This may not be a total revelation, but the best slingback heels (a.k.a. the most classic shoe silhouette) are also one of the best summer shoes. They feel a little less formal than a full-on pump, plus you often have a ton of options to choose from, making them great for work or a wedding. But, like all wardrobe essentials, classic is not a euphemism for boring. The trendiest shoes for spring 2023 also happen to come in this shape, and they include gorgeous pops of jewel tones, metallic details, denim, woven details—we could go on.
"Around since the 1940s, the slingback has stood the test of time," details Maria Gangemi, the founder of shoe brand M.Gemi. "I personally love this elegant style for its feminine details: its delicate strap and exposed heel. It also looks fantastic with everything from pants to skirts and suits," she adds, praising the shoe's endless versatility.
Scroll down for this season’s best slingback heel offerings in a variety of price points. If the slingback heel is just your next pick on your heel-collecting journey, the editors at Marie Claire have rounded up the most essential types of heels for you to gain inspiration from. Or, if you've fallen head over heels (sorry) for some of the chunkier items on this list, we even have a roundup of the best platform heels for you to shop, too.
The Best Slingback Heels
- Best Slingback Platform Heels: Aerosoles Nadia Block Heel Slingback Sandal
- Best Office-Appropriate Slingback Heels: Naturalizer Banks Slingback Pumps
- Best Investment Slingback Heel: Gucci Crystal-Embellished Slingback Sandals
- Best Kitten Heel Slinbacks: Open Edit Cammie Slingback Pump
- Best Black Slingback Heels: Veronica Beard Analita Sandal
- Best Gold Slingback Heels: J. Crew Lucie Slingback Block-Heel Sandals
- Best Slingback Heels for a Wedding: Stuart Weitzman Gemcut XCurve 100 Slingback Pump
Best Slingback Platform Heels
If you're new to heels or want a pair that isn't as intimidating or difficult to master as a towering stiletto, consider these strapped-in slingback platforms from Aerosoles. They retail for only $135, and given their stable block heel, will be much easier to walk in than a pointy, hair-thin heel. Take it from this one thrilled customer about the shoe's effortless feel: "These are the most comfortable shoes I have," writes one overjoyed reviewer. "I can't wear high heels anymore, and these give me the height without the pain."
Best Office-Appropriate Slingback Heels
This top-ranked pair of low-heeled slingbacks from Naturalizer is a bestseller for a reason. "Exactly what I was looking for—a comfortable shoe that will take me anywhere," writes one Nordstrom reviewer who can't praise this "classy" shoe enough. "Dressier than a flat but way more comfortable than a skinny heel. The 'barely nude' is a perfect neutral shade." Another reviewer gives these slingbacks the ultimate stamp of approval: "I bought these for my son's wedding. It was a 14-hour day, and my feet never hurt!"
Best Slingback Heels for a Wedding
Heading to a black-tie wedding and looking for cute formal shoes? This pick from Stuart Weitzman will add a touch of bling to your wedding guest dress or party-ready suit. And yes, admittedly, they're a splurge at $455, but they're a pair you'll cherish for years to come. Take it from this shopper: "These are stunning and true to [Stuart Weitzman] in being pretty comfortable and consistent in sizing. I will have these in my closet forever," they describe of the stunning bedazzled slingbacks.
Best Gold Slingback Heels
This pair of slingback heeled sandals from everyone's go-to brand for elevated classics, J.Crew, is perfect for a formal occasion or even daily wear if you're open to some daytime disco flair. They come in seven total colorways ranging from this high-shine golden style to deep emerald green and warm cocoa brown. One happy J. Crew shopper writes, "Love these shoes! Bought them for a summer wedding but will be wearing them with more casual summer pants and jeans as well. Very comfortable, which is something I can not often say having a difficult-to-fit foot where most shoes hurt or fall off. I think I'll get another pair to keep for when I wear these out because I wear them so much!"
Best Silver Slingback Heel
"My personal favorite, and the style that I wear nonstop, is M. Gemi's The Mia 90mm in gunmetal," offers Gangemi. "It makes me feel great by giving my legs that little extra length and makes it so easy to walk in with its slightly flared sculpted heel. Even more, for me, the slingback has just the right amount of extra give (with its slight give in the backstrap) that just makes it so comfortable without sacrificing height."
Best Luxury Slingback Heel
How understated and adorable are these Dior slingback heels with their white cotton ribbon bow? Note the forever-glamorous pointed-toe silhouette, too, which makes these a timeless style you won't ever tire of. They're the ideal going-out shoe for spring and summer evenings: paired with your favorite mini skirt, cut-out dress, or breezy linen pant, they'll add just the perfect element of elevated edge. Plus, with a wearable 2.5-inch comma heel, they're easy to walk in—a.k.a. you're less likely to teeter over after one (or two or three) cocktails.
Best Kitten Slingback Heel
Hot pink is one of the most popular color trends of 2023—and it's only going to gain more momentum with the Barbie movie debuting this summer. Hop on the Barbie-reminiscent trend by opting for this pair of bubble gum-hued pumps from Open Edit. The low kitten heel makes them a fantastic option for everyday occasions, even as part of a trendy summer work outfit. "Love these," gushes a Nordstrom shopper. "I feel like I will get a ton of wear out of this style since it’s so classic. In my opinion, they are easier to walk in compared to other heels I own."
Best Investment Slingback Heel
These slingback pumps by Gucci are undeniably timeless in silhouette but contemporary with the mesh peek-a-boo effect and crystal embellishments. In short, they're worth their investment price tag. One enthused Saks shopper writes, "This picture doesn't do the shoe any justice. The shoe is comfortable, stylish, and sexy." Another reviewer dubs them the best summer shoes: "The low heel, mesh-like material at the tip with the crystal Gs makes it a great summer sandal too!!"
Best Slingback Heels for Weddings
If you want a pair of bridal heels that feels just as special as your actual gown, this bow-adorned, off-white pair from Seychelles fits the bill. The heel clocks in at 1.5 inches, so you won't have to worry about wobbling and stumbling your way down the aisle. "I bought these online for my wedding [because] I wanted something feminine and delicate without too high of a heel," writes one Anthropologie reviewer. "These shoes are perfect—the heel height is as advertised, and they are very comfortable."
Best Buckle Slingback Heels
How special do these chunky-heeled slingback pumps from the affordable shoe brand Charles & Keith feel? The low, wearable 1.77-inch heel makes them easy to style (paired with a slip dress and blazer or flowy yet tapered trousers!). Plus, the woven buckle gives them a summery slant, meaning they're about to be your new favorite shoe in the coming weeks. In total, this pair gives off a vibe that says, "I draw inspiration from the sublime minimalist fashion of the '90s—but I put my own twist on things."
Best Block-Heel Slingback
Reformation doesn't just make a line of excellent (and sustainable!) clothing. They also make equally-cute footwear, ranging from flip-flops and flats to mules and heels—like these strappy slingbacks. This pair of metallic sandals from the brand has a low, 35mm block heel for comfort and is the epitome of a day-to-night MVP. Styled with a collared shirtdress and work bag, you have an elevated work outfit. But paired with a mini dress and corset top? Now that's a killer look for happy hour.
Best Slingback Sandals
These slingback sandals by shoe brand PEDRO are for the people who want the look of a heeled mule or strappy summer sandal but want a bit more support through the ankle—in other words, for those who want to ensure their shoes won't fly off their feet as you head up a flight of stairs or step onto the subway platform. Shop them in three easy-to-style colors, including walnut brown, black, and tan sand. Styling-wise, your whole closet is your oyster here. They'll pair well with a flowing maxi dress or even a tailored short suit.
Best Closed-Toe Slingback Heel
Tory Burch underwent a killer rebrand in recent years. The brand that once exclusively designed preppy signatures has broadened its horizons to offer classics with a fresh-feeling, cool-girl contemporary slant. This pair of closed-toe patent leather slingback heels are perfectly in line with the designer's new MO, as they're a traditionally refined silhouette but with a funky block heel and oversized double T buckle. One Saks customer raves about their comfort, too: "I have Rheumatoid arthritis in my feet and these shoes are the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn. Wonderful! They make my entire body smile!"
Best Black Slingback Heel
Finally, a pair of heels that are so timeless you'll want to wear them with everything. The heel on these patent-leather pumps from Veronica Beard is 4 inches, making them one of the tallest on this list. Consider these your new go-to formal footwear. Have an upscale wedding on the docket? These are the heels to wear. A work event that requires your sartorial best? The Analita Sandal is your answer. You'll also notice the swooping design of the slingback ankle strap, which creates a sculptural look that gives them more of an artistic effect.
Meet the Expert
Born in Sicily, Maria Gangemi has spent her life developing a deep understanding of and appreciation for the art of luxury handcrafted shoes. Spend a few minutes talking with her, and you’ll find her genuine passion for luxury leather goods and commitment to Italian craftsmanship to be palpable. Over three decades, Maria Gangemi has worked across the realms of creative and merchandising – developing her relationships with luxury artisans and factories in Italy, honing her knowledge of trends, and directing the look and feel of a variety of shoe lines and boutiques. Drawing on her rich Italian roots, Maria Gangemi oversees every single shoe handcrafted for M.Gemi.
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