Best Slingback Shoes & Heels Reviewed
There are not many styles of footwear that will offer you the same type of versatility you get from a pair of slingback shoes. This style was shot to stardom by Chanel in the 1950s and has been worn by sophisticated, fashion-conscious individuals ever since. Slingbacks come in a huge variety of heel heights and styles, so you can opt for anything, from flats, to kitten heels, to wedges and even stilettos. The great thing about them is, they’ll look great no matter your heel preferences.
The list below looks at the highest-rated slingback shoes currently available for purchase, including casual, formal, professional, and everyday models. You’ll find that all of the chosen items score high in style and quality, and some even offer great comfort features that will allow them to become your new pair of go-to shoes.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Roomy Toe Box
Top 10 Slingback Shoes
1. Badgley Mischka Paxton
Roomy Toe Box
4 Inch Heel
These pumps by Badgley Mischka are the ideal choice for special occasions, formal events, and weddings. Made to look simple with a touch of luxury, the Paxton will look great on anyone, complimenting a wide range of dresses, including both shorter cocktail models, as well as full-length gowns. It can be purchased in four color options, including white, latte, pink and black, so you can opt for the version that will complete your look the best.
The design of the Paxton is fairly simple. The shoe features a basic pointed-toe silhouette in the fron that looks great on anyone, providing wearers with an elongating effect. The upper is made out of shiny satin that is luxurious and comfortable to wear, while the inner is lined with soft leather for the highest level of comfort.
The heel is covered with a strap that has a small elasticized portion to ensure comfortability and easy on and off. Covered in crystals, this portion of the pump brings elegance to the entire look, making for a fancy detail that won’t be over the top.
As for the insole, it’s lightly cushioned for long-wearing comfort, while the outsole uses leather for durability. The heel is 4 inches tall which is quite high for those unused to stilettos, but it does make for the ultimate touch of feminine glamour. The price of the Badgley Mischka Paxton is slightly higher than the rest of the models listed, but if you need shoes to wear on special occasions, then this is definitely the model to go with.
2. Calvin Klein Gwenith
Textile & Synthetic Upper
Non Slip Sole
The Calvin Klein Gwenith Pump is a classic slingback pump with an elevated style and a sassy pointed toe. And with a shorter heel than most others on our list, you can be sure that your feet will remain comforted all night. Available in several colors, you'll find that these will be quite easy to match to your favorite outfits, both for work and more elegant occasions. At a slightly higher price, these leather pumps are built from quality materials to last.
The upper is 100% leather, with a comfortable slingback with a buckle under your ankle. The buckle makes adjustability a snap. The instep is fitted with a gel comfort pod insert to give even more cushion.
A gorgeous pair of pumps with super insoles and elastic all around. The Gwenith has a flexible sole with a non-skid bottom tread. A 3.5-inch heel. Coming in 3 colors: blue, black, and tan, you can choose from a few different options to better match your choice of outfit. The price of this model ranks about average to higher-than-average, but considering the versatility and style it offers, it's an excellent investment for most.
3. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
Padded Toe Post
Stretch Fabric Upper
Yoga Mat Footbed
U Rubber Sponge Outsole
Lacks Arch Support
A novelty brand from sunny, southern California, the word ‘Sanuk’ means fun in Thai. This makes sense for a company that started by making sandals out of inner tubes and carpet. Now it has moved on to the yoga mat sandal and sponsors a variety of athletes from rock climbers to surfers to snowboarders. With a variety of products from booties to sandals and sneakers, Sanuk is everywhere in the world.
With total attention to comfort, these flip-flop thongs are a marvel of craft and design. They utilize a yoga mat footbed which is one of the most comfortable you will find anywhere. It is exceptional at absorbing shock, allowing you to walk for miles without feeling fatigued, joint pain or muscle aches.
Super comfy cloth straps set these far above the standard flip-flop shoe. A beautiful Asian inspired upper gives these sandals an exceptional aesthetic. Simple and elegant in craftsmanship and design. As for cost, they're quite affordable, making them an excellent choice for those who need a simple summer style that'll feel just as good as it looks.
4. Frye Kenzie Slingback
Rubber and Leather Sole
Long Break-in Period
There are certain types of footwear that will always be in style. This is especially true if said shoes are made with high-quality materials, with plenty of attention to details. The Frye Kenzie Slingback is a ballet flat made for casual and professional wear that will elevate all of your favorite looks. It’s one of the most versatile pairs of footwear you can invest in, seeing that it will look just as good with jeans as it will with a summer dress, and seeing that it’s made by a reputable company, you can expect it to last for years.
The upper of the Frye Kenzie is made with leather of the highest quality. You can choose between a number of colors, from simple blacks, tans and other smooth leather options, to metallic versions and those made in bright, eye-catching colors. The silhouette is fairly simple with a pointed toe and a V-shaped vamp, and these are sure to look good on anyone.
The sole of the Kenzie Slingback is made with leather, as is the lining, and this means several things. Firstly, the shoe will break in to match your exact foot shape, allowing you to feel comfortable for hours of wear. Secondly, it will prove to be breathable enough for summer wear. And thirdly, it will allow your foot to move naturally while ensuring a good amount of cushioning through the soft footbed.
The outsole uses rubber in high-wear areas to allow maximum durability, and the half-inch heel offers a bit of a lift that puts the foot in a more comfortable position for walking and standing. As for price, the Kenzie isn’t exactly cheap, but you’ll be wearing it for years, which makes it a pretty good investment.
5. Chinese Laundry Obvi
Wide Toe Box
A 1982 fashion collection, Chinese Laundry appeals to the working public who like a little flair with their style. A bit more daring than the rest of the designs, these are quality for almost every occasion. Pumps in this style aren’t exactly a new phenomenon but Chinese Laundry never fails to toss in a new trick, just a slightly different accent than the rest of the field.
A sophisticated looking pump with just enough wow to get you noticed but not upstaged! Faux leather inside and out, a buckle on the ankle strap for easy adjustments and padded insoles. This model comes in a variety of color options, both bold and neutral, so you can easily choose the one that will compliment your style the best.
These are a great option for leg lengthening style with great comfort if tottering in stiletto type heels is just not your thing. The larger heel gives you all the stability you need and the lined insole cushion your foot all day and night. As for price, these are quite affordable, making them a great choice even for those limited by budget.
6. Timberland Los Angeles Wind
EVA Foam Outsole
Salt Water Stains
If you need something to wear in the great outdoors chances are Timberland makes it. From the 1920s their boots are a result of years of innovation including injection-molding technologies. They also make waterproof boots for both cold and tropical climates, so they know a lot about construction and wear. So lucky for us that they’ve entered the casual sportswear arena with serious sandals.
As sturdy as a Timberland work boot, these sandals sport a super chunky, thick sole and wide leather straps cross the toes and form the slingback. Tough sandals for rough terrain. What you get from a platform with this pair of Timberlands is a high level of shock absorption which is perfect for long walks. Though the support is not as high as we'd prefer, these are still a great option for both urban and off-road wear.
Amazing Ortholite foam is used in the insoles of the Los Angeles Wind, and it has antimicrobial properties to ensure a healthy foot environment. This makes them perfect for travel, as you won't have to worry about odors or bacterial growth. As for price, these are slightly more expensive than average, but you'll find that the quality of the materials used, as well as the simple style, make them worth checking out.
7. LifeStride Pearla
No Breaking In Required
Strap Stretches Overtime
Professional and confident are the words that come to mind when considering the LifeStride brand. Back from a long exile in the fashion world, the lion has returned with footwear for real working women who need comfort and style and without the fads. This is the modern LS with serious women in mind as they seek an honest foothold on the ladders of success. The Pearla is the perfect choice for a number of occasions, mainly thanks to its simple yet elegant style.
Comfort and style in a sexy pump with a modest 1.75” heel. Perfect for a long work day then out for drinks or dinner. If it’s a business footrace you’re in, these might be the right option for you. You'll find that LifeStride's cushioning technology works especially well in this model, allowing you to go about your day without having to worry about foot pain or discomfort.
LifeStride's synthetic sole brings super comfort, and the open heel has an adjustable buckle for the perfect fit. The solid colors have yummy leather uppers, prints are gorgeous fabric. As for cost association, these rank average, making them a great choice for anyone who wants the best combination of quality and style.
8. Sam Edelman Hastings
Leather, Textile or Suede Upper
Lightly Padded Footbed
Classic Toe Silhouette
Runs Slightly Narrow
The perfect pair of pumps for a night out, a formal event, a casual outing of for the office, the Sam Edelman Hastings is one of the most versatile pairs of footwear you can invest in. Available in numerous color options and materials, including patent leather, suede, leather as well as silk, you can match this pair of heels with almost any outfit for results you’ll love every time.
One of the main advantages this slingback has over traditional heeled shoes is the fact that the back is fastened with a subtle but secure buckle, which allows for great fit adjustability. This means you’ll comfortably be able to wear these, without having to worry about heel slippage or heel blisters.
Overall, Sam Edelman styles are made using materials that allow for excellent comfortability at prices that are affordable. One of the best aspects of this particular style is the lightly padded footbed that allows just enough padding to allow for all-day wear without any pain.
9. TOMS Poppy
Suede Ankle Strap
2.25” Stacked Heel
Breathable Textile Lining
Beware of Counterfeit Products
Developed with the sole purpose of bringing you a style that looks elegant but is comfortable, the TOMS Poppy is a great choice for those looking at adding a pair of chunky sandals to their wardrobe. Pair it with boyfriend jeans or a cocktail dress, the Poppy will look great no matter the occasion and is a perfect pair of footwear for anyone looking at purchasing a product that’s not just great looking, but socially conscious.
This is one of the most stable pairs of footwear on this list, mainly thanks to the low, 2.25” chunky heel, as well as the custom German outsole that’s made with rubber and features a traction pattern that keeps you on your feet even in more slippery situations.
The upper of the Poppy is made with genuine leather that also wraps the heel for a more flattering line. The use of this material greatly contributes to its comfortability, seeing that it’ll easily mold to your feet, while the wide straps keep it from cutting into any portion of the foot.
10. Crocs Eve
Great for Plantar Fasciitis
Non Slip Sole
Unsuitable for Formal Wear
Out of the garden and onto the runway, Crocs are making their way into every aspect of our lives. It’s not just clogs, sandals and flip-flops anymore, there are flats, sneakers and wedges, loafers, boots, and athletic options. It’s still casual footwear, but now it’s dressed up using the same light and built for comfort. The Eve is an excellent option for anyone looking for footwear that offers that iconic Crocs comfort, while looking sophisticated enough to be worn as an everyday footwear option.
Using the same materials as a Croc gardening clog or flip-flops or flats, Crocs have designed an excellent ballet style for your comfort. The open heel design keeps your foot ventilated and cool, while the Croslite footbed cushions each of your steps. You'll even find the same foot massaging footbed that you love in your Crocs Clogs in the Eve.
Seamlessly molded into a sleek ballet shoe shape with a strap, super comfy Croslite foam, and a .5” heel for a tiny bit of height. Eve Crocs come in black, oyster and navy. It's also an affordable option, making it a great choice for anyone who doesn't want to spend too much on a pair of slingbacks.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the main reasons slingback shoes are such a great pair of footwear to own is the fact that they can be incredibly versatile. Regardless of whether you opt for a flat or heeled choice, if you go with something flashy or understated, they’ll make a good addition to a variety of outfits. There are several types featured on this list alone, from sporty styles to those made for casual wear, to more sophisticated models that can easily be worn at a formal office, a wedding, or even a night-club. Whichever of the styles above you decide to go with, there are, however, several things you should keep in mind, and that is whether your shoe is appropriate for the given occasion.
If you decide to go with heels, it’s important to keep in mind the height. While a tall pump can look extremely classy, going overboard (or with anything with a platform), may seem unprofessional or inappropriate in certain situations. For comfort reasons as well, you may want to opt for something not too tall - an average heel of up to 3 inches can give you enough elevation to compliment your look, without putting unnecessary pressure on the ball of your foot and causing you discomfort.
Lower styled slingbacks, on the other hand, are amazing for those who tend to spend a lot of time on their feet, who are expecting to do a lot of walking, or who need something that’s easy to slip on and off. Often featured in more athletic versions, slingbacks can be great for camping, beach visits, or active weekends when you need an open shoe but with plenty of breathability.
No matter the type of footwear you are purchasing, there is one aspect that’s extremely important, and that will greatly influence the comfort, support, protection as well as the durability you get out of your shoes. As they are a cross between sandals, clogs, and pumps, slingback shoes come in a huge number of upper options, ranging from full grain leather to textile, to synthetics and tech fabrics. All of these can be great choices, depending on the type of use you are expecting to get.
If you’re looking for an everyday, professional or formal style, go with something of a higher quality, either leather or its vegan equivalents. These materials should be easy to break in, will be pleasant in touch with your bare (or covered) foot, and will be relatively easy to maintain so that they look polished.
For more casual or sporty occasions, you can opt for synthetics that will be water friendly, that wick away moisture, or that allow a good amount of stretch for lots of movement, giving your feet the freedom to naturally expand and contract with every step.
In terms of materials, it’s also crucial to consider the lining and sole of the shoe, seeing that you will want the best possible performance in these areas. For the lining, you should either choose something with leather or a breathable textile or synthetic, such as in the TOMS Poppy. In the sole, you will want a steady outsole with a good amount of tread, a midsole that offers at least some amount of shock absorption and arch support, and a footbed that’s lightly padded for maximum comfortability.
While high heels are less likely to have a midsole or to include rubber or foam elements, there are those made with padded footbeds and even memory foam insoles, so that you can wear them for longer without having to experience pain. Alternatively, you may want to consider adding your inserts that would soothe and protect the balls of your feet, the heel area or support the arch to prevent tendon pain.
The main feature on any shoe made in this style, whether a high heel or a sporty sandal, is the strap that keeps it on on the back of the foot, securing it and making walking easier as your feet don’t have to work hard and flex to stay inside the shoe.
This strap is both the main advantage of the style, but it can also be its biggest drawback. When shopping for slingbacks, your best bet would be to check how well it’s made, and whether it features some level of adjustability. Not only will this allow a secure initial fit, but it can also make putting on and off easier, as well as allow for some additional breathing space should you find that your feet have swollen throughout the day.
Most styles featured on this list have a buckle closure with a couple of adjustability levels, allowing for a good range of fits. Great for those wearing half sizes, or with different feet anatomies, this is an excellent choice, especially if the buckles themselves (as well as the straps) are made with quality materials, with strong stitching.
However, there are also those styles which don’t have a buckle, but, instead, feature some level of elasticity in the back strap portion. More common in athletic and casual styles, this is an excellent, easy to wear choice that’ll conform to your foot completely hassle-free, and is less likely to cause discomfort due to rubbing. The downside of this variation, however, is that the elasticity may start to give out with wear, leaving you with shoes that have a loose back strap that allows no fit security.
Last but not least, there are those models that have no adjustability at all, which is the least ideal option. They will often be closer to regular pumps or flats in terms of fit and may present problems if the strap itself is rigid or made with a harder material. Nonetheless, if you’ve managed to find the perfect size for you, they can be a great, stable and secure option.
One of the great things about slingback shoes is that they can be worn in all types of weather conditions, especially with current trends of colorful hosiery that is chosen to match or contrast the shoe itself. Available in some styles, you can go with either completely open models that are just like strappy sandals, or you can go with closed styles that allow plenty of protection from colder temperatures.
Compared to regular pumps or clogs, slingbacks hold one great advantage which is reflected in the breathability they offer. Because the back portion of the shoe is open, this is a great feature that can contribute to temperature regulation, airflow, as well as moisture management for those who happen to sweat a bit more. On the other hand, as the front can be completely closed, they can even offer some protection from spring showers where there’s a slight drizzle, but the temperature is still warm.
If you go with a synthetic style, you may even find that it’s a great beach option, as it should dry faster than textile and leather, while providing considerably more support than your average flip flops. For example, the Crocs Eve can go from casual date to beach in a beat, and at the end of the day, you can just wash it off with a bit of lukewarm water, and they’ll look as good as new.
Last but not least, one of our most important pieces of criteria was to choose only those products which offered a great value for your invested money. With a lot of products, this eliminates generic brands and cheaply made models, because the focus is more on quality, durability, and construction than price.
When it comes to slingback shoes, you’ll be happy to know that they come in a huge range of prices. From those that cost less than $20, to those with four-figure prices, they can be found to fit any budget. If your finances allow it, our suggestion is always to go with averagely priced styles that are made with better materials and that have design features that are well-thought out and made to promote comfort and foot health.
Before making a final purchase, it’s a great idea to read user reviews, as this often uncovers any hidden downsides of a particular model, such as subpar support, material durability, or even construction issues that may present problems in terms of blistering or discomfort. You can get a lot of this information simply from reading the Pros and Cons section for each listed product, but if you opt to go with something else, you can try to learn from other people’s experiences.
Lastly, to get the best possible value out of your investment, we would recommend taking good care of your shoes, especially when it comes to cleaning, drying and weather protection. Make sure you don’t use your footwear in ways it was not meant to be used (for example, leather shoes should not be worn at the beach or pool), and you will see that they’ll serve you better for a longer period.
In case you need any tips on how to properly clean and freshen up your preferred pair of slingbacks, you can read this guide for instructions that work on most materials.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Slingbacks are such an easy slip on kind of pump or heel, but sometimes they slip off a bit too easy. You can keep your slingbacks from slipping with a few tips, which will let you walk worry free throughout the day.
Invest in some double sided, invisible tape, and apply some to the inside of the slingback strap. this can help keep the strap on your foot while you walk.
You can also invest in a pair of Foot Petals Toe Tips, which can help keep your foot and toes from sliding forward.
Sometimes the width of our foot can cause a slingback style of footwear to fit poorly, but no need to fear! When you purchase the shoe, be sure it fits your foot comfortably, especially if you have wider feet, and plan to buy something with a pointed or almond toe.
You can always punch new holes into the slingback strap to make a tighter fit, or, add a bit of lambs wool to the toe, or other cushioning element, to prevent in shoe slippage.
Other Factors to Consider
Like with any other pair of footwear, before making a purchase, you should try on the shoes, or follow online instructions so that you order the correct size. It’s also important to note the specific shape of your foot, as this can greatly influence the fit of your newly purchased footwear. That is to say, if you’ve got wide feet with toes the same length, you may want to stay away from pointed pumps.
If you suffer from any foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, etc., you should consider them and purchase footwear accordingly. While some footwear may allow you to add inserts for support and cushioning, slingbacks are often open which lowers your options in this regard.
Last but not least, you need to consider your preferences in terms of material type. If you like shoes that are more breathable and allow for better moisture management, leather or synthetic closed styles should not be your first choice. If, however, you have sensitive skin, go with something that won’t irritate, such as, for example, the Crocs Eve.
Because they are often inspired by clogs, slingbacks may come with a chunkier heel or outsole that could add quite a bit of weight to the shoe. For some, this won’t be a problem at all, se they will appreciate the added support and stability that come with these styles, and will find them more comfortable than models with thinner soles.
However, if you’re looking for slingback sandals for athletic use, you should definitely try to find ones that are as lightweight as possible, as this will allow you to walk more without experiencing fatigue or cramping. Luckily, plenty of modern materials are made so as to minimize weight, but that still do great at protecting you from the surface underfoot, as well as providing you with adequate shock absorption.
There you have it, our top ten choices of slingback shoes you can wear on any occasion. Depending on the style, these may be ideal for a formal event, for work, a weekend date, or even for everyday wear or travel. You'll find that slingbacks come with a variety of choices in terms of comfort as well, from stiletto pumps to kitten heels, even to those with shock-absorbing soles you will be happy to wear on a daily basis.
To ensure you're making the best possible purchase, you should go through the pros and cons of each of the models listed above, as these will give you a good idea of what to expect. You can also turn to user reviews, so you'll know exactly what you will be getting with each of the pairs listed.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are they fine for wider feet?
It depends on the design you’re looking at but, yes, very often this style will fit you more easily. The strap on the back is either a little stretchy elastic or adjustable with a buckle, so you have more width in the midsole if you want it. That being said, a tight toe box on a higher pump can still be a problem for you. Think stretchy in fabrication and stick with lower heels if superwide is not advertised.
q: Is there any arch support in this style?
Sure. The amount often depends on the type of shoe you want. Check to make sure it’s mentioned if you’re buying online because some shoe brands don’t cater to those needs. Sportier brands are likely to give that a lot of attention, and there are many of those to choose from. You’d be surprised who is making very classy looking designs these days.
q: Isn’t a stiletto a little dangerous for the ankle?
Not really. No more than any heel. If you’re wearing a stiletto with a very tall platform, then you run the same risk of rolling out on your ankle whether you have full back covered or an open version. The strap does not make you less stable if the midsole hits you in the right place to make sure you have a shoe that fits you well.
q: Won’t my foot slip out of the shoe without a back covering?
No. You are much more secure than while wearing something like a mule or a traditional clog. However, if you are used to being completely encased in a shoe, then this will feel very different. The strap on the shoe holds your foot into the front of the shoe, and it’s designed to keep your foot from falling off the side. So, unless you’re playing tennis or making quick turns at top speed, you’ll be fine.
q: Why this style instead of a closed shoe? Won’t your feet get dirty?
No dirtier than they would if you were wearing a sandal or a flip-flop. If you are mostly indoors, they’ll stay very clean, but if you go outside, you’re only risking dirty feet if you’re walking around in a lot of dust or grime.
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