Best Leopard Print Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Style
There are precious few fashion trends that truly withstand the tests of time. Leopard print (and animal prints, in general) is one of them. Although the modern-day look of this style can be traced to a 1960s Bohemian style boom, its history extends much further back. Ancient royalty and other members of the wealthy elite often chose leopard print accessories to make a show of their riches; that’s part of the reason leopard print remains a coveted fashion look today.
- Sam Edelman Petty
- Zip Closure
- Stacked Heel
- Ariat Fatbaby
- Genuine Leather Upper
- Cushioned Sole
- DREAM PAIRS Sole-Fina
- Removable Ankle Strap
- Cushioned Footbed
Leopard print means many things to many people. Some believe the print is imbued with the traits of its source — African and Asian leopards — and is wild, exotic, and sexy. Others simply find leopard print to be cheap, trashy and even offensive — due, in large part, to anti-fur movements.
Nevertheless, after decades of flip-flopping between trendy and tacky, 2018 has resurrected leopard print as a trendy fashion neutral. It’s the perfect time to experiment with this look in your wardrobe. And what is easier to experiment with than shoes? So if you’re ready, we’re ready! Here is our guide to the best leopard print shoes.
10 Best Leopard Print Shoes
1. Same Edelman Petty
Using a dyde natural material to make the upper of the Petty, this bootie ensures two things: the first is all the benefits that come with footwear made with natural materials such as softness to the touch, breathability and a good amount of flexibility, while the other is the fact that it will look closer to real leopard fur than most canvas or suede options.
Made for Comfort
The toe of the Petty is a rounded style enables plenty of room for the forefoot to naturally spread out, giving you a better level of balance. The heel is a chunky one, only 1.75” high, making it easy to walk in. Furthermore, the bootie features a zipper closure for easy on and off, as well as a synthetic sole that’s appropriate for wear in most weather conditions.
Cost and Value
Depending on the color you choose, the Petty will set you back either an average amount of money, or less. Thanks to the fact that this is a bootie which is updated on a yearly basis, you may find that many of the color options are discounted, making it a steal - especially if you consider the fact that it’s a comfortable and high quality piece of cold weather footwear.
Brahma Hair Upper
Tight Toe Box
2. Ariat Fatbaby
Ariat is a brand that’s well known for their dedication to well made equipment. The Fatbaby is no different, featuring a genuine leather upper with four row stitching to ensure its durability. The upper features two pull tabs so that getting these one is easy and stress free.
With a sole that’s made with a combination of premium EVA foam and blown rubber, these boots will be a pleasure to walk in. Not only will they give you a good amount of cushioning (comparable to that found in top of the line running shoes), but they also have an aggressive tread that gives them better traction than any other product on our top ten list.
Cost and Value
While it is more expensive than most other styles featured in this article, the Ariat Fatbaby is an investment that you’d be smart to make. These boots will last you for years, especially if you take good care of the leather upper. They’ll be comfortable to wear, aren’t too heavy or bulky, and look great with the addition of the mini leopard print that distinguishes it from similar riding boots.
Genuine Leather Upper
Unsuitable for Riding
Not for Extreme Cold Weather Use
3. DREAM PAIRS Sole-Fina
Want to know a secret? The adjustable ankle strap for the DREAM PAIRS Sole-Fina ballet flat is fully removable. Unbuckled it, slip it out of the heel loop, and off you go! The Sole-Fina also comes with lacing ribbons for further versatility. Transitioning from casual to cutesy can’t get any easier than these flats.
The best part of the DREAM PAIRS Sole-Fina ballet flat is the footbed. For ultimate comfort, the footbed is lightly cushioned and made of premium latex (allergy warning!). The lining, as well as the shoe’s upper, is an ultrasoft faux suede. The Sole-Fina also features a super flexible, yet not slip-resistant, rubber outsole.
The DREAM PAIRS Sole-Fina is the most affordable option in this guide thus far. It’s comparable in price to a large supreme pizza. Or three lattes, if you prefer to count in coffee. Nevertheless, the definition of budget-friendly should feature a picture of these shoes as an example.
No Toe Cleavage
Includes Ribbon Laces
Easy to Clean
Runs ½ Size Small
Latex May Cause Allergies
4. Vionic Jura
The Jura is a great choice for anyone who wants to combine looks and comfort, thanks to the fact that it features Orthaheel’s biomechanical footbed that both cushions and supports. Covered in soft microfiber, this is a shoe that will feel great underfoot, all while promoting proper posture, preventing overpronation and stopping any footwear related pain before it even develops.
Let’s face it - shopping for shoes can be a nightmare, especially if you have feet with a width that’s too wide or narrow, or an instep that’s any higher than usual. Luckily, the Vionic Jura features two straps, both of which can be fully adjusted thanks to a hidden hook and loop closure. This will allow you to get the perfect fit without having to order a size up or down, and risk getting a bad fit in the length of your foot.
Cost and Value
As a pair of orthotic sandals that’s made with high end technology, the Vionic Jura ranks high on this list when it comes to price. Nonetheless, its value is high, and we can fully recommend investing in a pair of these shoes if you want something that will combine your love of leopard prints with a fun, comfortable and wearable style that will last quite some time.
Hook and Loop Closure
Not for Formal Wear
5. Sam Edelman Felicia
The Sam Edelman Felicia ballet flat features an elastic topline for easy slip-on and off, as well as added comfort while wearing. The elasticity also helps create a snug and customized fit. And while the elastic for the Felicia may not stretch enough to accommodate wider feet normally, it is a shoe that comes in wide widths too.
The large, light brown leopard print of the Felicia ballet flat is subtly accented with gold trimming around the footbed, a complementary and dainty black bow, and a gold Sam Edelman logo charm. Whether you’re looking to dress this flat up or down, the mini stacked heel and round-toe silhouette will give you the lowkey chicness you’re looking for.
The Sam Edelman Felicia is a fairly expensive shoe, but it is durable — the leather soles, inside and out, are abrasion resistant. Stylistically, leopard print is here to stay as a closet staple, making the Felicia a great investment shoe.
Available in Wide
6. Kaitlyn Pan Rockstud
The black triple T straps of the Kaitlyn Pan Rockstud are decorated with shiny, contrasting gold studs. The straps are adjustable near the ankle, so the rest of the shoe hardware is a matching gold. Studs also line the beginning of the vamp, drawing highlight to the leopard print tapered pointy toe. Oh, and don’t worry about missing studs — these shoes come with a small bag of replacement studs on the off-chance you lose one.
Mixed Media Construction
In looking for the best word to describe the Kaitlyn Pan Rockstud, we all settled on: lush. These sandals feature genuine leather uppers, a genuine lambskin footbed, and anti-slip rubber soling. Not only will your feet sink comfortably into the lambskin insole, the tops of your feet will only brush up against soft microfiber leather. Brought together, the different fabrics of the Rockstud lend themselves to a trendy, breathable sandal.
The Kaitlyn Pan Rockstud sandal is marginally more expensive than the other styles on our list, but with twice the pizzazz. If these shoes being a near-perfect dupe of the Valentino Rockstud (for a fraction of the price) isn’t selling you, consider the longevity of a strappy sandal made of leather and lambskin. The Kaitlyn Pan Rockstud is a sandal that makes it worth it to step outside of your comfort zone.
Slip-resistant Rubber Outsole
Runs ½ Size Large
Adjustable Ankle Strap
Roomy Heel Cup
Replacement Studs Included
Protective Film On Outsole
Leather May Crease
7. Onex Christina
Despite being an open toed sandal that’s intended mostly for warm weather use, the Christina is a supportive style that will comfortably hold your feet, no matter how long you need to walk. Featuring a medium sized print, its wide straps will draw attention, allowing you that pop of style that’ll compliment most summer outfits.
One of the great thing about wedge sandals is that no matter the height of the heel, they’re a stable choice that doesn’t put too much pressure on the ball of the foot or arch, preventing pain that you usually feel after a full day of wearing heels. The footbed of the Christina is lightly padded for an added level of comfort, making it a great option for long-hours on your feet.
Cost and Value
With a cost that’s not exactly cheap, the Onex Christina may not fit everyone’s budget. Nevertheless, it’s a good pair of shoes which are comfortable, durable, cruelty free and feature a pretty leopard print that looks amazing. If those check the boxes for you, then we truly can recommend this style.
Made in the USA
3” Wedge Heel
No Half Sizes
8. Bearpaw Loki II
The footbed of the Loki II is lined with sheepskin for two reasons. Number one is that it helps regulate body temperature, preventing your feet and toes from getting too cold. Second, it comforts and cushions the feet with each step, molding to your arch and foot shape, giving you the ultimate custom fit.
The upper of these slippers is made out of suede - the perfect material for indoor wear, but that will even work if you decide to go outside. It’s both soft and lightweight, and won’t be a bother to keep clean. The EVA rubber outsole is cushioned and soft, and works just as well on the pavement as it does on carpet, tile and hardwood floors.
Cost and Value
The Bearpaw Loki II is one of the cheapest options on our list, which makes it a great choice for anyone who wants that luxe look without paying an arm and a leg for it. It’s a high quality product that’s perfect for a variety of uses, and is made with a number of well-chosen materials to provide warmth during the winter months, whether you decide to wear it outside, inside or both.
Sheepskin Collar and Footbed
Brown and Silver Leopard Print
Runs Slightly Small
9. Linea Paolo Felicia
Giving you the best of both worlds, the Linea Paolo Felicia features a cushioned insole that will absorb any shock your feet have to withstand with hours of walking, standing or dancing. This means less fatigue in the joints and muscles, allowing you to wear these shoes for long periods of time, despite the 2.5” heel.
With an upper and lining that are both made with leather, the Linea Paolo Felicia is a smart choice. Not only will this bootie sneaker completely mold to the shape of your foot, it will also give it the perfect combination of protection, warmth and breathability, all of which will reflect on its ultimate performance when it comes to wearability.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s quite high, the Linea Paolo Felicia may not be for everyone. However, if it’s a combination of stylish and casual, luxe and sporty that you’re after, then this leopard sneaker is the way to go. It is sure to breathe life into the most ordinary of outfits, and will bring something extra to those fancy ensembles you keep for special occasions.
2.5 Inch Wedge Heel
Leather Upper and Lining
Could Have More Arch Support
10. Steve Madden Inca
If leopard print alone isn’t exotic enough for your tastes, the Steve Madden Inca sandal might be for you. The Inca features a wild, studded floral applique across the heel and up the back of the shoe. While that does mean there’s no back zipper for easy wear, the detailing of the applique makes up for it.
Make a (Comfortable) Statement
The velvety texture of the Steve Madden Inca sandal uppers gives off a subtle furry look without any actual fur. The textile upper is lined with a soft fabric; that includes the adjustable ankle strap. The Inca sandal works best as a bold finishing touch; it will give a touch of sex appeal to any outfit, no matter how bland.
The Steve Madden Inca costs about what you’d expect a pair of well crafted sandals to set you back. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something exotic to add to your closet, and is a bold statement piece that’s sure to draw attention.The versatility of the Inca, able to shift seamlessly from day to night wear, makes it an optimal choice.
True to Size
2 ¼” Heel
Sturdy Heel Cup
Requires Breaking In
These shoes are the top ten styles when it comes to adding some animal print to your wardrobe, and each pair of footwear on this list was carefully chosen to meet the highest requirements. Whether you prefer a sandal, pump or pair of flats, you’re sure to find something to your taste among the pairs listed above.
Now that you have an idea of the best leopard print shoes to add to your wardrobe, it’s time to go out and be your most fashionable self! For even more information about how you can add this stylish trend to your wardrobe, make sure to read on. Oh, and just one more thing:
No leopards were harmed in the writing of this guide.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Leopard Print Shoes
While we tried our best to take the trouble out of it, picking out the best leopard print shoes can still be daunting. Straddling the line between chic and cheap, while remaining true to your fashion sense, isn’t the most straightforward task. It can be made easier, however. There are a few points to consider when shopping for leopard print shoes.
Large, small, medium — leopard print shoes come in a multitude of pattern sizes and densities. Density, in this sense, is how tightly packed the spots are. The leopard print pattern closest to nature appears to be medium in both spot size and density. Thus the further you stray away from this combination, the trickier leopard print becomes to mix and match with your other accessories.
When it comes to leopard print, hue is everything. Leopard print in shades of brown is the most natural, the most popular, and the easiest to accessorize. Nevertheless, leopard print is found in hues ranging from pastel to neon. Flashy leopard print shades, such as rainbow or ombre purple, are more likely to garner distaste. If you can’t resist those ocean blue leopard print sneakers, pair them with solids — it’s the simplest way to go from a fashion no-no to fashion nouveau.
It should go without saying, but the material of your leopard print shoe is made of is an important consideration. Often, to get the most genuine look of fur, leopard print shoes are made with (real and faux) suede leather or velvet. Rarely will you find an authentic leopard skin print shoe (for a good reason, they’re critically endangered!).
However, shoes made of suede and velvet require more care than a leopard print shoe made of canvas or mesh. In integrating leopard print into your wardrobe, you will want to choose shoes made of fabrics you’ll care for and wear. Part of successfully styling with leopard print is that the item must be impeccable — it’s the focal point.
While the type of shoe you end up getting in the end won’t influence the print itself, it will contribute a great deal to how your shoes will match and influence the rest of your outfit. The list above features everything, from ballet flats, to ankle boots with high heels, to cowboy boots, and sandal slides. Even house slippers, pumps and wedge sneakers have made it on this list, and it is only natural that each of these pairs of footwear will project a different message.
If you’re after something that will look good dressed up, forego the slides, sneakers and slippers, and go instead with a classic silhouette that will work with either dress, skirt or jeans. If, however, you’re after showing off your exotic style in a casual, everyday setting, then one of the more laid back items are the way to go. Few things will look as bold as a pair of jeans and leopard print wedge sneakers, and if you can pull the look off, then you should do so with pride.
One thing to look out for, however, is too much or too little when pairing a leopard shoe. It’s safer to err on the side of caution, which is why it is best to limit the amount of print you wear to one or a couple of key items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What colors should I wear with leopard print?
A: While you can wear any color with leopard print and make it work — it’s a neutral now, remember! — leopard print, most popularly, is paired with other neutrals. Black, brown, and white. Gold, too, is a popular color that is complementary to leopard print. Also, for an unexpected pop of style, leopard print is sometimes paired with vibrant reds. Still, these are just suggestions. Wearing leopard print is, foremost, about being bold; don’t limit your creativity.
Q: What is the difference between leopard print and cheetah print?
A: The difference between leopard and cheetah print is stark. Cheetah spots tend to be equally spaced and solid black. Leopard print, on the other hand, is more involved in both pattern and color. Leopard print spots, known as rosettes, are a mix of brown and black spots rather than just one large spot.
Q: When should I wear leopard print?
A: Any time and anywhere! Leopard print is as seasonless as it is timeless, so there is always room for it in your wardrobe. Leopard print boots are a favorite in fall/winter seasons, while sneakers, sandals, and pumps dominate spring/summer seasons.
Leopard print shoes can help you tackle any occasion fashionably. Weddings (especially your own!), date night, beachside — the places, and opportunities, to wear leopard print is nigh endless.
Q: How much leopard print is too much?
A: …That depends. Mostly on the occasion, but it depends. The general rule of thumb for leopard print is to stick to statement pieces or sets. For example, wearing a leopard print pant would be a statement; but wearing a leopard print scarf, hat, and jacket? That’s a set.
If you’re new to wearing leopard print, it’s best to start with a single item on any occasion. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with wearing leopard print shoes, adding other leopard print accessories will be easy. A word of caution, however: avoid mixing different leopard prints. Outfits with disparate leopard print patterns quickly become overwhelming and unsightly.
Q: Can leopard print be professional?
A: Absolutely! In professional settings, where demure fashion still reigns, leopard print seems like a terrible choice — but it’s not. The only thing to keep in mind when dressing sharply in leopard print is that the print should be the focal point of your outfit, just not to the point of being overwhelming. That makes a pair of shoes your best bet for rocking leopard print professionally.