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Once you say yes to the dress, the shoes come next. Much like your bridal jewelry, your wedding day shoes are an extension of your personality. And although you might not be able to see them under some wedding dress styles, you still want a pair that will carry you down the aisle in confidence and everlasting style. Designer wedding shoes are like jewelry for your soles—they’re an investment, but they’re also something you’ll treasure forever.
Designer wedding shoe shopping can be a bit overwhelming, as is everything wedding-related! We tapped expert Gabbi Maragos, a Chicago-based wardrobe stylist, to offer some shopping and styling tips. So whether you prefer timeless wedding shoe styles or heels with a little more personality and flair, there is a designer shoe waiting to be slipped on.
Keep reading for Bride’s list of the best designer wedding shoes worth buying.
Meet the Expert
Gabbi Maragos is a bridal wardrobe stylist based in Chicago.
Best Overall: Kate Spade New York Sheela Satin Bow Pumps
You don’t have to spend too much money to get a stunning pair of designer wedding shoes—and these Kate Spade New York heels prove that. The 3.5-inch heels have a classic feel with their pointed almond toe, creamy satin finish, and glamorous bow detail. Yet, they still feel really modern with the curved sides and pleating in the bow. Aside from price, these boast a lot of value because you can get lots of use out of them. They work well for all of your wedding celebrations, including your bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. Plus, you can easily re-wear them after the wedding with a pair of straight-leg jeans, a silk cami tank, and your favorite blazer.
Size Range: 5-11 | Color: Ivory | Heel Height: 3.5 inches
Most Timeless: Stuart Weitzman Stuart 100 Scalloped Glitter Pumps
There is nothing more timeless than a pair of classic pumps. We love these sparkly wedding shoes because, while they have that classic style, they also feel modern and unique with the scalloped edge detailing. The 4-inch stiletto heel is a wedding shoe that looks gorgeous under a floor-length gown but also pairs beautifully with a shorter party dress, too. And the glitter adds a dazzling touch.
Size Range: 4.5-11 | Color: White Fine Glitter | Heel Height: 4 inches
Best Strappy: Alexandre Birman Sally 100 Moire Embellished Sandals
If you want to walk down the aisle in a strappy shoe, we recommend something with a little bit of shimmer to add to your wedding day glow. We love these Alexandre Birman sandals because they are strappy but not too busy and are encrusted with shimmers baguette-cut rhinestones that wrap around the foot. The heels also feature an inside strap that helps keep the structure in place.
Size Range: 5- 10.5 | Colors: Ivory | Heel Height: 4 inches
Best Nude: Off-White Allen Strappy Sandal
If sparkle isn’t your thing, a nude wedding shoe can feel just as elegant. These strappy sandals from Off-White are simple yet sophisticated, with a design that works with virtually any style of dress. We also love the brass Allen wrench-inspired heel, which has a slightly subtle edge to it. The best thing about these shoes is you’ll get tons of wear out of them after your wedding, considering their neutral hue and minimalistic design.
Size Range: 5-10.5 | Color: Ivory | Heel Height: 4 inches
Best Kitten Heels: Gianvito Rossi Puffy Kitten-Heel Slide Sandals
These kitten heels are truly special. The 2-inch heel is simple yet eye-catching with the padded structural foot strap. They’re a great shoe for long and short wedding dresses but would also look incredible with an all-white pantsuit or formal jumpsuit. The heels are made from high-quality buttery leather that gives off a satin finish and have a comfortable insole for long-lasting wear, too.
Size Range: 5-12 | Colors: White, Gold, Black, Lavender | Heel Height: 2 inches
Best Stilettos: Rene Caovilla Clippy Embellished Satin Pumps
There are so many different styles that look great with a stiletto heel, but we adore the classy T-strap design on these closed-toed heels. The 4-inch wedding shoes feature a pointed toe in a white satin finish with sparkly straps that look like necklaces for your feet—so chic. Plus, the heels have a leather insole that offers a little extra padding to the feet for maximum comfort.
Size Range: 6-11.5 | Color: Ivory Satin | Heel Height: 4 inches
Best Pointed-Toe: Manolo Blahnik Lurum Jewel Leaf Mule Lurum Jewel Leaf Mule
There is something about a pointed toe heel that feels sexy yet classy and is perfect for a wedding day look. These 3.5-inch Manolos have that timeless almond toe design with chunky embellishments for a glamorous twist. The construction is high-quality—they are a shoe you will cherish forever, just like your love—and are ultra-comfortable, so you can get your groove on the dance floor all night long.
Size Range: 5-12 | Colors: Silver, Yellow, Black, White, Blue | Heel Height: 3.5 inches
Best Flats: Jimmy Choo Baily embellished glittered-leather point-toe flats
These wedding flats are like a work of art. From the glittery material to the sparkling pearl and rhinestone encrusted strap, they are the perfect wedding day flat. Constructed from Italian leather, the pointed-toe flats mix texture with sparkle for a wedding day shoe that boasts classic elegance.
Size Range: 5-11 | Color: Silver | Heel Height: Flat
Best Blue: Aquazzura Gatsy Slingback Pump
We fully support a “something blue” shoe—and these from Aquazzura have the right amount of color, glitz, and sophistication. The clear heels boast a translucent blue encrusted with crystal straps for a mix of texture and shimmer. We love them because while they are blue, they create a tasteful pop of color without taking too much away from the dress.
Size Range: 5-11 | Color: Ice | Heel Height: 4.25 inches
Best Embellished: Mach & Mach Bow of Elizabeth Imitation Pearl Pointed Toe Pump Iridescent Bow of Elizabeth High Heels
There is no shortage of embellished wedding shoes, so we went on a journey to find a pair of heels that have the right amount of sparkle with a unique touch. These pearl and rhinestone pumps from Mach & Mach are our top pick because they feature a classic silhouette with a fun and modern twist in the embellishments. We love the mix of pearl and rhinestone, double ankle strap, and the bow detailing on the pointed toe.
Size Range: 5-12 | Color: Iridiscent White | Heel Height: 4 inches
Best Structured Heel: Amina Muaddi Glida Metallic Crystal Two-Band Sandals
For a trendy shoe, we love a structured heel. This metallic pair from Amina Muaddi has a 3.8-inch stiletto heel with an exaggerated heel tip that touches on the trend without losing sophistication. We also love these wedding shoes because, despite their eye-catching detail, they feel super simple with rhinestone embellished straps.
Size Range: 5-12 | Color: Metallic Nappa | Heel Height: 3.8 inches
Best Slingbacks: Alexandre Birman Madeline Embellished Bridal Slingbacks
Slingbacks offer the same security as a pump while still exposing the heel. These slingbacks from Alexandre Birman are so fun with a bow detail and a slight nod to the “something blue” tradition in the rhinestone appliqué. We also love the mix of a classic slingback silhouette with a more modern curved heel style.
Size Range: 5-11 | Color: Off White | Heel Height: 4 inches
Most Unique: Sophia Webster Chiara Leather Sandals
Wedding shoes are a great excuse to have some fun with your bridal style. These strappy sandals have a timeless design with a stunning and unique butterfly wing detail on the heels. The leather heels are perfect for a short wedding dress or a reception party dress. Plus, they carry a ton of meaning, as butterflies typically symbolize transformation, endless love, and a new chapter.
Size Range: 5-11 | Color: Ivory Pearl | Heel Height: 4 inches
What to Look for When Buying Designer Wedding Shoes
“While shopping for designer wedding shoes, I would first consider formality,” says wardrobe stylist Gabbi Maragos. From bold and detailed to simple and understated, Maragos recommends considering what type of shoe will complete your bridal look and what style will make you feel the most confident. For example, if you aren’t typically comfortable walking around in ultra-high heels, a shorter heel might be a better option as you’ll feel far more confident in something you can walk and dance in.
“Since it is an investment, it is also important to consider if you would or could ever wear them again,” says Maragos. If you want a shoe you can wear again, Maragos recommends looking for styles you can re-wear as a wedding guest or to another event.
Are designer wedding shoes worth the investment?
“If you love them, then yes,” says Maragos. “It’s your wedding day, and this is your day to wear and rock whatever you want." She notes that it’s also a good excuse to splurge on a particular shoe or brand you’ve had your eyes on. “Consider it an investment, and you could always resell them after your wedding," she says.
How do you break in wedding shoes?
To break in wedding shoes, Maragos recommends strutting your stuff at home. “In the weeks leading up to your wedding day, I suggest wearing them around the house, even if it is only for 15 to 20 minutes here and there while cleaning," she explains. If your shoes are a little snug, Maragos also recommends wearing them with socks to give them a little stretch.
How much should you spend on wedding shoes?
“This varies by bride, and there is no right or wrong answer,” says Maragos. She recommends building a budget for yourself and trying to stick within it based on what is most important to you. If the shoes are ultra-important to you, then allocate more of your budget to them.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn is a bridal-obsessed lifestyle journalist with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism. At Brides, she puts a style spin on wedding day fashion and covers everything from sparkling diamond accessories to dance floor-worthy shoes. Jessie believes weddings are the perfect time to splurge on a pair of designer shoes and thinks of them as investment pieces, just like your wedding day jewelry. When researching the best designer wedding shoes, she considered style, fit, and timeless design, but also put a lot of weight on personality, as she feels shoes are where you should let your personal style truly shine.