Best Stiletto Heels Reviewed & Rated
Named after the Stiletto dagger, stiletto heels are an attractive style of footwear that features a long thin heel of at least one-inch or more in height. The end of the heel is usually a rubber or metal tip with a small diameter of less than one centimeter. There are many different styles of shoes which can have a stiletto heel including, boots, sandals, and pumps.
The right pair of stilettos can completely transform the way we walk creating a sultry and feminine stride. They instantly accentuate a woman’s legs, elongating and defining them, in particular, the calves. Wearing heels also gives the illusion that the wearer is taller than they are and creates a vision of sky-high legs. But not just any pair of pumps are suitable for any occasion; stilettos that are great for a night out, for example, probably won’t be the best choice for a Monday morning meeting.
- Nine West Flax
- Versatile Style
- Cushioned Footbed
- Vince Camuto Elvin
- Leather Upper
- Zipper Closure
- Ollio Cross Strap
- Buckle Closure
- Affordable Choice
So how exactly are we supposed to know which pair of stilettos are work appropriate and which ones are made to wear for a night out on the town? After careful research we have composed this list of the best stiletto shoes, highlighting each pair’s high and low points. It is our goal to help you in finding the perfect pair of stiletto shoes that are as appropriate as they are stylish for any occasion you may have in mind.
10 Best Stilettos
1. Nine West Flax
The heel on the Nine West Flax is of the perfect height - while it isn’t exactly low, it also isn’t sky high, meaning that you shouldn’t have any problems with wearing these for a full day at the office. The heel area features a molded cup that will ensure that your foot fits snugly inside the shoe, ensuring a safe and comfortable wearing experience.
Variety of Materials
Whether you like leather, suede or prefer man-made vegan materials for your shoes, the Flax is available in all of these. The best thing about these stilettos is that no matter which option you go with, all will perform just as well both in terms of comfort and durability.
Cost and Value
With a price that is average compared to the other items on this list, the Nine West Flax is our definite top choice seeing that it has the potential to easily become anyone’s go to pair of heels. Appropriate for professional, formal as well as casual wear, these shoes are definitely a great investment and are a must-have for anyone who values style and quality.
Leather, Suede and Synthetic Versions
Easy to Pair Color Options
Molded Heel Cup
Lightly Cushioned Footbed
Tends to Crease
Beware of Counterfeit Items
2. Vince Camuto Elvin
Getting out the door on a busy morning is hard enough as it is, which is why complicated footwear with intricate closures can be a drag. The Elvin solves this with a zipper closure that’ll not only allow you to put these on quickly, but to take them off just as fast.
Wearing high heels has consequences that most people are familiar with. The pressure that’s put on the ball of your foot is bad enough as it is, so having a shoe which allows your toes to spread out naturally, and to grip the floor better is a smart choice. With these stilettos, you’ll get exactly that, thanks to the rounded toe.
Cost and Value
With a price that is just slightly above average, the Vince Camuto Elvin is definitely the best option for fall wear. The leather will keep you comfortable and warm, the man-made outsole will give a good grip, while the 4” heel will elongate your legs and put that certain je-ne-sais-quoi in your step.
Lack of Color Options
3. Ollio Cross Strap
These elegant stilettos are professional and dressy thanks to a crisscross ankle strap and sleek buckle closure system. A slightly pointed toe makes for a classic appearance while still allowing enough room for your toes to move.
Ollios Cross Strap features a rubber anti-slip outsole and is crafted from manmade materials for a breathable and lightweight wear. Its 4-inch stiletto heel is high enough to command attention while still being practical enough to wear during a day spent on the go.
Cost & Value
The Cross Strap is an affordable choice of stilettos that are appropriate for both business and casual wear. Their sleek design and eye-catching heel height make these stilettos the perfect addition to any wardrobe and their reasonable price makes them all the more appealing.
Crisscross Ankle Strap
Variety of Colors
Size Runs Small
4. Steve Madden Wagner
Nothing elongates the line of your legs as much as a pointed toe and high heel, and the Steve Madden Wagner features both. These boots will accentuate your calves without revealing too much, or being too formal - perfect for nights of dancing and weekend outings with friends.
Stiletto heels are rarely appropriate for cold weather for one of two reasons - the first is that they mostly come in the form of pumps and sandals, which are simply not warm enough, and the second is that they are hard enough to walk in without the added obstacle of snow and ice. The Wagner eliminates the first of these problems, and is great for dry but cold weather wear.
Cost and Value
Ranking average on this list when it comes to price, the Steve Madden Wagner is a good option for anyone looking for a boot with a stiletto heel. That being said, it is a style that’s not hard to find discounted, which means that you can get it for the fraction of its original price, reaping the benefits of its great looks.
5.5” Shaft Height
Patent and Suede Options
Appropriate for Cold Weather
Requires Breaking In
5. Kaitlyn Pan Studded Slingback
The upper of these Kaitlyn Pan slingbacks is made with genuine leather for a luxurious feel. Featuring a lambskin insole that allows the foot to breathe, you will reap the benefits of excellent airflow and soft underfoot insulation that won’t allow you to get too cold.
The lining in these is made out of microfiber, which is a great option thanks to its softness and breathability. Even more, the straps are also covered in this material, making them less likely to rub or cause any hot spots even with prolonged wear.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s quite high compared to most other shoes on this list, the Kaitlyn Pan Studded Slingback is still a great choice thanks to its high quality make. With a genuine leather upper and rubber outsole, these shoes are sure to last you a long time, remaining comfortable and fresh thanks to the materials used in the making process.
Genuine Leather Upper
20 Color Options
Straps Run Long
Studs Are Plastic
6. Calvin Klein Gella
Avoiding laces, zippers and buckles, the Gella is simple to put on thanks to an elastic gusset that also serves as an added comfort feature. The fact that the upper is made out of genuine leather is also a good thing, as it will mold to the shape of the foot without being too stiff.
When walking in high heels, the majority of your weight is shifted towards the front of the foot, putting a huge amount of strain on the metatarsal area, as well as on the knees and back. The padded footbed in the Gella helps absorb some of the shock that occurs when walking, thus eliminating some of the pain that inevitably comes with high heels.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s average, the Calvin Klein Gella is a great pair of footwear for anyone looking for something different, without being too over the top. It’s easy to wear and easy to pair, and is made with high quality materials to ensure both good breathability and a comfortable wear.
A Lot of Toe Cleavage
7. Sammitop Crisscross
The Sammitop Crisscross is designed with a classy pointed toe and buckle closure for a sleek and professional look. Its super-soft finished upper and non-slip rubber outsole keep you looking sharp while walking steady and the Crisscross's true to size manufacturing makes choosing the right pair an effortless task.
The Sammitop Crisscross is available in an assortment of colors including, navy, green, matte blue, bright red, and patent, just to name a few. There are also colors which are available in either a suede or a synthetic material.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s slightly below average compared to the other heels featured on this list, the Sammitop Crisscross is an excellent choice of footwear that will always be in style. They bring a unique design and ultra-comfy wear, making them a great shoe for women who are constantly on the go.
Stiff At First
8. Cape Robbin Lace-up
These Cape Robins mid-calf boots feature unique and stunning embroidering up the shaft for a one-of-a-kind presentation. Considering the fact that this is a look that’s extremely popular in 2018, it’s a welcome refreshment in terms of style. Wearing these boots, you’ll show off both your sense of fashion, as well as your legs.
The Cape Robins Lace-up is available in three colors: black, nude, and denim, so you won’t have any trouble matching these boots with your favorite outfit. The Cape Robins unique appearance makes these a bold pair of footwear.
Cost and Value
For a stiletto boot this beautiful you won’t believe how little they cost! These trendsetting stilettos are completely budget-friendly and will fast become a wardrobe favorite thanks to their creative and eye-catching design.
Full-shaft Statement Laces
9. Badgley Mischka Kiara
At 4.75” tall, these are the highest heels on our list, and they’re absolutely stunning. With the addition of the platform and the open toe detail, they may not be the best choice for everyday wear, but you will adore wearing these on special occasions.
While most footwear uses leather or man-made materials for the upper, the Kiara goes a different way and offers something new. The luxe satin used in the making of these pumps is luxurious, shiny, and of a high quality, which definitely means more comfort for you - rather important if you plan on wearing them for a long time.
Cost and Value
Ranking high on this list when it comes to price, the Badgley Mischka Kiara is not for everyone’s budget. Nonetheless, the price is just what you would expect from a pair of designer footwear, even a bit cheaper than some competitor brands. These pumps are the perfect choice for wedding shoes, but thanks to the fact that they’re rather comfortable, you’ll find yourself reaching for them more often than you thought.
10. Dream Pairs Elegantee Dress
The Elegantee is a striking stiletto dress pump that is available in a variety of colors including, silver glitter, pink, black, nude, yellow, several shades of blue, and many more. The great thing about these stilettos is that there are different materials available in each color including PU, suede, and nubuck.
Dream Pairs Elegantee is a stunning dress pump that boasts a 4.5-inch heel and a classy ankle strap and buckle closure. These are the perfect pair of heels for formal occasions, nights out on the town, or dressy events like weddings.
Cost and Value
These Dream Pairs pumps are very reasonably priced and offer great value for your money. It features a padded footbed for extra comfort and is available in several different materials and colors to suit individual style.
- Color Selection
- Various Material Options
- Padded Footbed
- Non-slip TPR Outsole
- Ankle Strap & Buckle Closure
That brings us to the end of our list of the best shoes with stiletto heels and hopefully, you’re now that much closer to finding the perfect pair of stilettos. It’s important to consider certain factors such as comfort, functionality, and style when choosing a pair for a specific occasion. If you are less than comfortable wearing this style of heel try opting for a lower platform and heel height, this will allow you time to get used to walking on such a thin heel and prevent unnecessary problems down the road.
Many people feel that stilettos just aren’t practical or are inappropriate for a more professional setting, but this just isn’t true. A stiletto heel can be as professional as any other pair of shoes as long as an appropriate style is selected. If you’re interested in what exactly makes a good pair of stilettos, make sure to read the rest of this article which includes handy information as well as a FAQ section with some tricks that will make wearing high heels much easier on your feet and body.
Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Stilettos
There are many aspects of a stilettos style that can completely transform its appearance and functionality. The smallest detail can convert a once seemingly perfect pair of stilettos for work, into next Saturdays hottest pair. The following style points are worth noting when it comes to a stiletto heel:
- Heel Height: The height ranges anywhere from 1-inch to 10-inches, with the average height sitting around the 4-inch mark. Generally speaking, stiletto heels can be painful to walk in. For a more natural walking experience try opting for a heel that’s less than 3-inches, this will allow for a less labored stride.
- Color: Color plays a large part in the professionalism of a shoe’s appearance. For example, solid colors should be a first choice for the office, whereas most patterns should take a back seat. Patterns distract from the rest of an outfit and can quickly lower your professional demur. Neutral shades and colors like black, white, grey, and brown are the safest choices for work and usually pair well with any color outfit.
- Material: Materials like suede, PU, leather, and synthetics are the best choices for a stiletto shoe. They are soft, flexible, and long-lasting while allowing for proper airflow around the foot.
- Closures: There are different styles of closure systems available including, buckles, zippers, hook & loop, ties, and traditional laces. While zippers are the most straightforward option, a hook & loop is the most customizable. Traditional laces offer an excellent level of customized security and can also add to the shoes overall style, while ties can be a seductive option, imagine those long ties wrapped around your calf and left loosely tied at the back.
- Platform Height: The height of a shoe platform is a major deciding factor in the overall wearability. The lower the platform, the easier it will be to balance and walk-in a shoe. Try opting for a .5-inch platform is you’re uncomfortable walking in taller shoes.
Let’s face it; most stilettos are far from comfortable. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a pair with a half decent level of comfort though, and the following features are ones to look out for because they can add an extra level of satisfaction:
- Padded Footbed
- Wider Toe Box
- Lower Heel Height
- Low Platform
- Rubber Outsole
A padded footbed is a big bonus when it comes to the comfort of a stiletto heeled shoe. Padding reduces the amount of pressure on the underside of the foot and lessens foot fatigue, while a lower heel height and platform will reduce the strain on your legs and feet preventing pain in the calves and underside of the foot.
A rubber outsole is always advisable because rubber is a non-slip material so you won’t have to grip as much while walking. Gripping your feet tenses the muscles of the foot and repeated gripping movements can cause pain in the tendons and arch of the foot.
There are several different designs of shoe available that features a stiletto heel. Some of these designs are more work appropriate while others are best for your free time and it can be easy to confuse the two. The following are designs of footwear that can feature a stiletto heel:
- Closed-heel cup
- Open Toe Sandals
Pumps are the classic professional style of stiletto shoes and are a hit among working ladies everywhere. While other design options listed above are mostly suited for wear during your own time and are less appropriate to professional settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are stilettos hard to walk in?
A: If you’re inexperienced with the art of walking in a stiletto heel it can be quite challenging. There are, however, a few things you can do to make walking a little more relaxed: Start by making sure that your stilettos fit correctly, they should be snug but never too tight, or try opting for a lower heel as they will be much easier for walking. Standing in a pair of stilettos is also an excellent way to get used to a new pair, just by standing in one spot for a few moments and then sitting down and rising again you will be adjusting your balance to your new heels.
Remeber to keep your posture straight while you’re walking in a pair of stiletto heels; this will help to keep you more stable on your feet. When you walk in heels, the body has a natural tendency to lean forward because it feels uncentered, this will only make walking more unnatural and much more difficult.
Q: Are stilettos more likely to leave marks on the floor?
A: Unfortunately, because of a stilettos pointed heel they are more likely to leave marks or indentations on most flooring materials. The sharp end will leave a pockmark because it tends to dig into most materials.
This being said, if you are merely passing over the surface of a floor, you aren’t going to destroy it right off the bat, but repeatedly moving over the same surface will eventually start to leave noticeable marks. Of course, this is easily preventable by just removing your shoes inside the house or inside of other areas with a large floor surface.
Q: Can stilettos be cut down?
A: While you should never try to alter the height of a stiletto heel at home, professionals can usually change its height even if only slightly. Don’t expect anything too drastic but if you take your favorite sky-high’s into a qualified professional, they can probably shorten them at least a little bit.
Q: How can I make my stilettos more comfortable?
A: If you are finding your stilettos are too darn uncomfortable you can try using a pair of padded insoles made explicitly for use with this style of footwear. An ordinarily sized insert will not fit your heels correctly, but some brands who sell ones that are perfectly shaped to fit. Or if you insist on using the ones you already have lying around the house, you could always try cutting them to size so that they will fit better in stiletto shoes narrow shape.
Q: Can I repair my favorite stiletto that’s worn down?
A: A worn stiletto can easily be repaired as long as the damage isn’t too extensive. This is not something that you should try on your own at home, instead take your heels to a professional cobbler and they will be able to repair your stiletto in no time. A cobbler is a trained professional who repairs shoes for a living and is fully capable of fixing worn or broken heels.
Q: What defines a stiletto?
A: A stiletto is long and thin from the base to the tip of the heel. There is no part of a stiletto heel that is any bigger than another part, this is how to easily judge whether a shoe is a stiletto or or not.
Q: Can I stretch my stilettos to make then wider?
A: Although there is no guarantee that any method will work to stretch a shoe at home, there are several things you could try in an effort to make your stilettos roomier.
Try using a blow dryer to stretch out your overly narrow shoes, this is a simple method which many swear by. All you need to do is put on one or two pairs of thick socks and then put your shoes on. Keeping the hair dryer on medium heat, slowly blow the hot air over the entire shoe continuously, do not stop in one spot this can damage your shoe by overheating it. Continue doing this for roughly two minutes for each shoe.
Fill a freezer bag just over halfway with water and then place the bag inside of your shoe. Now put your shoe, with the bag inside of it, into the freezer and let the water fully freeze. Take your shoe out of the freezer once the ice has formed and allow 30-minutes for thawing. Repeat this as many times as necessary until your shoes fit properly.