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.
- MMJULY Stilettos with Bowknot
- Elongates Legs
- Greatonu Slingback Pumps
- Versatile Designs
- safeTstep Sasha Flat
- Easy to Care For
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 show 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. MMJULY Stilettos with Bowknot
A true needle-thin style heel that’s approximately 4.3" tall adds height and the self-assured posture that goes with it. The architectural curve of the shoe works well even with wider feet as it partially encloses the outer edge of the foot. This structure, along with open sides, adds a graceful visual length to the feet and legs.
Stand out Bowknot
An unabashedly amazing bow makes this is a shoe to wow your friends and starts a conversation with people you want to meet. These shoes are not for the shy and retiring unless you’re hoping to drop the wallflower persona and start standing out in the crowd.
Cost and Value
More than reasonably priced, these stilettos are an absolute bargain worth every penny for star power and wow factor. In black and bright, bright, bright red, blue and green. These heels are very nearly a perfect 2 for 1 with the detachable bow and money can’t buy the ego boost that goes with feeling this special. Can it?
- Day to evening
- Secure Velcro strap
- Bow hides thicker ankles
- Colors are bright and bold
- Exceptionally stylish
- Velcro is white only
- Bow maintenance neccessary
2. Greatonu Slingback Pumps
The bows are such an unexpected bit of frivolity on these sleek, adorable kitten heels. They come in a great variety of color choices, too: solid suede bows in pink, blue, and red or striped bows in black, beige, and blue. The striped bows are accompanied by a playful bit of striping on the sides of the footbed for extra fun.
Young and sophisticated
Kitten heels are traditionally sexy and fun, but these are also wonderfully refined. With the best of both worlds, in equine terms, we’re somewhere between a pony and a thoroughbred. Greatonu advertises their “worldly sensibility” and they have certainly achieved it here.
Cost and Value
These kitten heels are made to keep you moving with ease. The insoles are leather with synthetic and textile lining assuring great comfort and no rubbing. Reasonably priced and most definitely made to last, these shoes are a great buy for office and casual wear.
- Versaile Wear
- Comfortable Heel
- Easy Dress Up and Down
- Secure Fit
- Narrow Toe Box
3. GUESS Tutu Flip-Flop
Sturdy enough for days at the beach or walking around to get it all done, the Tutu Flip-Flop is cute enough for an evening out. The bow gives it a touch of whimsy and the rhinestone in the middle of the bow is just enough flash for a special occasion. If a heel is not required then why not go with a comfy slip on?
The amazing bit of bow formed on top of the Flip-Flop’s upper is the same synthetic material as the straps and held together by a string of rhinestones in the middle. Most importantly, this bow can be moved around from diagonal to horizontal or just from one side to the other, depending on your mood.
Cost and Value
These are right in the middle of the price range but the Tutu is more versatile than most. In typical Guess style, these Flip-Flops are perfectly tuned to youthful comfort and fashion. The yellow is a hot citrus, nearly as eye-catching as the rhinestone center and the black is a cool, understatement of casual chic. Well worth the investment if you like to show off the toes on the weekend or evening.
- Easy to clean
- Flashy for Flip-Flops
- Classic Guess “G” on sole
- No slip suede inset
- Run narrow
- Can cause blisters
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.
- Easy fit and comfortable
- Unique cutout on vamp
- Works for casual or business
- Cushioned insole
- Long Break-In Period
The T-Strap design creates the longer leg effect and the glitter of gems enhances the glamor. A 3” heel makes this comfortable to walk or dance in and even allows you to stand for hours. Quality work non-slip and the non-slip pad on the sole will keep you safe and upright all night long.
Sparkle from top to bottom
The entire upper including ankle, toe and T-straps, even the heel covering is covered in light catching rhinestones. Whether your ensemble is white, black, champagne or silver the Alina’s 64 rhinestones will ensure your bejeweled foot is a standout.
Cost and Value
Super sparkly and yet sophisticated, if this shoe was priced in candle wattage it would be untouchable. Fortunately, this footwear is modestly priced and as easy on your budget as you could possibly want. For flash and style that is super affordable, the right shoe for prom, weddings and special events.
- Won't squeeze toes
- Rhinestones everywhere
- Non-slip outsole
- Leg lengthening style
- Comfortable for dancing
- Cuts into back of heel
- Strong glue smell
6. HOLLY Twin Bow
A 7” tall upper protects your ankle with warmth and comfort. As attractive and stylish as skin or leather, this is a synthetic fabrication and not as vulnerable as an organic. The deep tread and thick outer soles keep your feet off the cold ground making this water-resistant boot just right for a good walk in the woods or town.
Cute and casual
With or without socks these boots are like hanging out in your slippers! Holly’s boots with bows are great to dress up your jeans, yoga pants, or after work. In beautiful shades of grey, black, tan, beige, or brown there’s a color here to work with any wintry wardrobe.
Cost and Value
Holly’s boots with bows are most decidedly casual and not as fashion forward as heeled boots thus not as versatile as some choices. But these boots are so comfortable and light you’ll want to wear them everywhere so the price is extremely reasonable. Not just for winter, these are warm and waterproof and work just as well for summer and spring rain days as winter and autumn chill!
- Great in the snow
- Warm and fuzzy
- Water resistant
- Comfortable as slippers
- No arch support
- Run small
7. PUMA FENTY X
A thick sole puts you 1.5” off the ground with funky style but there’s a distinctively feminine touch in the soft knotted leather bow and the colors: Natural, Pink tint, or Silver Pink. Cute and casual for day, the leather is perfectly suited for work wear or weekends.
Soft, soft, soft
The imported leather upper and puffy cushioned insole cradle your feet in softness. It’s a great contrast with the thick rubber sole supporting your foot, like walking on air.
Cost and Value
Out in front of the fashion curve, this sandal is more expensive than beachwear but these are sophisticated enough for the office. Rihanna’s Fenty line is incredibly inexpensive compared to other designer labels and the imported leather makes these sandals an absolute bargain.
8. 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!
- Exceptionally Versatile
- Excellent Fit
- Dress Up or Dress Down
- Classy and Fashionable
- Sizing Runs Small
9. 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
- Shoes run wide
- Black only
10. 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.
- Incredibly light
- Engineered for comfort
- No slipping in the heel
- Good arch support
- Padded footbed
- Sole squeaks
- Not for long walks
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: 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 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 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 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 the bow 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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