I Tried 7 Shoe Styles With Denim Shorts and These Won

Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

A wardrobe basic, a summer staple, and tricky to wear: Denim shorts are all these things. Sure, denim is undeniably versatile, but shorts show a lot of leg, making the shoes that we wear with them somewhat of a head-scratcher. So I decided to put seven shoe styles that are commonly worn with denim shorts to the test.

I started with my newest pair of "jorts", which feature a mid-length inseam and a vintage feel thanks to the 100% cotton construction. With a 3.5-inch inseam, the cutoffs are longer than many shorts on the market, but they're still quite short, all things considered. While I stood away from super-high heels, a multitude of other styles in my closet was fair game, from two different types of sneakers to espadrilles. When it comes to the most flattering shoe style to complement the shorts, there was a clear winner in my mind. All that said, it's worth noting that the styles that didn't work as well for me could look amazing on you. Shorts style and length certainly plays a role, as does height (I'm 5'4", for the record).

Read on to see my ranking and shop the shoe styles, along with some of my favorite denim shorts on the market.