Fashion Guide What Shoes to Wear with Leggings

Learn what shoes to wear with leggings and how to avoid common footwear flubs many women make with leggings.

Sometimes a fashion trend comes along that you're sure you could pull off, but you shy away from trying it because you're just not sure how to wear it. Women often seem to have this problem with leggings, and one common matter that causes confusion is what shoes to wear with leggings.

If you currently find yourself on a quest to discover the appropriate shoes to wear with leggings, then you've come to the right place. Listed here are all of the popular options, along with some tips about what to consider when choosing which ones to wear.

Ballet flats

When wearing leggings, although there can be exceptions, it's generally best to avoid chunky shoes like sneakers. Instead, go for a lightweight shoe with a tight silhouette. Flats fit this description perfectly, and they are almost always a good choice to wear with leggings.

Ballet flats come in all different styles and colors, so there is a pair to match nearly any outfit. They can be dressed up or down. Solid colors are the safest bet with leggings, but patterns can work too. Be careful if you have short or thick legs, because flats can accentuate these features. It is also usually best to avoid open-toe ballet flats, because these can create a choppy look when worn with leggings.

Heels & pumps

Since most heels also have that tight silhouette, they can be successfully worn with leggings. There are more restrictions here than with flats, however. Heels tend to be less casual. Only wear heels if they work with the top you're wearing. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the leggings change the outfit enough to make heels appropriate with any top, because they don't.

Heels can be quite flattering with leggings, but keep it classy. Think chic and contemporary. Leggings and heels, if done incorrectly, can just look trashy. The pairing can also end up looking like an 80s throwback if you're not careful, so unless that's what you're going for, try to keep your outfit modern.

Boots & booties

For colder weather, boots can look great with leggings. The main rule to keep in mind here is that the leggings must be long enough to completely tuck into the boots. There should be absolutely no skin in between. The next thing to remember with boots and leggings is that the top or skirt you're wearing with them should be on the shorter side, so that a decent amount of the legging is exposed.

Several different types of boots can work. Calf-length boots are great for women with long, slender legs, but they can look stocky on shorter women. Ankle boots usually work, but again, make sure that the leggings are long enough.

Booties are the one exception that can look okay, and even better, with shorter leggings that show some skin in between. This just depends on the style. If the booties are tight and have a low ankle, then some skin will probably look best.


For warm weather, some styles of sandals can look fantastic with leggings. Strappy styles are usually going to be your best bet. Gladiator sandals and leggings are a popular look. Take caution when trying flip flops with leggings. That $3 pair of plastic flip flops that you wear half the summer probably won't cut it. Something a little more stylish can look good, but make sure you pair it with the right top.

Hopefully this guide has answered some of your questions about what shoes to wear with leggings. Just remember that these are only guidelines. There are always exceptions to the rules. Fashion is 90% confidence. If you like it, then wear it confidently, and it will show.