Flare jeans and straight jeans are back in a big way (and, from the looks of it, here to stay). Whether you’re feeling the pressure from Gen Z (we’re not getting rid of our skinny jeans just yet), or just looking to expand your denim profile, there’s just something about a bell-shaped silhouette that oozes SoCal cool.
However, one of the biggest problems with flare jeans (that many reluctant millennials have voiced) is figuring out the shoes you’re supposed to wear with them. From peek-a-boo pumps and platforms that take full-length jeans to new heights to strappy sandals and heels that make the most of negative cropped space, read on for our top shoe pairings for flare jeans (and browse more denim picks here).
For Full-Length Flare Jeans
With longer jeans—and especially flares—you’re often covering more of the foot, so a pointed pump offers a great way to ensure your shoes don’t get lost in the shuffle. These pumps from Steve Madden have a high heel for preventing jeans from dragging, and are cut lower on the toes for a peek-a-boo effect. While we consider the black suede a wardrobe staple, it also comes in a spectrum of other colors and finishes (such as crystal rhinestone) for bold impressions.
Flare jeans are typically roomy enough to accommodate varying boot heights and widths, but we tend to prefer ankle cuts for greater ventilation and range of motion. This pick from Sam Edelman, which has a detailed toe and thick block heel, offers sophistication, stretch (read: comfort), and stability. Part western, part city-slicker, don’t be surprised if you find yours all over town and racking up major compliments in the process (there are additional colors and patterns for switching things up).
There’s nothing like a pair of jeans with enough space to support your own mini stage. We’re currently loving the ravishingly retro feel of these skyscrapers from Nine West, which have a five-star rating, come in three luxe finishes (the metallic gold is that of our disco dreams), and have the power to command a room—perfect for your next girls’ or date night!
Chunky Clogs and Mules
Speaking of retro, clogs and mules are one of the easiest ways to achieve an effortlessly-chic ’70s look. This pick from Madewell, beloved by reviewers for its simple, yet stylish craftsmanship, combines luxe leather with natural wood and has an open toe for more breathability.
Padded and Wedged Sandals
Foambed sandals are having a moment (and we hope it continues, because we could use the extra support). This new pair from Birdies—available in several shades, as well as cheetah—has thick criss-cross straps for adding another element of design to your look without having to worry about your jeans getting caught up in cutouts.
Kitten Pumps and Mules
When it comes to cropped flares, the trick is to complete, not compete. We love the beautiful, yet still subtle knot accent on these limited-edition metallic sandals from J.Crew, which sit somewhere between a slide and an open-toe mule and go with just about everything (while the jeans don’t warrant it, the short heel also adds an elevated touch).