Best Zip Up Heels Reviewed
Zippers are not a recent creation since we realized almost two centuries ago that they are a necessity. They help clothes wrap around is tightly, and they keep our shoes in place. It’s the same with heels - sometimes, a pair is not stretchy enough to allow you to it in, so a zipper is needed for you to enjoy them. If you’re one of the people that simply need to have a zipper on their shoes, then you’ve come to the right place. We carefully examined the world of possibilities and brought you the best we could find, and we can only hope you decide to enjoy one of these beauties!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Glistening Crystal Details
Top 10 Picks
1. Badgley Mischka Venom
Glistening Crystal Details
Crystals Dig Into Skin
Badgley Mischka is a company run by two brilliant designers, bringing extraordinary bridal and evening shoes to our doorstep, and the Venom is here to show you just that. The upper is nothing short of sophisticated, graced with satin threads and vibrant colors. Satin was always regarded as one of the most luxurious materials, due to its luster and soft touch. It’s perfect for any evening event lover, especially when combined with lively colors!
The d’Orsay silhouette of these dress pumps show of your delicate skin and slim down your feet, while the pointy toes accentuate their elegance. Now, let’s talk about that eye-catching, dangling detail - a waterfall of crystals surrounded by a row of clusters of the same sparkly stones that scintillate in the night and make anyone who dares wear them the star of the evening. Their shine is enhanced by the glow of the satin upper and the shining metallic insole hidden away secretly. The zipper is hidden from sight, resting silently on the heel counter. The metallic insoles are also lightly padded, so the drop from the towering heels won’t be so bad and you’ll be able to show of this marvelous pair for as long as you want!
2. Michael Kors Berkley
Chunky Front Zipper
Four Inch Block Heel
Ribbed Rubber Outsoles
Zipper Rubs Arches
If you’re looking for new ways to bring excitement into your life, give the Berkley a try! This dramatic sandal is perfect for your nightlife, as it will surely make you the life of the party. While some designers fear to show their pair even has a zipper, the Berkley proudly wears it on the front, a golden detail boldly contrasting the black leather upper.
The smooth leather makes up the straps, which open around your heels to give you even more breathability and fresh air. The lining and the soles are synthetic, but that shouldn’t worry you since the shoe is pretty much open. The mind-boggling four-inch heel might seem frightful, but the slope is played down by the platform. The heels are blocky, so you won’t sacrifice your balance and stability. This is accentuated even more by the ribbed outsole, providing plenty of grip and traction!
3. TOMS Deia
Anti-microbial Sock Liner
Hidden Elastic Gore
High Chunky Heel
Not True To Size
TOMS might not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of extraordinary heels, but trust us when we say that the Deia does not disappoint! The sandal construction features a leather, or synthetic upper, whatever you prefer. The thick strap on the toes offers security, while the even thicker one around the ankles definitely straps you down.
The zipper sits patiently at the sides, hidden away from view, and creating an easy transition from casual to business. The sock liner is synthetic, but it’s anti-microbial. So, the breaks in the fabric will cool down your feet and dissipate sweat, while the sock liner will kill any bacteria or fungus that even dares to think about existing. This sock liner is also lightly padded, cushioning you for extended periods. A hidden elastic gore improves the fit by a mile and makes it easy for wider soles to fit in. The chunky heel is quite high, but it’s stable enough to keep you going all day long!
4. Botkier Anna Fringe
Slim Ankle Strap
This fringy pair is sure to bring plenty of flair to your nightly routine! These fringe sandals have a cowhide leather upper, bringing you all the goods suede does with extra durability. Zippers don’t always have to be hidden away from sight - sometimes, they can be the star of the show, which is exactly what is happening here. The zipper sitting on the counter might seem like your regular, every day zipper, but the tassel swinging down from the top proves us otherwise.
This exciting details will bounce and dance as you walk, attracting attention wherever you appear! The slim ankle strap has an elastic gore, meant to offer you an ideal fit. The peep toes let your toes wiggle and show off your pedicure. The stiletto heels make you appear like a vision of grace, giving a sophisticated tone to your steady gait.
5. Jessica Simpson Kandiss
Elastic Long Straps
Exaggerated Bow Detail
Memory Foam Midsole
If you’ve been looking for a way to leave a long-lasting impression, look no further - the Kandiss has all that and more! This crazy pair is made out of suede, working to calm down their wild look, toning them down from too much to perfect! The super high heel counter features a zipper, so you don’t have to struggle too much with the slim elastic straps.
Speaking of the straps, they all have an elastic insert so you can stretch them as much as you need, while enveloping your ankles completely and topping off the look with exaggerated bow detail. There is a short break from all the drama, yet it continues down onto the boot like construction and ends with open toes, made to show off your nail color. A memory foam midsole absorbs all the shock as you walk strapped onto the insanely high, yet blocky heel, so you can control your balance with ease.
6. Clarks Calla Lily
Zip Pinches Skin
Clarks is a company renowned for creating comfortable yet affordable footwear, but leave it to them to surprise us and create trendy styles. The Calla Lily is simple, sleek and fit for any professional setting. Their suede upper is smooth and supple, versatile and luxurious, so you won’t be able to resist mixing them into every possible clothing combination. The T-strap design reminds us of vintage styles and adds a sophisticated tone to their simple form.
The zipper sits on the heel counter, not getting in the way of their polished look. The footbed is Ortholite. Ortholite footbeds have been adopted by many world famous brands since they offer plenty of remarkable properties. For starters, they are very light and breathable, so your feet will always feel fresh. They resist bacteria and repel bad smells. They keep their form for a very long time, giving you the same amount of padding for ages to come, and they are removable so you can wash them any time! The kitten heel offers style without added discomfort from high heels!
7. Vince Camuto Pimmy
Neutral Leather Upper
Lightly Padded Footbed
Stacked Chunky Heel
Stiff Around Ankles
The Pimmy is nothing short of extraordinary since it combines the regular bootie construction with unique details! Their leather is upper, soft and supple, ready to be broken down and sculpted to the shape of your feet, offering a great fit every time you put them on. It starts out as sleek and simple but starts getting more and more dramatic as you reach the boot opening.
The split sides are held together with intertwining, corset-like strips of fabric that give a sense of secrecy and frisk to the wearer. These splits are surrounded by decorative stitching and uniform perforations, giving even more excitement to what once was just a regular ankle bootie. The footbed is lightly padded, making the short chunky heel almost undetectable, as you will be walking on clouds for most of the day!
8. Bella Vita Dani
Cut Out Details
Sturdy Kitten Heels
Zipper Pinches Skin
The lovely, sophisticated Dani will effortlessly bring out your feminine side as soon as you try them on. The glossy suede upper is soft and supple, adapting to the shape of your feet almost immediately. The front of the shoe is open, but so are the sides, giving the air plenty of chances to sneak in.
The trendy cut out details is what makes them stand out from the crowd, giving curious bystanders a peek at your skin. The zippers sits at the heel counter, making it easy for you to experience the wonders Dani has to bring. The kitten heels give you cultivated beauty while saving your soles from all the pain and burning!
9. Chinese Laundry Shawnee
Tiny Studs Around Toes
Blocky Concave Heel
Not Enough Padding
This super strappy pair is just what you need to revive your style. This high-back leather sandal comes in four calm colors, steadily mixing themselves with every ensemble you have hidden safely in your closet. The crisscrossing straps cage you in, with elastic gore details allowing you to move freely, no matter how trapped you may look.
The high heel counter has a zipper running alongside the middle, for an easy way in and out. Little metallic studs surround your toes, giving glistening shine to the otherwise refined upper. The very chunky block heel gives you desired height without sacrificing your balance and grip in the process, so you can walk with confidence and grace as long as you have them strapped around your feet!
10. Eileen Fisher Just
Stretchy Mesh Strap
Pentagonal Kitten Heel
Poor Arch Support
This open-sided dress pump brings fresh style and long-lasting comfort. The soft suede upper is free of any detail, showing off its gentle touch and fuzzy surface. The stretchy mesh comfortably wraps around your ankles and straps you in securely. The open sides let air circulate freely while cooling you down and helping dissipate moisture!
The curvy almond toe is a blend of pointy and round toe boxes - you get all the style points pointy toes have, while enjoying the roomy comfort round toes usually have to offer. The footbed is cushioned, padding you at all the right places, never letting you feel any pain and discomfort. The smartly tapered pentagonal heel is wide enough to provide stability, yet still slim enough to give you an elegant tone.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Heels can be an uncomfortable experience all by themselves, and when you add metal teeth to the equation, you will get a lot of worries sights. Zippers truly are a convenience - a simple motion downwards or upwards can open up your shoe, and allow your feet to gently side in, without a struggle. Zippers also offer a much more secure fit, compared to laces and buckle straps. Yes, laces do offer a lot of room for correction, but they are not glued together and thus can easily loosen up, negating you the satisfaction of a perfect fit. Straps with buckle laces hug your ankles or arches and make your feet look flirty and exciting, but sometimes the distance between the holes means you either get jailed up, or you lose your heel! So, with everything taken into consideration, zippers offer the best possible fit, which is just one step towards improved comfort.
We all know how much trouble a pair that is too tight can cause. From simple redness and irritation to bunions, which require surgical correction, tight shoes are something we all fear. But loose shoes can be equally condemning. The friction created when your feet slide all around the interior will surely be enough to create blisters, or even wounds, prone to infection. Since you won’t have stable ground, a sliding foot can also open up the way for you to lose your balance and fall, and that’s something we all try to avoid. Zippers solve this with ease and offer you the chance to feel maximum security.
Secure fits are all nice and lovely, but won’t the sharp, grinding teeth pinch my skin and cause serious discomfort? Zippers were made for the sole purpose of helping us, and it’s sure to say they wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t help us completely, both inside and out. If you, by any chance, already own a pair of heels with zippers, take them into your hands and inspect them carefully. When you look at the zipper from the outside, you can see the whole mechanism, but once you turn your gaze to the inside of the shoe, the story changes - a strip of fabric covered by the interior of the heel guards your delicate skin against the harmful, cold touch of metal. Just put your feet in, zip up and let the shoe do the rest of the work for you. If you ever start to feel any degree of discomfort caused by the height of your footwear, just slide that handy zipper down and let your feet free. To sum it all up, you’re safe from zippers, and you shouldn’t worry about this aspect at all!
Zippers are a super reliable tool, but how long will this tool actually stick around to help you look great? No one was left shorthanded when it comes to troubling occurrences with zippers; zippers that break, zippers that tear away, zippers that snag the fabric, and so on and so forth. So, how smart it is to even think about buying a heel with zippers stuck on them when you already know how cumbersome they can be?
In order to avoid all this, buy a pair of heels that come from a reliable source, because this way you ensure that the zipper sitting so smugly on them is actually up to the task. Cheaper pairs usually have plastic zippers or ones made from cheap metal, and those do tend to break quite easily. Steel zippers and other hardy material zippers are simply the best, and you should try your best to locate a pair that has such clasps on them. The YKK group, a Japanese company that creates excellent zippers, puts their crown gem on many high-quality pairs out there, and if you find some with their zipper, don’t miss out! You won’t be disappointed.
Sometimes, our budget is not that great, and other times, we already bought a cheaper pair without thinking and are now stuck with a poor zipper not doing its job well. Don’t worry, fellow reader, as there are many ways to improve the durability of your zipper, and of your heels with it! If your zipper started to give up, or is getting stuck, and is too stubborn to come down, there are a few genius tricks you can try without resorting to the professionals right away. One very simple way you can fix this is with something you have just laying around your house - a graphite pencil. Drg the tip of the pencil up and down along the teeth near where the mechanism is stuck, and try to work it free. If that doesn’t help, you can always try using regular hand soap and lip balm.
Lip balm and hand soap work like magic if you’ve got a zipper that keeps getting stuck or one that likes to chew on your shoes! I, on the other hand, you’ve got one that keeps rearing its “mouth” open, look at the teeth - a stray thread or string stuck there doesn’t let the teeth hug, and prevents the zipper from closing down, so just pull the fabric away and you’ll be good. But what if the teeth start to become loose? Open up a handy toolbox and pull out those pliers, it’s time for them to work their magic! But, if the zipper works fine when you’re not wearing the heels, yet it just won’t work when you push your feet in, you’ve got trouble on your hands, and there’s simply no way you can wear this pair and even begin to estimate how long it will last! Now, it’s time to pack up your pair and be on your way to your local friendly cobbler. They are the best of the best and have the right tools to either fix the zipper or to stretch out your pair so you can fit in there and close the zipper. The trouble with zippers doesn’t always begin with the teeth though - sometimes the pull tab gets broken or torn away, but you can simply replace it by attaching a new one!
If you’ve got yourself a pair of strappy sandals with zippers, chances are you won’t worry that much about the zippers letting water in, since there’s not much there to protect you from the water, or any other element, in the first place. But, if you’ve got boots or pumps, worrying about protecting your feet is real, and you might start to doubt that little metal strip responsible for holding your pair together!
Water seems to be the element we fear the most, at least when it comes to our shoes since it can cool us down, make us smelly, and destroy the construction of our shoe, rendering them useless. How tightly do the teeth of your zipper hug each other, and can that hug loosen up at any given point in time and let water through to ruin your day? Usually, when you buy a valuable pair, the zipper will hold on for a long time and sprayed over with protective coating to repel water away. But, there’s still that patch of fabric surrounding it, raising suspicion. There was always one simple solution to waterproofing every other type of fabric out there, and the solution is the same here; waterproofing sprays!
Plenty of different types of protective sprays exist, and some of them so much more than just water protection. If you have sandals you might think that you shouldn’t use these sprays at all, but you’d be wrong! The water, the sun, even the UV light all affect your pair, the way the color holds and their durability, so you better prepare! Buy a super protective spray, and apply a generous, but not too generous, coating in a well-ventilated area and leave it to dry. Do this a few more times, and let the spray dry every time before you reapply it. Leave the final coat to dry overnight, and you’ll be protected from anything nature throws your way! Some companies offer sealants, so you can protect your shoes and feet this way as well, but they can sometimes be quite pricey!
Sometimes, you will buy boots with heels, and plenty of times, those boots will have zippers present. Since we are talking about boots here, you probably bought them to keep you warm and toasty in the cold weather. But, will that same zipper prove to be a problem here, and let all of that precious heat out? It will, in fact, not let any heat escape, and you’ll be just as warm as in a pair without zippers! The teeth are held together quite firmly, and the fabric where the zipper rests is also helpful. But zippers do tend to hold too tightly and don’t let any air in. Thankfully, the refreshing breeze is just one simple hand motion away - slide it down and let the cool breeze help you!
As we said before, zippers are quite handy, but what if you don’t really appreciate their metallic shine? Unless they were made to specifically decorate the uppers, some fashionistas usually regard them as looking cheap, or they simply believe that they ruin the whole flow of the heel. Which is why most of the times zippers sit on the heel counter or on the sides. They’re hidden away from sight, not graceful enough to be seen all the time. Their only purpose is to let your feet in without a struggle, and they will do so. But who are we to judge the poor old zipper? They can be exciting details too! They look spectacular with shoes made to look rugged and worn down, and sometimes they can be colored in such a way to accentuate the flow of the heel, improving their style. Other times, the pull tab can be adorned with tassels, crystals, gold, silver and everything else in between, acting as one of the focal points of the pair!
If you truly are not a fan of the way zippers look though, well, there are always heels with zippers hidden on the sides or in the back. If they are on the sides, they usually cower on the inner part, hidden from sight by the rest of the shoe and our feet. When positioned on the back, they usually sit on the heel counter, and cannot be spotted unless you turn your back to the observer, which leaves you plenty of room to make an excellent impression. Slim, small zippers are also found sitting on uppers and sport the same color as the heel does, so it can be rendered almost invisible. Yes, invisible zippers do exist, but the sole reason they are invisible is that they rest on the inside of your skirts and dresses, and you can’t have the zipper sitting on the inside tearing up your socks and chewing at your skin! Don’t fear the zipper - instead, embrace it, because chances are if you already seek its help, you truly need it and wearing heels without it is not a possibility. Love your zippers, and they will love you back, and allow you to wear the trendiest pairs out there!
With the way heels work our muscles and balance, no one wants to think about any additional weight tiring us down even more. Some heels by nature have a lot of weight, especially if they have wooden heels or are made out of leather and similar hardy materials. The construction can also be troublesome, and the details as well, and they can all add up quickly to the overall weight of the shoe. Zippers might look like something you should worry about when it comes to weight, but they don’t weigh that much, and there is no way they can significantly affect the weight of the shoe.
If you want a lightweight pair, firstly look at what they are made out of. The leather is heavy, and so is wood. Clusters of rhinestones and crystals can pack some serious weight, and super chunky wedges and block heels can also drag you down. Lightweight pairs give plenty of flexibility, and that is something you really do need when having heels. So, don’t worry that much about the poor old zipper, it’s not heavy and don’t worry about it tiring you down!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Elias Howe is a man we can all thank for inventing the sewing machine. However, when he received a patent for an automatic, continuous closure, he disregarded it, thinking it won’t serve a good purpose. He was way too busy with his sewing machine, and so the poor zipper was overlooked. A mere four decades later, it was again brought back into the light, but this time around it was named the clasp locker. It was first meant to sit on shoes, so we all benefited from the start! The modern zipper wasn’t given the breath of life until 1913 however, but once it saw the light of day it’s popularity steadily rose, and something that was once a rejected technology is now the one thing we can’t live without!
While the majority of us have only ever known and referred to it as a zipper, this wasn't actually the original name given. Up until 1925, you would have known this little gadget as the "Hookless Fastner"!
Other Factors to Consider
Sturdy zippers may not look that flexible the first time you lay eyes on them, but don’t be so sure about that! Zippers can slither like snakes and spiral with ease, so it’s safe to say your flexibility won’t be compromised by one measly zipper. You want a flexible pair since it will give you plenty of support, and will let your feet move as much as they could. Your movement is already restricted by the way your feet sit on heels, so giving them as much freedom as you can is vital. Take care of your feet, and they will take care of you too!
Zip up heels truly are a blessing, since they give everyone the opportunity to wear super trendy and gorgeous pairs. Not everyone has narrow feet and normal arches, and plenty of people really do need the extra room zippers give once you slide it down to part the material open. They can be a trendy detail too, and we feel like you shouldn’t skip out of them, and that you should give them a try. We hope that our guide has helped you see zip-up heels in a new light and that you have managed to find just the pair that is right for your individual needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can I replace the zippers on my heels by myself?
After you’ve been wearing your heels for a few years, the zipper will break down, without a doubt. But once it does, you probably shouldn’t attempt at replacing it, even if you do have plenty of sewing experience. The way a zipper is integrated into a pair of heels is way different than the way it sits in clothing, and this process is best left for the pros. You can damage your pair if you try to do this yourself, so just leave it to the lovely cobblers to work their magic.
q: Are laces better than zippers?
Well, that all depends on your personal preferences the most. Laces do look sexier and can be adjusted to your liking. They do however tend to loosen up, and can sometimes be only purely decorative, so you won’t have that much use from them. On the other hands, zippers always offer the same fit, and they never loosen up. But, they can be unsightly and can break and snag and pinch, so they’re not flawless either. It all boils down to what you like, and to what you need!
q: Why do some pairs have both laces and zippers?
This usually happens when one of the things is used as decoration, while the other keeps its functionality, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Both can work just the way they are meant to, and there is a specific order of action here. When you first buy the pair, you need to break it down, so use the laces in the beginning. They will allow you to accommodate your feet, and you won’t struggle that much with the process of breaking down your shoes. Once you do break them down, create a perfect fit with the laces, and just use the zipper from then on, and you’ll always have that great feeling when you put them on!
q: Is there any difference between side zippers and heel zippers?
Besides their location, zippers also act a bit differently depending on where they are. Zippers on the sides are more likely to be seen, but they offer an easier way to zip up your heels. There won’t be any bone in the way, and you’ll probably do it in one simple motion. Heel zippers are hidden away from curious eyes, but people usually struggle to zip them down, especially if the shoe has not been broken in yet. You even risk tearing the clasp away if you pull too hard!
q: Why are zippers sometimes referred to as a fly?
Contrary to popular belief, a zipper is not the same thing as the fly! The fly is actually the strip of fabric that covers the zipper, not the zipper itself. A fly can be seen on clothing, tents, backpacks and such, it’s highly unlikely you will see a fly on shoes!