Best Ombre Shoes & Heels Reviewed for a Blended Look
While it does sound like a Spanish word (and it is, with a different meaning), when it comes to the popular coloring technique, the word ombre comes from French, and it means ‘faded’. It represents a gradual blending of one color into another, whether it is the same hue but different saturation, or different shades, or maybe two completely unrelated colors.
There is something undeniably attractive about this coloring technique. Ombre offers a perfect opportunity to use two colors which might not work otherwise. It provides a sense of gentleness, a peaceful transition between two hues, and it allows us to diversify our wardrobe. It is unique, and refreshing to look at.
This is why we have organized this list of top ten ombre shoes. If you are as taken by this fading method as we are, then you have undoubtedly looked for ways to include it in your outfits. And ombre footwear is the perfect opportunity for that!
We tried to include designs which are both casual and more upscale in design, which you can wear in your everyday walks around the neighborhood, but also maybe to a party on a Saturday night. It is a most fascinating world of color change indeed, and we hope that in the end, you will walk away with at least one brand new pair of shoes!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
Lightweight Comfort System
Full-Length Stability Plate
Low Chunky Heel
Luxurious Leather Upper
- Rockport Salima
- Converse Chuck Taylor
- Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0
- Sperry Saltwater
- Woolrich Strand
- Puma Ignite
- Jessica Simpson Martella
- Chinese Laundry Shanie
- SJP Fawn
- Pleaser Xtreme
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Rockport Salima
Lightweight Comfort System
Full-Length Stability Plate
Low Chunky Heel
Luxurious Leather Upper
The Rockport Salima is a sensible, practical pump which is perfect for the workplace. What sets it apart from others of its type is the fact that it comes with Rockport trademark technology named Total Motion. This includes a lightweight comfort system, premium materials such as smooth leather for the upper, a full-length stability plate, as well as an extra padded footbed.
The special stability plate that stretches from the toe area all the way back offers extra stability, making your footsteps more secure, while at the same time it provides flexibility in the front, as the Salima moves along with your foot. This is then paired with The lightweight support system we mentioned earlier comes under the name of truTECH. It provides shock-absorption at the back, preventing the pounding effect at the heel which can lead to pain and medical problems, but it also offers rebound at the forefoot, for superior comfort.
Really, the Salima is one of a kind pump, and you have to try it to believe its comfort!
2. Converse Chuck Taylor
Breathable Canvas Upper
Lunarlon Sock Liner
The Chuck Taylor comes with a special molded Lunarlon sock liner, a gusseted tongue, and the original rubber toe area and toe guard. There is also a lace-up system at the front, with metal eyelets for added durability. While the Converse Chuck Taylor has an upper made from thin, breathable canvas material, its tongue is extra padded for a snug fit. Your foot won’t slide around inside the sneaker, and you will feel comfortable and secure.
As mentioned, this shoe features Lunarlon, which is actually a technology by Nike, which now owns Converse. It represents a special cushioning system which has the purpose of absorbing shock. This means that as you walk in the Chuck Taylor, the impact of your heel strike is evenly spread over the shoe, and your steps are softer and stabilized thanks to this innovative technology.
We honestly didn’t doubt for a second that the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor had a design which fits the topic of this guide. These legendary sneakers can be found in literally thousands of different color options and prints, and the ombre options are just as appealing as any other. Truly, there is hardly a sneaker as effortlessly cool as the Converse Chuck Taylor!
3. Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0
Soft Jersey Knit Upper
Air Cooled Memory Foam Insole
Not for Narrow Feet
Thin Memory Foam Layer
Embrace your sporty chic style with the Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0. This is an athletic sneaker which isn’t made for any hard-hitting sport but is, in fact, a comfortable, amazingly practical everyday option. It has a flexible jersey knit upper with a black to grey fade and cute stitching detail all over. Not only is this an attractive option, but thanks to the Flex 2.0 lightweight midsole, it should enable you to stay on your feet for longer. Flex 2.0 is a special technology for midsoles which is extremely lightweight and still enables the shoe to absorb shock instantly. This feature keeps the foot fatigue away and you can easily spend an entire day running errands without feeling even a hint of discomfort!
The outsole of the Flex Appeal 2.0 is made from flexible rubber which provides excellent traction, and the inside is cushioned thanks to the Air Cooled Memory Foam insole. As it is suggested by its very name, the Air Cooled Memory Foam of the Flex Appeal 2.0 not only provides cushioning and support, but it also helps promote proper air flow through the sneaker. This keeps your feet dry and cool and avoids any nasty odors which might result from sweating.
4. Sperry Saltwater
100% Wool and Rubber
Excellent Wet/Dry Traction
Difficult To Get On and Off
Poor Arch Support
Behold, the ultimate of rain boots, the Sperry Saltwater! This design is as sturdy, as functional and as warmth-preserving as they come. The ombre effect is in the wool shaft of the boot, going from dark brown to ivory, adding a touch of rugged winter appeal to the design. It has a matte rubber shell which keeps the water away, as well as a lace-up closure with rust-proof eyelets for a secure fit. The Saltwater provides your foot with superior warmth with its micro-fleece lining, and it has a non-marking rubber outsole.
Not only is the rubber upper of the Saltwater built to keep all the moisture away from your feet, but the outsole is also specially designed to help you keep your balance. Regardless of if you’re walking on a wet or dry surface, the Sperry Saltwater will ensure good traction and much-needed slip- and skid-resistance.
What really adds value to this boot, however, is that everything about the Sperry Saltwater is designed to keep your feet toasty and protect them from the harsh weather outside. The shaft of the boot is made from genuine wool, and the lining is micro-fleece, basically meaning that your feet will be as warm as if they were wrapped up in a blanket while you’re lounging by the fire; that makes these both functional and fashionable.
5. Woolrich Strand
Felted Wool Footbed
Vulcanized Rubber Outsole
Size Runs Small
The Woolrich Strand is a lifestyle sneaker made to enjoy in the sunny summer days. It is a low-top design with a lace-up closure at the front, as well as a wrap-around midsole. It is handcrafted, with the process of vulcanization, and features an unlined interior with a felted wool footbed. The outsole of the Strand is made from rubber, while the upper is also wool, with a light green to dark green ombre effect. We are in love with the originality of this sneaker when it comes to materials, and the careful process of construction by hand it went through, with so many attention paid to the tiniest of details.
You may associate wool as a material only designated for winter and cold weather, but it is not the case. In fact, wool adjusts to the conditions around it, and so in the summer, it is a perfect moisture-wicking and cooling option for when you don’t want your feet to sweat but still want to look cool in a pair of low-tops.
6. Puma Ignite
Cellasto Heel Pad
EverTrack Abrasion-Resistant Outsole
For Everyday Casual Running
Not for Wide Feet
As opposed to several lifestyle sneakers on this list, the Puma Ignite is anything but an amateur sneaker. This beauty is built for running, and every single feature on it is there to help you improve your performance. We are talking about impact-dispersing cushioning, a PU foam midsole, an EverTrack outsole, as well as a special Cellasto foam heel pad.
Cellasto is a special polymer material which has excellent static and dynamic behavior. It boasts a high-level of compressibility and lateral expansion, meaning that while you run the pad squishes with the impact, softening it, and then springs right back up to do it again. Like running on clouds!
A highlight of this running shoe comes in the form of its outsole. One of the main features of the EverTrack outsole on the Puma Ignite is that it is highly abrasion-resistant. It doesn’t matter if you are running on soft trails or rough asphalt, your sneakers will keep you safe and protected, and at the same time, last longer than most other models.
7. Jessica Simpson Martella
Polished Gleaming Upper
Memory Foam Midsole
Sexy and Seductive
Tight Toe Box
Cuts Into Skin
With the Jessica Simpson Martella, the faded coloring technique has been done a little differently - this isn’t one color gradually turning into another, this is a leopard print fading into a solid color! The Martella is a peep-toe pump, half d’Orsay in design, with a whopping five inches in heel, though with a 1.25-inch platform in the front.
The upper of this pump is polished and gleaming, synthetic, and for added comfort, there is a memory foam insole. Jessica Simpson is famous for her designs which don’t force you to compromise between style and comfort. The memory foam midsole of the Martella provides you with necessary cushioning and softens your steps, helping you stay on your feet for extended periods of time.
8. Chinese Laundry Shanie
Genuine Suede Upper
Adjustable Ankle Strap
Stable Blocky Heel
Dainty and Simplistic
Tight Toe Strap
Needs Breaking In
There is a trend of unconventional use of the ombre technique in this guide, and we are following it with the Chinese Laundry Shanie. This is a dainty, simplistic sandal with a three and a half inch blocky lucite heel which has a transition from clear to black by the top.
A height of three and a half inches is not a joke. In order to help you be more stable on your feet, and to provide you with a good foundation, the lucite heel of the Shanie is square in shape. It secures your steps, minimizes wobbly movements of your ankle, and ensures that you don’t stumble or fall.
It has a toe strap and an ankle strap with a buckle closure, all made out of soft suede material, and it comes in three color options - pink, black and blue. The nice thing about suede is it's natural material that is essentially leather with a plush, luxurious finish. It is gentle on the skin, and it has a wonderful ability to mold to the shape of your foot. The straps of the Chinese Laundry Shanie won’t dig into your skin or hurt you in any way as you go about your evening.
9. SJP Fawn
Silver to Anthracite Fade
Elegant and Sophisticated
Four Inch Stiletto
The Fawn is a pump which simply radiates class and sophistication. It has a pointy-toe silhouette, an upper decorated in glitter which fades from silver at the back to anthracite at the front, and a four-inch stiletto heel. The sole of the SJP Fawn is made from leather, and we have yet to see a more stunning design than this one. It is stylish, it is extravagant, and it is effortlessly timeless.
The leather sole on the SJP Fawn will take on the contours of your foot and become more and more addictingly comfortable the longer you wear the pump. Leather as a natural material has countless benefits - it is breathable, durable, and most importantly, it has the ability to change shape over time.
Rounding out this pump is the silhouette, which is one which never goes out of style. A pointy toe stiletto pump is something that can truly make an outfit pop and that looks good on numerous occasions. While this shoe is truly stunning, it is worth noting however that the price tag matches that of very high-end brands, meaning that this style will not come cheap.
10. Pleaser Xtreme
Adjustable Ankle Strap
Bold and Sexy
Difficult to Walk In
Right off the bat - this design is not for the weak of heart. That much is evident by the eight-inch high heel the Pleaser Xtreme comes with. However, it also features a four-inch platform in the front, which helps with making the height somewhat more stable.
The Xtreme is a peep-toe pump with an upper made completely out of transparent synthetic materials, as well as an ankle strap with a buckle closure at the side. What is most striking on it is the height, definitely, but also the subtle glittering ombre effect from the silver at the front of the sole to the black in the back.
The beauty of a clear, transparent upper is that it goes with absolutely everything. Whether you’re gearing up for an alternative night or to charge the dance floor in your favorite club, you won’t have any trouble finding an outfit which matches this stunningly high pump.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You may think that the ombre technique is recent, that it has been around for barely 20 years, but in fact, it is a rather well-known method of coloring. In the early 19th century, a special block – called a ‘rainbow’ block – was used to paint textiles with this faded design. This technique was also prevalent in embroidery, by dying the threads in graded colors beforehand.
However, in recent decades, ombre has moved from fabrics and fashion – though it still remains popular on the runways – and onto hair and nail art, as well as makeup and even baking products. Probably the one most responsible for reviving this coloring method is Britney Spears, who first dyed her hair from dark at the roots to lighter blonde at the tips back in 2000.
When looking at ombre shoes, the most important factor we looked at was color and ensuring each product really highlighted the uniqueness that can come from this look. Each item was rated based on how well the ombre was done, how noticeable the color change is, and the variety in options available.
Our list is quite diverse when it comes to different shoe styles. We have heels, but also sneakers, both lifestyle and more sports-oriented, and boots. Which one – or which ones – you will choose is based entirely on what you intend to do with them.
Are you looking for a stylish and yet casual sneaker to wear with your fashion-forward everyday outfits? Do you need a new pair of sneakers for jogging? A nice, sensible pump for the workplace? Or maybe a staggeringly high stiletto which will help you be the center of attention at a party?
While rating based on style is tricky, we did so by focusing on how attractive the shoe looks on foot. More updated and modern styles rated higher than products that were a bit outdated or plain, and we also took into consideration the silhouette of each shoe.
Heels tend to rate higher for style, and while some people may not prefer the look for a high shoe, more often this type of footwear is utilized for fashionable and more formal looks. Yes, they may be somewhat uncomfortable to wear – though it entirely depends on the design of the shoe – but heels are one of the most popular footwear types in the world. The reason for this is that they make us feel confident. They force us to keep our head held high, back straight, and to carry ourselves with a sense of dignity. It also helps that high soles visually elongate our legs, and help us look slimmer than we really are.
Just because a shoe looks great doesn't always mean it's versatile, so that is why we made sure to include versatility in our rating. The ability to wear a pair of shoes on more than one occassion is important to the majority of people, and it helps ensure that you are getting your money's worth with your purchase.
Unless you are getting them for an insanely good deal, owning a pair of shoes that you can only wear once is fairly pointless and just means your closet space is taken up by dust collectors. While versatility can mean different things to different people, we focused our rating based on how many occassions a pair could be worn to.
We also considered factors such as weatherproofing, if something was work appropriate, and if the color options would be able to blend in with a mix of different outfit colors and styles. All of this was mixed together to help create the overall versatility score.
Given that we didn't focus on one specific type of footwear, only on the colors, it should be no surprise that the price ranges were just as diverse as the shoes. From low end sneakers to high end heels, our list was all over the board in terms of dollar amounts.
Price alone doesn't dictate value, however, and we took into consideration not only the actual number, but what you were actually getting for that price. With that said, very expensive items did score lower than more budget friendly options simply because it makes them available to the vast majority of people.
Comfort is always an important factor when it comes to footwear, and it was something that sometimes gets neglected when talking about fashion. While ombre shoes is mainly a fashion-forward topic, comfort still needs to be a part of the conversation in order to find the most well-rounded shoe.
With both flat and heeled options on our list, there was a bit of a skew in terms of what rated more highly in this category. Flat shoes are almost always going to be more comfortable than heels, so we had to look just beyond that factor. From material choices to sizing, we checked each pair to sort out which ones ran more narrow, which ones needed to be broken in, and which just rubbed in the wrong spots.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While the term "ombre" can refer to any pigment gradient that goes from one color into another, it is most often used when talking about hues that blend from light to dark.
The term "balayage" can often be confused with "ombre", but these are two distinct coloring techniques. While an ombre is a gradient line, balayage involves using highlights for a more naturally swept look.
Other Factors to Consider
Whether you’re a gym enthusiast or like to spend your time outside chasing after your children or your pets, or even if you are more into fashion-forward footwear – there is a two-colored ombre option for you regardless of the occasion. What is important is that the design you land on suits your personal aesthetic and that it complements the outfits in your collection.
However, while the visual appeal certainly is one of the crucial things here, we can’t forget about all the other features which make a good shoe – its comfort levels, the quality of its materials, durability, and even its price. A great-looking design will only get you so far – if it’s lacking in any way, and you won’t be able to enjoy it for a long time, then what’s the point?
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What can I wear with my ombre footwear?
Anything you like! The beauty of this type of coloring is that it includes two colors which you can incorporate into your everyday style. You can try to match both, or only one, or simply put together a neutral-colored outfit and have your ombre shoes stand out as a staple piece.
q: Can I dye my shoes on my own to make them ombre?
Yes, you can! However, before you even attempt this, make sure that you read up on the matter. Dyeing footwear can go wrong in many ways, and you run the risk of being left with shoes which don’t look good, or worse, which are no longer wearable. There are hundreds of tutorials online on how to properly make ombre shoes at home, so study them all carefully! Perhaps go with a cheap pair first, a throwaway that you can use for practice before you reach for the real deal.
q: What should I wear for an office environment?
Heels are a great option to elevate your office look, to add femininity and refinement to your outfit, but you must bear in mind the aforementioned dress code. Stick to low heights, nothing above three inches, and to closed-toe designs.
Neutral colors are preferable, such as black, grey, nude, and any variation of those. Dark blue and brown are also acceptable. Avoid too many embellishments, too saturated colors, eye-catching prints, and anything that sparkles.