributed over the surface of the shoe, easing the pressure off of the front of your foot, and allowing you to walk without any pain or discomfort!
Cost and Value
The price of the Jessica Simpson Seena leans towards the high-range. It is a sandal that will not disappoint and is perfect for any summer outfit combination, but be prepared to unstring our coin purse for these beauties.
7. J. Adams Daisy
2.5 Inch Block Heel
Adjustable Ankle Strap
Wide Foot Bed
Wears Out Quickly
Painful To Break In
J. Adams is a company dedicated to impeccable craftsmanship, high-quality materials, superior design, and effortless style. The J. Adams Daisy is certainly timeless, with its clean lines and a touch of unique glam that comes with the clear strap and transparent block heel. It is constructed out of lightweight materials, with a buckled ankle strap and is 100% vegan, meaning that no cute animals were harmed in the making of this shoe!Read more
Lightweight and Lifted
The block heel will give you the perfect boost in height with its almost three-inches, and that, combined with the ultra-lightweight design, makes the J. Adams Daisy wearable all day long.
The beauty of the minimalistic style of the J. Adams Daisy is that this shoe goes well with anything. Jeans, shorts, skirts, dressy, or casual wear, you name it! This sandal will become a staple in your wardrobe and will be suitable for all but the most formal occasions.
Cost and Value
The J. Adams Daisy just barely fell short of our ‘cheapest shoe on the list’ prize. It doesn’t come with any world-famous footwear designer names, its materials are not particularly high quality and it won’t stand out in the crowd. However, this sandal is perfectly comfortable, easy to wear and even easier to combine with the clothes in your closet; for such a low price, we don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t get it.
8. Ivanka Trump Kaye 2
Textile or Suede Upper
4 Inch Heel
Lightly Padded Footbed
Looking for something fun, pretty and affordable? The Kaye 2 is fun choice with a suede or textile upper and a clear toe strap that’ll show off the line of your foot without sacrificing stability in the heel and ankle area. The modern buckle design is quite different than anything you’ll see on similar models, while the shoe itself is a comfortable product you’ll easily pair with a number of ensembles.Read more
Suede or Textile
If you’re a fan of suede in your footwear, you’ll love the dark natural color that’s easy to combine with almost any other color options. I, however, you’re after something a bit more flashy, definitely opt for the glittery textile that’s going to look stunning with both cocktail dresses and jeans.
Although the heel height on the Kaye 2 is 4 inches, which may not be everyone’s first choice in terms of comfort, the lightly padded footbed adds to the comfortability level of this model, allowing you to spend longer hours wearing these stunning heels.
Cost and Value
Being one of the cheapest options on this list, the Kaye 2 by Ivanka Trump is a good investment, seeing that it fits almost anyone’s budget, while still providing ample style and comfort. Though some compromise has been made in material choice to achieve the low price, it’s great for a go to formal or party shoe.
9. Steve Madden Clearer
Transparent Sculpted Heel
Synthetic Leather Footbed
Foot Slides Forward
Toe Strap Too Tight
Steve Madden is a company which focuses on ‘now-ness’, producing funky, chic, and yet competitively priced footwear. The Clearer sandal is all-over translucent, outfitted with a round toe, an ankle strap, and a transparent sculpted block heel. Its insole is padded for extra comfort and the fact that they are, technically, of no discernible color means that they pair well with any outfit you might come up with and they are sure to make it pop.Read more
Since it is difficult to wear inserts in clear strap heels, as they would easily be seen, it is fortunate that the Steve Madden Clearer has a padded insole, allowing you to walk in it for as long as you wish. No numbness and no pain!
The thickness of the heel enables you to walk with confidence, without fear of stumbling, and its height of four inches gives your foot an arch, making your legs look long and lean. A perfect model-like figure.
Cost and Value
The price of the Steve Madden Clearer is in the high range, compared to other shoes on our list. However, it is truly an exquisite sandal, which captures the essence of transparency in its clear straps, and you surely won’t regret spending your money on these.
10. Cape Robbin Benny
Block Lucite Heel
Sizes Run Small
We admit that we cheated a little bit on this one since the Cape Robbin Benny doesn’t exactly have any clear straps, does it? Rather, this shoe is a bootie, made entirely out of PVC and perspex. If you’ve followed fashion trends for the last few years, you must have seen that these see-through boots are all the rage, especially in the Kardashian family. The Cape Robbin Benny comes with a peep toe and a solid lucite heel which measures four inches in height, as well as a zipper closure in the back.Read more
Other than the obvious aesthetic purpose, the benefit of having an open toe on a PVC bootie such as this is that it allows for better air circulation. Maybe not ideal, but your foot will be able to breathe somewhat, and sweat less than if the shoe were entirely closed.
How many times have we struggled to fit into that one cute pair of booties only to give up because we couldn’t yank them on? This is why the Cape Robbin Benny comes with a zipper in the back, to allow you to ease into and out of the shoe without any problems.
Cost and Value
The Cape Robbin Benny comes at a middle-range cost. It is far from expensive, and if you’re dying for a pair of transparent boots, these are the right ones for you. However, judging by the discomfort the shoe potentially brings, the sweating and the foot fog, maybe it would be best to spend the money on a different model.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
An important aspect of any type of footwear is going to be the materials and type of construction used in the manufacturing process. If you're after clear straps, then these options become quite limited, and you're probably going to have to make a few compromises in terms of comfort, and maybe even in terms of quality.
Of course, there isn’t a wide selection of materials to choose from when it comes to the clear straps themselves, as they're always made out of PVC and polyurethane which have quite a few shortcomings when it comes to the best materials for footwear. However, they are some of the only materials that will achieve the transparent look.
Because they have such big shortcomings as lack of flexibility, breathability, and an overall hard feel in touch with skin, you will need to consider ways in which to prevent side effects from appearing. These may range from blisters to foot fog, and can lead to health issues if worn for prolonged periods of time.
To ensure the least possible damage to your feet, try to look for models that are made with high quality materials in the parts which are not plastic. This means the footbed, midsole and outsole, as they can greatly contribute not just to cushioning and comfort, but also to the breathability factor.
Straps, in general, can be quite bothersome if they are too tight. Clear straps have an added disadvantage in that the plastic cuts into the skin and can leave lacerations.
Therefore, when you’re choosing your clear strap heels, make sure to find the right fit. If you can’t squeeze your toes inside, it’s best to go for half a size or even a whole size up to avoid any discomfort. If it is a closed toe box, your toes should be able to comfortably wiggle in it; if it is an open toe shoe, there should be enough space between your big toe and the end of the shoe so that your toes don’t fall over the edge.
As for straps, it would be best to find ankle or T-straps which have a buckle, and as such can be adjusted to the width of your ankle, so that they don’t hurt you.
As with any other type of footwear, it is crucial that you find a good fit, and stay away from anything that causes discomfort. If your shoes hurt when putting them on, and if they are painful to walk in within a few minutes, they're simply not for you. Note that plastic is much more difficult to shape and mold than leather or textile, and any type of adjustment you try to make may end up ruining the look of your shoes.
Because of their inability to hide anything, it is a bit tricky to have inserts or added insoles in clear strap heels. Even some celebrities had unfortunate red carpet mishaps where their inserts pitifully hung from their clear strap shoes in photographs (see: Emma Watson).
This is why, when making a purchase, you need to pay close attention to how the shoe makes your foot feel. Is there too much pressure on the ball of your foot? Are your arches supported enough? How does the heel fit?
Your best bet would be to look for shoes which have cushioned footbeds. With the added padding they will be extra comfortable, will provide support and shock absorption, and you won’t feel the need to purchase extra inserts to increase their comfort level.
Clear straps, or clear uppers, aren’t very convenient for maintaining a cool, dry climate for your feet, nor do they allow for proper air circulation. This results in so-called foot fog, meaning that the clear parts of the shoe fog up, turning into quite an unbecoming sight. While there are ways to avoid foot fog, we will mention one that has to do with the construction of the shoe itself, and that is - perforated shoes.
Little holes anywhere on the PVC part of the shoe offer good ventilation. Your foot will be able to breathe, won’t sweat as much and won’t suffer from unpleasant odors. What’s more, perforations will add a bit of interest to the design of the shoe, so it’s a win-win for all!
If you go with a pair of sandals, there'll be less need for perforations, especially if the straps in question are thin. But, a pair of PVC boots definitely won't make for a breathable pair of shoes, so you should consider this factor before making a purchase.
One more thing to keep in mind is that shoes lacking in breathability can have serious health factors, including softening up your skin for blisters, aiding the appearance of corns, cultivating odor causing bacteria, and even aiding fungus growth that could lead to athlete's foot. To avoid these, it is recommended that you wear your plastic shoes only once in a while, or that you try some of the sweat prevention methods mentioned below.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
There are many ways to pair clear heels, but you can do a few things to accentuate your look with these showstoppers. Pairing clear heels with a mini skirt or short dress will help accentuate and lengthen the legs. Pick a loud or brightly patterned dress, and your new clear heels will go well with these, helping to make the dress the center of attention.
Several brands that manufacture clear heels know that straps will sometimes break, and instead of buying an entirely new pair, you can see if they sell just the strap to replace the part. Pleaser brand footwear has this option for many of their shoes and high heels!
Other Factors to Consider
Clear strap heels can be hard to fit into the first time you’re trying them on. One of our suggestions would be to wear stockings. This will make it easier to slide into your shoe the first couple of times.
Secondly, if you can’t get them on even with stockings, try gently heating up the clear straps by using a hairdryer. Once the strap is warm (but not hot!), you should be able to fit into the shoe. The straps should then mold to the shape of your foot as they cool down and allow you to slip in and out of them whenever you want!
Other, less tested, methods of stretching out clear straps would be to put beans under the straps (the beans expand when exposed to air), or to freeze the straps with bags of water under them (the water expands when it turns to ice). These sound a little silly, and messy, so we advise sticking to the stockings and the hair dryer.
If you’re unwilling to punch holes in your not-originally-perforated footwear - and we don’t blame you for that - then there are a few neat little, or not so little, tricks you can use to prevent foot fog in your clear shoes.
The simplest one - use anti-perspirant deodorant on your feet. Just like it works on your armpits, the deodorant will seal your pores and stop your feet from sweating. The best time to apply this method the night before, or if you’re in a hurry, a couple of hours before you’re due to leave the house.
Another way to minimize the foot fog would be to wipe down your boots with WD-40. This is a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray with a wide variety of uses, both domestic and commercial. Most commonly, it is a go-to product for waterproofing winter footwear, and thus we are sure it’s going to work on your clear shoes as well. Just don’t forget to wipe down both the inside and the outside!
At the risk of sounding contradictory, another advice would be to wear socks with your clear shoes. It defeats the whole clear-shoes-on-bare-feet idea, but this is a good way to spice up your look! You don’t even have to wear real socks, you can go for fishnet stockings for that va va voom effect.
Lastly, and this is a bit drastic - there are Botox treatments for your feet that will stop them from sweating. It is expensive, and sounds excessive just for the purpose of being able to wear clear shoes, so we will leave you to decide if this method is worth it or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, they’re not. Made from plastic, they use one of the most harmful materials currently in use in footwear, and have a serious impact on the environment throughout the production process. If you prefer to wear eco friendly shoes, we suggest looking elsewhere.
This will always depend on the quality of plastic, as well as the other materials used. While the clear straps are prone to breaking and cracking, especially when used in extreme conditions (hot or cold), they should last you long enough if you opt to make your purchase from a dependable brand. Do note, however, that this may mean a higher price.
They can be, but definitely don't have to be! Depending on the model you choose, as well as the outfits you pair them with, transparent shoes can actually be very elegant and sophisticated. For example, a pair of clear sandals with thin straps may just be the perfect pair of formal shoes as it will go with a number of colors, and won't overshadow your entire look.