Cone Heels, Mules, and Stacked Heels: Shoe Terms Explained
What's the difference between a platform and a high heel? What makes a wedge a wedge? And what sets a mule apart from a basic sandal? These are the questions that keep us up at night.
But it is interesting.
We walk around wearing shoes every day and don't know a whole lot about them. So with that said, we're creating a definitive list of what the most popular heel types actually are.
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The closed-toe flat stems from the classic ballet flat, which is a take on a woman's soft ballet shoe.
A kitten heel is a short, slender heel, typically no higher than 1.75 inches. The style, which was introduced in the 1950s as formal attire for teenage girls, was made famous by Audrey Hepburn.
A cone heel is a heel that starts wide at the sold and gets narrower and narrower, eventually coming to a point at the heel.
Block heels were made popular in the 60's when Roger Vivier launched his "Pilgrim Pump," which had a round toe and square heel. Shoe-obsessives love this shoe because they're as comfortable as they are chic.
A stacked heel is a shoe that has the illusion of thin layers of materials (typically, wood) that have been stacked to create a heel. Imagine cowboy boots, for example, with wooden bottoms. Often, designers show off the stacked style by leaving the material exposed. Other times, the heel is covered or given a special detail.
Mules are a backless shoe; a shoe that has no constraint around the foot's heel. Originally a style reserved for bedroom slippers, mules are now widely worn for a multitude of events. Even work!
Wedge shoes can come in the form of boot, heels, sandals...it's any shoe that has one piece of material (raffia, leather, rubber) that acts as both the sole and the heel.
Platform heels typically range in height from 1-4 inches and have an overtly thick sole. Think: Spice Girls!
Ultra High Heel
How to define one of the most important staples of our wardrobes? Let's see. High heels can be seen in Ancient Egyptian artwork dating back to 3500 B.C. as a means of separating classes from one another. Today, heels are simply a means of looking a bit fancier. By definition, the only thing that truly "makes" a heel is that the shoe forces your heel to be significantly taller than your toes.