The Best Shoe Styles To Wear If You Are Petite

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes. Yes, please. I am a shoe lover through and through. High heels, low heels, loafers, mules, sandals, boots, tennis shoes…..I love them all equally. As a petite woman (I am 5’1/2″ and wear a size 5 shoe), not all shoes look great on my small feet. So I thought it would be great to round up the best shoe styles for petite women and why they work on our body type.

Shoes with some sort of heel are usually a good choice for petites. They give us a little extra height so that our legs look longer and we are a little taller. Who doesn’t want to appear to be a little taller and leaner?

Before we talk about all things best shoe styles for petites, there are a few other posts that I have written that you might want to check out.

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link or picture and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I appreciate your support.

petite brunette woman wearing a white shirt and jeans with pointed toe flats, one of the best shoe styles for petite feet
Sarah Flint Natalie Flat

Best Shoes For Petite Feet

From pumps to flats let’s take a look at the best shoe styles that flatter small feet.

Styles That Flatter

So when I look for shoes I always want to make sure that they look good on my feet. They can make or break an outfit after all. Here are a couple of questions that I ask myself when I am trying on a new pair of shoes.

  • Do they elongate my foot?
  • Does the shoe look too “heavy” on my foot?

Once I look at my feet in the mirror and walk around in the shoes in my house for a while, then I make the decision on whether they stay or go back. We always want to have the best shoe styles on our feet to make sure that our ensembles look great from head to toe.

Classic Pumps

Classic pumps will always make the legs look longer, leaner, and more shapely. The pointy toe pump is the best style choice because it will elongate the foot and make your legs appear even longer. If you can find one with a V shape at the toes that fits your foot so that you are showing a little toe cleavage, then you have found the ultimate pump for a petite woman. Buy it in every color that works with your wardrobe.

For my foot that is the Perfect Pump by Sarah Flint. These pumps are pump perfection for my feet. I have worn her pumps for years. They are great quality and I know that they will be in my closet for years to come. Yes, they are a little on the pricier side, but comfortable pumps in a classic silhouette are not the easiest thing to find.

Now just a note about heel height. A 2-3.5 inch heel usually looks best on petite women. Taller than that and you may look like one of the weebles that wobble and hope that you don’t fall down. Remember those from childhood? Also, if you are a petite plus size woman you will want to make sure that the heels don’t look too delicate or thin. You don’t want them to be too chunky either. This slingback pump is a good heel shape example.

Remember that a nude or tan pump is a petite woman’s best friend. They not only go with everything, but they also don’t blare out from your ensemble.

Stiletto-Heeled Bootie
Bootie (Use code Beth15 for 15% off sitewide)

Another great pump alternative for cooler weather is a stiletto-heeled bootie. This style of pump/bootie from Inez looks great on small feet. Another great thing is that you can wear them with tights when the weather gets cold.

Peep Toes

Peep toes are another variation of the classic pump that elongates the foot. They will also give the illusion of making a petite woman taller. Peep toes are great for warmer weather when you want to show off a pedicure, but sandals are not appropriate. They also come in the form of slides and wedges which are a great “sandal” option in the summer.

Peep toes are totally acceptable in the workplace unless you are in a business/formal atmosphere. They work great with dresses, skirts, or pants.

This is typically a style of shoe that you see in the warmer months. I am updating this at the end of August and there aren’t any peep toes to choose from at this time that look great on small feet. Check back in the spring when you will want to wear them.


Slingbacks are another great option for elongating petite feet. They can come in the form of sandals or pumps. A slingback pump is the perfect summer or warm weather work shoe. Business on the toes, but open in the back for warm weather when our feet tend to swell a bit.

Slingback sandals are the perfect summer sandals for petites. The straps on the sandals shouldn’t be too wide or “heavy”. Narrow straps tend to look better on petites as a general rule for all types of sandals.

If you have narrow heels, this is a great style of shoe for you to wear. So many of the slingbacks will have elastic somewhere in the straps or they will be adjustable.

Pointed-toe flats/Ballet flats/LOafers

best shoes styles for petites 03

Flats are a must-have in every woman’s shoe wardrobe, including petite women. They may not give us extra added height, but by choosing the right flats they can still elongate our legs. So when you are shopping for shoes for the days that you want comfort just remember to look for pointy toes, V-shapes, or narrow rounded toes like in the photo above. All of those features will work to visually extend the length of your legs and feet.

Kitten heel slides/mules

Another great option for petites when you are looking for comfort is kitten heels. They will give you a little height since they are typically two inches or under. Kitten heels usually have a nice curved shape to them.

In the last couple of years, they have become more popular even though they have been around since the 1950s. They come as pumps, sandals, and slingbacks. Try a couple of different styles and you will be glad you found one that worked for you. I promise.

Is this One of the Best Shoe Styles For Small Feet?

Block Heel Pump

Block Heel Pump Use code Beth10 for 10% off your order.

Many people will say that the block heel is a no-no for petite women. Well, I am of the opinion that some block heels do work for women with petite feet. I love a block heel for days when I am standing or walking quite a bit. They offer more support and are just sturdier than a stiletto.

Just make sure that the heel is not too chunky. Make sure it has a pointy toe and a low vamp. Those two things will still help to elongate your feet.

The heel I am wearing above by Ally Shoes is so comfortable. They offer two heel heights for their block heels, a lower (2″) and a higher heel (3″). What I really like about Ally Shoes is that all styles of their shoes are size-inclusive. Yes, they start at size 4 and go to size 12. But the best thing is that they also offer 4 different widths. You can use code Beth10 sitewide and receive 10% off your order.


Thanks for stopping by and reading about the best shoe styles for petite women. Like I said earlier, I am a shoe girl through and through. I hope that this post helped you find a new style of shoe that you love wearing on your petite feet. What we do have to be careful about is that the heels for small feet are not too high. Not only will you feel off balance, but it isn’t right proportionally with our smaller frames. Happy shoe shopping!

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Updated January 2024.

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  1. I wear 2 different size shoes…do you mismatched? Thanks Judy

    1. Oh my. I had a friend that had that issue. Years ago I know that Nordstrom used to accommodate that for her. What do you do?

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