Best Shoes With Bows Reviewed and Rated
Feet are never more adorable than when your shoes are wrapped up like a present and wearing bows! It’s this season’s perfect addition to every kind of shoe. You’ll be wearing bows on boots, sneakers, mules, heels, and sandals or tying them up with a big ribbon into bows. On the beach, at a party, or tidy and discreet on a business shoe, shoes with bows can dress up almost any kind of footwear.
From the time the first people strapped a piece of bark or animal skin to her lower extremities, shoes have been more than just a way to keep the soft soles of our feet safe and warm. Self-expression is there in the different materials used and how they are worn but it’s the embellishments that make them stand out from the crowd. Bows have been making an appearance on shoes throughout the history of footwear as a sign of elegance and style, even of social position or power; the bow is an unmistakable fashion statement.
- Kate Spade Izzie
- Leather Outsole
- Adjustable Ankle Strap
- Puma Suede Bow
- Suede Upper
- Rubber Outsole
- Steve Madden Silky
- Great for Recovery
- Easy On and Off
The bow was a favorite in the court of King Louis but, the invention of buckles and gem-encrusted adornments eventually replaced the simple elegance of a bow. The multi-looped “Fenelon” bow showed up in the 1860s with a whirl of ribbons on the toes of ladies shoes. This was a return to the rococo and baroque styling of earlier ages but soon modern manufacturing, shoelaces, and simpler tastes in the last half of the 20th century relegated the bow to little girls’ shoes and blouses. We find them still around a toddler’s pigtails but, until just recently, bows were not part of the fashion conversation.
Right now there are a variety of bow styles from which to choose on every kind of shoe you can imagine. There’s a shoe with a bow out there somewhere to please everyone. From frivolous to refined, big and bold, or neat and discreet, we’ve gathered a variety of shoes with bows that are great buys and beautiful footwear for you to enjoy.
10 Best Shoes With Bows
1. Kate Spade Izzie
As you’d expect from a pair of designer heels, these are made with the best materials. This includes the leather upper that’s just the right combination of soft and supportive. Also made out of leather are the lining, footbed, and outsole - giving you a high end pair of footwear that’ll feel absolutely amazing when wearing.
With a thin ankle strap that secures these shoes to your feet, allowing you to spend the day dancing, the buckle closure gives both an added subtle detail, as well as the ability to make these fit you just perfectly. It’s adjustable, meaning that even if you find that you need additional space after some serious dancing, you can easily adjust your shoes.
Cost and Value
Being a designer item, the Kate Spade Izzie is the most expensive pair of shoes on our list, and they won’t fit into everyone’s budget. But, if you’re looking for something truly special, then, by all means, go with these! The large bow in the back is charming and just the right size, while the entire shoe on its own looks stylish and flattering for fun yet elegant look.
2. Puma Suede Bow
With the original being a sports pair of shoes, the Suede Bow gives you the advantage of the same features. Having a rubber midsole and outsole allows these shoes to give you a good amount of traction and cushioning, allowing you to wear them comfortably for long periods at a time.
There are few materials that feel as good on your feet as suede. Not only does it look luxurious, it’s also soft to the touch, breathable, and adapts easily, giving you space where you need it, but firmly supporting your foot elsewhere. Just note that it should not be worn in wet conditions to ensure these sneakers hold up to the test of time.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s average when it comes to lifestyle sneakers, the Puma Suede Bow is a great option for those who want to be part of the fun styling, but prefer not to spend a fortune. This is a sneaker you’ll enjoy wearing either on a daily basis, or on special occasions, and that’ll be a comfy way to spend hours walking or dancing.
Lace Up Closure
3. Steve Madden Silky Flat
The bow is an unexpected touch of femininity and sophistication on this super comfortable slide. This is a perfect way to relax your overtired feet and feel pretty, fooling everyone in the process. Just a touch of heel rise in the back gives you a slightly more formal look and the black and olive colors look business friendly. The pink satin just screams feminine luxury anytime, anywhere.
Sporty and Fashionable
Like Madden’s “dressy sneakers” these sandals are a great way to give your feet a break and defy traditional workwear. The satin bows also make it possible to fit right in on a night out and make weekend wear more fun. The synthetic sole can stand up to a lot of walking.
Cost and Value
This sexy sandal is the right price for anyone. Unless your budget is restricted to drugstore flip-flops, you can afford these great shoes. The Steve Madden brand is known for competitive pricing and this slide is no exception. Made to last with a satin upper in high-shine, quality fashion. Nothing else looks this good for such a great price!
Great for Recovery
- Sizing Runs Small
4. Jeffrey Campbell Charlin
In blush, black, or mustard, this goatskin mule is a sophisticated accompaniment for suits, skirts and can add a touch of class for casual wear. The cutout vamp is a unique twist on the pointy toe style and would work perfectly with a linen shorts suit with a jacket.
Comfort For All Feet
The soft goatskin leather has great flexibility for comfort, they are tight enough to hold the shoe on your foot but wide enough to allow the foot to move naturally. Whether you have narrow or wide feet, the lightly padded synthetic insole provides a cushion and the barely there, low, stacked heel gives the leg just a touch of shaping.
Cost and Value
Exceptional design and refinement justify the cost of a simple mule. But these are not just a pretty face because Jeffrey Campbell construction is well-known and trustworthy. These shoes are a very good quality investment, stylish but versatile enough to work with a dozen outfits. The quiet elegance of these mules will never go out of style.
Lightly Padded Insole
- Long Break-In Period
5. Joules Evedon
With a boot height that’ll cover your full calf, you won’t have to worry accidental splashes or puddles ruining your pants. Nonetheless, you will still look elegant thanks to the shiny rubber upper that comes in premium colors such as black, burgundy, French navy and slate grey.
Thanks to the rubber outsole with lugs, you’ll have secure footing with every step, no matter the surface you plan on walking on. Be it pavement, tile, marble or hardwood, the Joules Evedon gives a good amount of grip so that you don’t have to worry about slipping when it’s wet outside.
Cost and Value
Ranking average on this list in terms of price, the Evedon does have a hefty price tag for a pair of rubber boots, but the fact that it’s an elegant option does make up for it. Easy to care for, protective and comfortable, this is a pair of boots you’ll wear with satisfaction, we guarantee it.
Roomy Toe Box
1 Year Wellie Guarantee
Not for Wide Calves
6. Vince Camuto Carrelen
Walking in high heels is no easy feat, and it’s made especially hard when the heel itself is a thin stiletto that offers little support and stability. Luckily, the Carrelen features a thick heel that’ll keep you supported throughout the day, easing the pressure from the ball of your foot, and overall making the wearing experience more pleasurable.
While the upper of this sandal is made out of suede, on the bottom of your feet you can expect a manmade material that’ll prove to work great on any surface. It’s main advantage is that it won’t show signs of wear to easily, and won’t be as easily damaged should you step in something wet.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s in the mid-range when it comes to shoes with bow embellishments, the Vince Camuto Carrelen is an excellent option of fun and stylish semi-formal footwear that’ll easily pair with almost any style of clothing. You can choose your pair in sensible black or a bolder turquoise, berry pink or banana split yellow - we can guarantee that all of them will look just as good.
Adjustable Ankle Strap
Tight Toe Box
Back of Ankle Strap May Rub
7. Sperry Angelfish
The Angelfish has two notable features that make it so comfortable to wear. The first is the razor-cut outsole that gives a great amount of traction on both dry and wet surfaces, while the other is the molded EVA midsole that supports the foot, providing it with a good amount of cushioning for less impact on the muscles and joints.
All Leather Upper
The genuine leather these shoes are made of is selected so as to provide you with a level of durability that’ll allow years of wear. Hand-sewn, the Angelfish features a padded tongue for a higher level of comfort, while the 360° adjustable lacing system provides for a customized and secure fit.
Cost and Value
Ranking below average in terms of price, this is a pair of summer footwear you won’t regret investing in. It will easily go from casual to dressed up, and it can even be paired with a suit for a stylish summer outfit. A wide selection of colors and prints allows you to show off your personal style, all while remaining comfortable thanks to the well-designed features in the soles.
Genuine Leather Upper
360° Lacing System
Non Slip Rubber Outsole
Runs Slightly Small
Some Colors May Stain
8. Cole Haan Tali Bow Flat
The round-toe and discreet Tali bow make this the perfect flat for day wear or casual nighttime wear. The smooth leather has a healthy shine and the metal logo is an understated touch of elegance. With just a ½” heel, this is perfectly comfortable for business wear but also a great way to dress up a pair of jeans or even yoga pants.
Built for Wearability
Cole Haan engineering in the rubber outsole and mid-sole guarantee maximum comfort throughout the day. The leather sock lining is fully padded to cradle your foot and the round toe box allows plenty of room up front. A dozen colors and prints from subtle to insane, serve up the kind of options we usually only dream of in this modern take on a ballet flat.
Cost and Value
Highly engineered and beautifully designed these Tali bow flats are a great investment. Right in the midrange where price is concerned, Cole Haan is always at the top when it comes to value. A traditional look with modern enhancement, these shoes are real leather with amazing padded comfort. Worth every penny.
Engineered for Comfort
- Sole Squeaks
- Not For Long Walks
9. UGG Bailey Bow II
The sheepskin upper on these UGGs has been pretreated to repel water and stains, which means your favorite boots will remain looking new for a longer time. It will also mean that you can wear these in snowy conditions without having to worry about your feet getting soaked.
The outsole on the Bailey Bow II is made with a material called Treadlite that is a great option for all types of surfaces for two reasons. One, it gives a good amount of grip, so you don’t have to worry about slipping. The second is that it’s quite lightweight, so your boots won’t have you exhausted by the end of the day.
Cost and Value
The Bailey Bow II costs quite a pretty penny, which may make it an unsuitable option for a number of people. However, for those who like their footwear to be made out of natural materials, with a high level of comfort, these boots are an excellent choice.
Water and Stain Repellent
10. safeTstep Sasha Flat
Great for working in wet areas with slick floors like kitchens or outdoors, the Sasha has a mesh lining and padded insoles making it incredibly comfortable for active, on-your-feet-all-day jobs, too. The materials are all manmade including the oil and slip-resistant outsole that makes it safe in tricky spaces.
The Sasha Quilt bow flat gives a nod to simple school girl shoes with these shiny faux patent leather toes and the quilted body. The look nearly begs for knee socks and a plaid skirt but these are serious shoes for women who work hard and need footwear that can keep up with them.
Cost and Value
Manmade materials and a great design embody the safeTstep promise to provide people who work hard with hard-working footwear and you can’t beat the price. Comfort and durability often cost more but safeTstep has consistently followed their low-cost formula and the Sasha Flat is a great bargain.
- Lightweight and Flexible
- Oil Resistant, Slip Resistant
- Non-marking Outsole
- Breathable Insole
- Removable Inserts
- Runs Wide
The bow is clearly making a comeback in dozens of different ways. From fun and frivolous day wear to dramatic evening bows or just a subtle touch of femininity, there are glitter bows and ribbon bows, satin bows and oversized bows. We’ll see them on stiletto heels, slides, tennis shoes, flip-flops, and ballet flats. No longer the purview of little girls and prom dress shoes or limited to the tuxedo flat, bows are everywhere in just about every fabrication. We are breaking all the rules now and finding new and inventive ways to add a little character to vamp with a big floppy, draping bow or a neat statement to glittering heels with a tiny bow on the ankle strap.
While a bow won’t change the way a shoe fits, these have little to do with attaching the footwear to the foot. These are simply a design option that makes a wonderfully whimsical statement and adds a little drama, humor, or fun to every kind of shoe. Welcome to bows for all occasions.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Shoes with Bows
Fashion put bows back on our heads in 2017 and this year you’ll be wearing them on your feet. Simple vamps without adornments are the norm. Our pumps, flats, boots, and sneakers have been without complication for many years and we have to give some thought to wearing a bow, buckle, flower, or troll doll on the front of our shoes.
For one thing, it’s important never to follow a trend just to be fashionable. Shoes are meant to keep our feet safe, warm, and comfortable first and foremost. You really have to make sure they’re up to the task. The same is true of any shoe with or without a bow. Having made that choice, we can select a shoe that makes our feet and legs look their best, a shoe that brings a little something to our posture, too. If a shoe does all that besides making you feel good, if it makes you happy to look down and see it on your foot, that’s a shoe you just can’t pass up. But, if the shoe isn’t right for you, you’ll never wear it no matter how cute it is, no matter how much you paid for it.
- Make choices that you want to live with.
- Choose shoes you want to see every day or at least once a week. They’re a lot like good friends and you like to see your friends looking good not stuck in a fashion trend that ended months ago.
- Consider for how long you might find that bow interesting.
- A wild rainbow or thin ribbon bows are going to be great fun this summer but will you like them next year?
Ask yourself some tough questions about the bows before you buy the shoe and, if you feel like this will last more than a season, if they won’t fall apart in the rain or fade in the sun, then these are the bows on the right shoes for you. The good news is that there is no doubt that you can find the right shoe with the right bit of bow to suit your style, to fit your foot and articulate the statement you want to make. It’s out there.
Shoes make the outfit and you want the outfit to make sense. As with any shoe adornment, a bow has to work well with the kind of clothes you’ll be wearing. A giant, structural bow under a full-length business trouser is probably going to be more of a curiosity than a nice touch with your work attire. If you ever find yourself trying to adjust the pants so the bow doesn’t show then you are definitely wearing the wrong shoes.
Some types of shoes typically go well with certain clothing and it is likely that, even with a bow, these will continue to pair nicely.
- Tennis shoes: jeans, shorts, sportswear, athleisure wear, casual wear
- Loafers: business suits, jeans, skirts, casual wear
- Boots: business suits, skirts, jeans, evening, casual wear
- Mules: business suits, skirts, jeans, evening, casual wear, shorts
- Kitten heels: business suits, jeans, evening, skirts, casual wear, special occasion
- Pumps: business suits, jeans, skirts, casual wear, evening
- Stilettos: Evening, special occasion, jeans (for fun if you dare)
- Clogs: business suits, skirts, jeans, evening, casual wear
You want footwear that makes the right statement without constantly requiring attention to make it work. A sparkly, rhinestone encrusted bow is great for a prom, wedding, or evening out but the gems are likely to snag the hem of your pants at work. Perhaps worse than that, the eye-catching sparkle may have your boss wondering why you’re wearing a Saturday Night Shoe on a Monday Morning rather than thinking about what a great job you’re doing. The right shoe for the right place deserves the right bow for the occasion.
The perfect bow is going to add something to the shoe it adorns. There is nothing wrong with a tidy, discreet, or petite bow to add just a touch of class on a sophisticated mule or a flat or even a flip-flop. It can make an enormous statement in the right setting for an appropriate occasion and it knows exactly how to make a peek-a-boo appearance from under a long skirt or business trousers. We love them peeking out under a longer jean cuff, too but sometimes you want to make a louder comment. A giant, cotton polka dot bow or a long, floppy swath of burlap with spiky beading is just right for some days and events. The trick is to make sure the size of the bow is going to work with the outfit you have in mind. And, let’s face it, the more clothes you can wear them with and the more situations where they will be suitable makes your choice a smart one.
The right bow size is the one that doesn’t get in the way, doesn’t make the shoe disappear entirely and doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to do.
- Tennis shoes: 1”-4” bows on toes or vamp, tiny bows only on heels
- Loafers, Kitten heels, Pumps: 1”-2.5” bows on toes or vamp, not heels
- Boots: 1”-4” bow could easily cover the toe or vamp, smaller on the heel and should never touch the floor
- Mules, Clogs: 1”-4” bows on toes or vamp
- Stilettos: tiny to HUGE, there are no rules except to make sure you won’t trip on the bow.
If you opt for a 4-inch bow on a pair of super tall heels then you are very likely limited to wearing them to specifical events. That’s fine if you’ve got a budget that allows for a little excess. Otherwise, you want to make sure your weekend wear can walk off the beach and into a store or a casual lunch. Your most reliable business shoes are even better if they can do from the boardroom or courtroom into a club or restaurant. And the bows they are sporting will play a big part in where they belong.
Yellow, pink, blue, rainbow, and tie-dyed there are no limits. Plastic, silk, and straw are all fair game for bows on shoes. But something you really want to consider when choosing a shoe with bows is just how well that bow will hold up over time. Some of that will be a matter of fabrication. There are bows and there are bows. Each fabrication presents a challenge:
- Silk and Cotton: Silk and cotton are beautiful choices but they’ll need some maintenance now and then. These more fragile materials may wear quickly leading you to the need of different shoes with bows.
- Velvet: Velvet bows are a great but really traditional and require brushing to stay smooth. If left uncared for they will start to look matted and dingy.
- Plastic or Synthetics: Plastic works well if the shoe, itself is plastic but it can also work on a tennis shoe. The problem with plastic is that, if it tears it can’t really be repaired, only removed. The same goes for other synthetic blends. While they are easy to care for they are not very durable.
- Leather and Suede: The use of Leather for bows is great but may need spot cleaning or weather protection to maintain its overall look and appeal. The same goes for Suede Leather. While they use different types of cleaning methods, they do require more care than most other bows. When looking for a product that will last, Leather is exceptionally durable and will endure for years if well cared for.
- Satin: Satin needs to be stored to prevent fading and wrinkling. It seems that satin is more difficult to care for and stains easily. It adds amazing elegance to an outfit but may not be for everyday use.
- Straw: Straw is cute but not very durable depending on the type that is used. If you are looking for a pair of shoes with bows for a specific event that you want straw it can look great and make your outfit really stand out. Know that during the test of time straw is not going to hold up as well as many other materials.
There aren’t really any rules about what will make a good bow. If it suits your purpose and makes the shoe look better or just more interesting that should be good enough without any rules. You can wear bows on your toes, your ankle, or heels as long as you like how it looks that is the most important piece. There aren’t any rules here except this: if the shoe makes you happy, you’ll wear it happily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What if I get tired of the bow?
A: If you buy a good shoe it may be possible to remove the bow but make sure it isn’t hiding a serious flaw before you buy. If you remove them you may need to replace it with a different adornment because of the way it’s attached. You may be able to do this with a smaller bow or a buckle.
If you are wearing a shoe that the bow is easily removed, you have options to change the look of your shoe very easily. One way to do this is to buy several bows that you like and small, circular Velcro pieces. Sew one piece onto the shoe where you want your bow and the other side to the bow of your choice. By simply stitching a piece of Velcro to any and all of the bows that you love, you will be able to simply swap them out whenever you choose.
Q: How do you keep a bow from falling off a shoe?
A: When you select your shoe you should check to see how the bow is attached, to begin with. Some of them may need reinforcing with glue or even wire. Bows that are stitched on are the most secure whereas bows that are simply glued are the least durable. If you are truly in love with your bows you can always add a stitch or two to ensure it is secure on your new favorite pair of shoes.
It is important to note, if you stitch something to your shoes you may ruin the integrity of the upper. Be careful when making any changes to your shoes. Different materials will need to be handled differently. Leather, for example, is exceptionally tough so you will need to think about the type of needle you want to use. On the other hand, mesh and cotton fabrics are very thin and you may leave noticeable holes if you are not careful.
Q: What kind of bow should I avoid?
A: Feather bows are probably going to fall apart fairly quickly and it may be difficult to keep them attached to the shoe. They can look very pleasing but know you may only get a couple wears out of your shoes with bows if they involve the use of feathers.
Q: Can I add to the bow if I want more volume?
A: Probably but you need to make sure you have something solid to attach your additional adornment to because if you put too much stress on the original bow it might come off. With a little investigation at how your bows are attached you should be able to decide the best way to attach more. Adding a bow on top of another can be done with adhesive, Velcro, or by stitching it in place.
Q: Can I dye the bow if I want to change it?
A: Only at the risk of ruining the shoe! Dying is a tricky process and very hard to contain to only the bow that is already attached to a shoe. There are fabric “paints” that might be easier to work with if you are intent on changing just the color of the bow. Sometimes it will be simpler to remove the original bow and replace it with the one you have made or purchased.
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