Types of Women's Shoes

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Women’s shoes vary in style as much as the women who wear them. It is impossible to name every type of women’s shoe, however, there are overall categories the shoes can be placed in. Each category has many different types and styles of shoes within it, and these are suited for every type of woman and circumstance.

Women's shoes come in all colors and styles.
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In this case, the term “heels” does not refer to every type of shoe that has a heel. Heels generally fall into the pump category, although other shoes are referred to as heels too. Pumps are open on top, with a back and sides. The toes are pointy, round or square. Heels also refer to sling-back pumps, which have a strap that goes around the heel, as opposed to a full back. Open-toe or peep-toe shoes also have high heels. These shoes have a small hole in the toe of the shoe. Wedge shoes have a chunky heel that looks like a wedge and lies flat on the ground.

High-heeled pump
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Flats are shoes with no heels. Flats can be pointy- or round-toed. Though the top is open, they have sides and a back on the shoe. A popular flat shoe is the ballet flat, which has a rounded toe and looks similar to a ballet slipper.

Flat, round-toe mocassin
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This type of women’s shoe includes both dressy and casual open shoes. Sandals are any type of shoes that expose the toes or the majority of the foot, in which the shoe is held on by straps or buckles. Sandals can vary from the most casual type of shoe--the flip-flop--to dressy, formal sandals with heels and other adornments. Though wedge shoes are sometimes categorized as sandals, in stores or online shopping, they usually fall into a category of their own.

Casual flip-flops
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Evening shoes are basically a dressier version of heels or dressy sandals. Evening shoes are often made of satin or leather, and are black, white or metallic in color. They usually have at least a small heel, and they are worn with formal gowns or wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses.

Evening sandals adorned with rhinestones
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Boots are the winter alternative for women’s shoes. Boots can be flat and casual, or dressy with heels. They are made of soft suede, leather, fabric or even rubber. There are many different heights of boots. Ankle boots are short, usually only coming to the top of the ankle, and knee-high boots come all the way to the knee. Over-the-knee come up higher. Most boots come to the mid-calf and can be worn over the top or under a pair of pants or jeans.

Women's dress boots
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Sneakers or tennis shoes are the most casual type of women’s shoe. They generally have rubber soles, and are made from both leather and nylon on the body of the shoe. Sneakers often lace up so they can be tightened or loosened as necessary. There are many different types of sneakers--casual street shoes for walking, running shoes and basketball shoes are only a few of the styles available.

A pair of running shoes with bright orange accents
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