15 Heel Types to Know (and How to Identify Them) – M & S
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15 Heel Types to Know (and How to Identify Them)


Heels are the kind of fashion item that can spur debates (kittens versus sky-highs, blocks versus stilettos, platforms versus flatforms), inspire museum exhibits (like the touring Killer Heels), and totally transform a wardrobe. So while the talking points of and fascination with the iconic style are endless, let's pause for a moment. We're first going back to the basics.

In the slides ahead, we've outlined 15 of the most common types of heels—presently popular, trends that come and go, as well as perennial favorites. And while novices may know their mules from their slingbacks, spotting Louis heels may be more of a challenge. Whichever the case, get to know the designs ahead by name, and if you catch the bug to do a little shopping for yourself afterward, well, so be it. Click in for 15 heel types and how to identify them for yourself.

This classic shape features a closed-toe and thin heel, great for elongating the line of the leg and wearing with, well, nearly everything in your closet.
While the heel shape and height can vary, the key trait of this style is the stabilizing ankle strap that adds extra support, especially on a more spindly design. 
Just as the name states, this style's heel is chunkier. And thanks to the increased surface space, it's found to be a bit easier to walk on for extended periods of time. 
This style has a heel that's wider at the top, slimmest at the bottom.
This shoe has equal distribution of height added to the foot, toe-to-heel.
Also referred to as the "Louis" heel, this centuries-old style dates back to the 1700s and is classified by its curvy shape—most narrow in the center and widest at the top and bottom
For those who aren't fans of a sky-high design, a kitten heel provides just an inch or two of height.
This heel allows your feet to do a bit of flirty by just revealing the tops of the toes.
Unlike the flatform, this style has a thicker base just beneath the sole of the foot.
Do you find shoes with an open back too wobbly? This style's little sling keeps everything in place.
A stacked heel might just look like a wooden design, but upon closer inspection you'll see stacked layers within the heel that help to create a more secure, sturdy structure.
Much like a work of art, sculptural heels can come in many unique forms. Brands like J.W. Anderson, Alexander McQueen, and Grey Matters are some of the current brands reimagining heels in unconventional silhouettes season after season.
Instead of a separated heel, this design features a seamless line that extends from the ball of the foot to its heel in—you guessed it—a wedge shape. 
While the style had its heyday in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, the now-retro silhouette—a T-shape strap that curves around the ankle—is just as charming today.
While a mule might have many of the characteristics of a pump, it's backless, alowing for an easy slip on and slip off.
Up next, take a look at the clothing colors that look amazing with brunette hair.

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