Best Chunky Heels Reviewed & Rated
Nothing looks as good, or makes you feel as confident as a stylish pair of high heels. Even the simplest models of these shoes do wonders to boost your self-esteem, but they do have one downside - they tend to be utterly uncomfortable. This is why a great pair of chunky heels is a definite must-have in anyone's closet.
This type of footwear provides the same type of elevation a stiletto or classic heel would, but adds a level of support at the heel that goes a long way in preventing ball of foot pain, and ensuring an overall sense of stability. The list below features some of the highest rated chunky heels currently available for purchase.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 100 hrs of research
Leather or Suede Upper
Poron Shock Absorption
- Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole Christa
- Schutz Chimes
- Sam Edelman Walden
- Timberland Camdale
- Steve Madden Ashlyn
- Sam Edelman Yardley
- Allegra K
- Soda Delicious Yummy Cutout
- City Classified Cutout
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole Christa
Leather or Suede Upper
Poron Shock Absorption
The Christa sandal is one of those pairs of footwear everyone should consider owning. Simple in design, it’s the perfect casual pair, made with quality materials and attention to detail. Plus, it never goes out of style. The Christa comes in a wide variety of color and upper options, including leather, suede and metallic effects, so you can either go with something classic, or opt for a more eye-catching version.Read more
The lining used in the Christa is made with sheepskin - a natural material that is soft and breathable, which will prevent discomfort due to rubbing. The toe strap will easily break in, while the ankle strap is adjustable through a sturdy buckle.
The best thing about this pair of footwear, however, comes in the form of the footbed which was made with nothing but comfort in mind. In addition to offering plenty of arch support, something that is rarely found in high heels, it also absorbs shock through the Poron material. This can prevent ball of foot pain even after long hours of standing and walking. Additionally, the outsole uses rubber and a traction pattern that’ll prevent accidents on slippery floors. The price of this model is quite high, and may not be within everyone’s budget, but it’s a good investment on the whole.
2. Schutz Chimes
Genuine Leather Upper
Adjustable Ankle Strap
2 ¼ Inch Heel
Limited Color Availability
A strappy sandal with a heel low enough to be worn on a daily basis, but high enough to add a bit of elegance, the Schutz Chimes is one of those pairs of footwear that are greatly versatile, and an excellent investment for anyone. It can be bought in several color options, including black suede, natural cork, as well as metallic leathers, so you can easily find the perfect pair for you.Read more
As you’d expect from Schutz, the leather used in making their footwear is of high quality, soft to the touch, flexible, and breaks in easily. This is especially beneficial in the forefoot section, where the strap will mold to the metatarsal area of the foot, providing a good balance between support and comfort. As for the ankle strap, it’s adjustable, so everyone can get a good fit.
The 2 ¼ inch heel is covered with the same leather which makes the material, while the bottom is protected by lightweight yet durable rubber. This prevents slips and skids, and improves the overall wearability of the Chimes. The price point is slightly higher than most other models listed, but nonetheless, it’s an excellent pair of footwear for a number of people.
3. Sam Edelman Walden
Leather, Suede or Brahma Upper
Double Zip Closure
Looks Slightly long
This ankle boot by Sam Edelman is perfect for fall and winter when you want to look good, but need a bit of extra protection from the weather. It’s a classic shoe that looks just as good with jeans as it does with a midi skirt or dress, and it comes in several color options including black suede, whiskey leather and sand leopard brahma.Read more
On and off is easy with the Walden, considering the double zipper closure on the sides. Not only do these make for a stylish feature, but they’re also easy to use, even when you’re in a hurry. The slanted 2 ⅓ inch heel is easy to walk in, being stable and low enough to prevent too much pressure from being put on the front part of your feet.
The thing that most users love about this boot is that it’s relatively lightweight, with an elastic upper that doesn’t require a painful break in period. Even more, the pointed toe doesn’t pinch, and will even accommodate those with a slightly wider forefoot. As for price, it ranks average, making this a stellar choice for anyone looking for a good balance between quality and cost.
4. Timberland Camdale
Nubuck Leather Upper
Lace Up Closure
A pair of high-heeled lace up boots ideal for bad weather, the Timberland Camdale is one of the highest quality pairs of footwear you can invest in. It is perfect for those who want something edgy yet still feminine, as well as those who are fans of the Timberland Premium look that so many other brands have tried to copy. Available in four color options, the iconic wheat nubuck, as well as black, grey and light taupe versions, this is a great shoe to have in your cold-weather arsenal.Read more
The leather which makes the upper of the Camdale is a premium nubuck sourced from silver-rated tanneries that use the best pieces, paying close attention to the tanning process. This ensures you get a boot that will stand the test of time, regardless of the conditions you wear it in. The lace closure allows you to get a customized fit, while the padded collar ensures comfort around the calf.
The Camdale uses an Ortholite insole which is not only breathable and moisture wicking, but it also contributes to the overall shock absorbing qualities of the boot, allowing you to wear it for hours without pain. The rubber outsole and heel have prominent lugs and grip all surfaces effectively, and if you apply a waterproofing agent, you can even use these in rain and snow. The price of the Camdale ranges between average and slightly more expensive, but this is to be expected from a brand as reputable as Timberland.
5. Steve Madden Ashlyn
Three Color Versions
3 Inch Heel
Slightly Narrow Toe
Nothing beats a court shoe when it comes to versatility, which is why the Ashlyn by Steve Madden makes this list. This is a pair of pumps that will look amazing with anything you decide to pair it with, and it will work just as well with jeans, as it will with a professional suit. Plus, it comes in three classic color options: black, tan and passionate red.Read more
The upper of the Ashlyn is well-made, with nubuck leather that covers the entire shoe, including the heel. This type of leather is currently in vogue thanks to being matte, plus, it is soft and breathable, making for an overall good choice.
As for the heel height, it measures at 3 inches, perfect for those who like the elevation, but still value comfort and foot health. The synthetic lining increases durability, both on the inside as well as in the outsole portion. As for cost association, the Ashlyn ranks low on this list, making it one of the more affordable models to get.
6. Sam Edelman Yardley
Reinforced Ankle Padding
This shoe is one of the more sophisticated looking designs of the list. It has eloquent straps that are meticulously cut finished on with a string-like closure. They have a very fancy look that makes them the perfect shoe for semi-formal to formal events. They could also be worn for casual outings if you prefer to dress them down. Finally, the synthetic sole will provide some traction but not as much as a rubber sole or a sole that has a traction pattern cut into it.Read more
The shoe is very accommodating for various sizes of feet. The adjustable string closure makes it easy to pull tighter for smaller feet or loosen for thicker feet or if your feet swell as the day goes on.
While this design is very sophisticated, it still keeps its comfort factor with a luxurious and padded footbed. Your feet will feel very supported and cushioned with the insole underfoot. This shoe is a bit higher priced than some of the others in the category. However, overall it is a great price point. It can easily be put into anyone's budget. Also, the model is very comfortable and can be worn for many different events or as a daily option.
7. Allegra K
Soft Toe Strap
3 3/8-Inch Heel
Heel Cup Has Gap
Simple and beautiful, this model will complement any outfit for any occasion. It has a slight mid-rise heel as just over 3-inches, making it the perfect height to dress up for fancy events or to be worn with jeans for a more casual look. This shoe is highly-rated for comfort and durability. It won't flop around on your foot making it an easy pair to walk in even if the footbed gets wet.Read more
When judging the overall comfort of a high heel, it comes down to more than just the height. The actual footbed of the model has got to be comfortable and supportive. The Allegra K has a padded insole to help you feel like you are walking on cotton.
A key aspect of any pair of footwear is the traction. Styles such as this one are usually lacking. However, this chunky model has a rubber sole with grooves etched into it to keep you from slipping on slick surfaces. For a versatile model, this pair is a great bargain. You will be able to wear it to so many events and with many different outfits.
8. Soda Delicious Yummy Cutout
Extra Thick Heel
Ankle Strap May Irritate
Soda is a fashion brand that produces many cute and widely popular shoes. The design of the style Yummy with cutouts is versatile and fashion forward. These will make a perfect compliment to everything from shorts to skirts to jeans. The chunky heel style can be worn in a fancy manner or dressed down to accessorize a vest and jeans. The ankle strap helps hold the shoe onto your foot securely and is soft against the skin.Read more
Using a laser to cut the style of the straps means that the shoe has even rows and is precisely cut. You won't need to worry about the edges fraying or being off-center. It helps to promote a uniformity throughout both shoes.
These shoes would appear to be cumbersome to keep on your feet. However, this is not the case thanks to an ankle strap. Not only does it help keep the shoe secure to your foot, but it is adjustable so that you can find the perfect fit whether you have skinny calves or wider calves. For such a cute and stylish shoe, they are a great price. They can easily fit into any budget and will make a perfect compliment to any wardrobe.
Open Toe Strap
4-inch Heel Height
Sizing Runs Small
This model by Bamboo features a taller heel height which makes it a bit fancier than some of the other pairs listed. If you are looking for a shoe that will be worn to a more formal event, this pair is the perfect option. It is highly rated for comfort so you can wear it for hours without your feet feeling the pain.Read more
Feel confident in each step and in all weather conditions when you wear these shoes. You won't have to worry as much when you step on to a typically slick surface. The rubber sole has a nice traction cut into the ball of the foot.
This shoe has a softly padded ankle strap to help keep the shoe from digging into your ankle. There is nothing worse than a shoe that causes blisters, which is why so many people love this pair. Additionally, the price point allows this model to squeeze into any budget, making for an overall great dress shoe.
10. City Classified Cutout
Reinforced Heel Cup
A shoe for all seasons, the City Classified Cutout is the perfect investment for those in search of a a versatile model that works for more than just warm or cold weather. Plus, it will look great with a number of outfits, especially considering the number of color options available.Read more
The flexible ankle strap makes this model the perfect choice for many sized ankles. You can easily adjust the fit by loosening or tightening the strap. It is also nicely adorned to give it some flair instead of being a hidden buckle.
The material of the upper is a soft and supple synthetic. It will feel nice against your skin without causing chaffing. These cutout booties have a luxurious look to them because of the material used. These fall in the mid to upper price range when compared to other pairs in the category. However, they are a great price point and can easily fit into any budget.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
While the first thing you notice about any pair of footwear is how it looks, there are other things to keep in consideration, one of which is the closure system and adjustability the model offers. When it comes to high heels, there aren't that many options, but each of them has its distinctive look and functional features:
Some pairs of footwear, at first glance appear to have very, very tall heels. You might wonder how anyone would walk in something like that without breaking their neck. Or at least experiencing foot pain. However, designers will sometimes integrate a platform into the toe/ball of the foot portion. This acts as a lift to offset the arch from a high heel.
A shoe with a 3-inch heel but a 1-inch platform really only has a 2-inch rise in the heel. Some people find that they are able to wear taller heels if there is a platform simply because it takes some of the pressure off of the ball of the foot.
On the other hand, there are consumers that do not like the look of a platform in a high heel as it takes away from the high heel. They prefer to have their foot right on the ground. The downside to no platform is that there is more pressure placed on the foot. Also, it can cause the toes to bunch into the toe box. In cases like this, it is best to find a shoe that has a footbed with a slight grip to prevent foot slipping.
Named for the stiletto dagger, the stiletto heel is a mere 1 cm thick on average. A chunky heel is slightly more around 2 cm, minimum. This gives a larger area for the strike to occur on. As with each step, the landing zone is a tiny bit larger, therefore, women report having an easier time walking with a chunky heel. This is not to say some women aren’t extremely confident wearing stilettos.
Not only is a chunky heel easier to walk in but it is beneficial for standing as well. When standing in a chunky heel that is more than double the size of a stiletto, you do not have to attempt to balance as hard as when wearing a regular or skinny heel. Lastly, a chunky heel absorbs more of the impact from walking and standing. This can ease some of the foot pain associated wearing high heels. The surface it is resting against is larger. Thus, it distributes the energy more widely.
The ultimate factor we consider for every type of shoe, but especially for heels is the traction of which they provide. There is nothing more intimidating than walking in heels because you worry about slipping and falling which could lead to minor or major injuries. Heels are also notoriously known for not providing very much traction on the soles. It is important to have at least some traction. However, there are a few designers that put leather or suede on the bottoms of the soles. This may look aesthetically pleasing but unless you are a professional at walking in heels, it is best to avoid that type of heel.
Secondly, just because a heel has a small amount of traction when new does not mean that the shoe will keep the traction for long. It is equally important to find a shoe that has traction that is durable and will not wear down quickly. This can usually be found on shoes that have rubber soles. Rubber is exceptionally durable and provides natural grip on a variety of surfaces. Shoes that have leather or some other type of fabric will not last long on the traction aspect when compared to synthetic or rubber soles.
When we think about some of the hottest and most luxurious brands in the fashion industry, ones like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo might come to mind. A product is a promise made, but a brand is a promise kept; generation after generation. A brand and its label are a statement of quality, craftsmanship and service found in each of its products.
When assessing the products on our list for “brand”, we took into account the quality of its products, its attention to detail and style, its reputation within the fashion industry, its commitment to customer service and its perceived luxuriousness and exclusiveness, to create an overall score for brand equity. Brand equity can loosely be defined as the pricing power a brand has in the marketplace due to each of the aforementioned factors.
So, while a product that scores high on this list may be gorgeous and exclusive, you can also bet it will much pricier, as well. After all, if everyone could afford it, it wouldn’t be exclusive or luxurious, would it? Be prepared to look amazing, but feel the pain at the bank, if a product scores high on this metric!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While stilettos typically draw the attention for their skyscraper height and tiny heel, chunky heeled shoes can be quite stylish, and some quite funky! With the extra bit of heel, designers can add patterns, more embellishments, or other quirky attributes to chunky heels to make them unique.
If you're in search of a pair of chunky heels, try something a bit out of the ordinary for your next pair!
Chunky heels allow for greater stability when walking or standing during the day and evenings, making them a great choice for events or casual outings with friends.
To even further stabilize you, you can always select a heel that is lower to the ground, something like a kitten heel, to keep your swagger going on cobblestone roads or uneven sidewalks.
Other Factors to Consider
You can still be the epitome of fashion by wearing chunky heels. Furthermore, you don’t have to feel like you are missing out on the aesthetic appeal of heels because you do not enjoy wearing thin heels or you simply don’t feel comfortable and safe walking on sticks. Additionally, there are added benefits to rocking this edgy style. You won’t be placing as much stress on your foot as skinnier heels tend to put on the foot. Also, you can instantly walk with ease as compared to the intimidating learning curve of other heels.
With so many cute styles of chunky heels to choose from and an endless amount of outfit possibilities to match them with, you might wonder how you don’t have a closet full of them already. With their great appeal to so many consumers, chunky heels are a fashion trend that will stick around for a while.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are chunky heels?
Chunky heels are a high heel type shoe that has a somewhat thicker heel portion than a stiletto. Chunky high heels have a heel portion that is closer to 2 centimeters versus a standard 1 cm heel.
q: Are chunky heels more comfortable than regular heels?
In theory, yes, they are more comfortable. However, the comfort of the shoe is not just in the heel. The overall comfort comes from a melting pot of many factors. A heel that is chunky gives more landing space to the person wearing it as opposed to a skinnier heel. It makes people feel more confident than a skinny heel so therefore they are perceived as being more comfortable.
q: Do chunky heels look as good as stiletto heels?
There is no reason to think a chunky heel is not as attractive as a stiletto heel. After all, heels are heels. They streamline the legs and make them look longer. They also help to make the person wearing them appear taller and have better posture. Most people see those things and don’t think about whether it is a skinny heel or a chunky heel.
q: What can I wear chunky heels with?
You can wear chunky heels with anything that you wear a regular heel with. They make a great compliment to dresses, skirts, jeans, pantsuits, etc. You will look just as stylish with chunky heels as a stiletto.