How to Pick the Right Shoes to Go With Your Pants

Getting dressed can feel like an intricate puzzle. You have to piece together staples, think about where your day will take you, and figure out if everything works together or not… When it comes to fashion, there are no hard-and-fast rules, because you can and should be able to wear whatever you feel most comfortable in, but there are certain pieces that work better together than others—especially when it comes to your footwear.

Not sure about which shoes to wear with every pant style? That's alright: We're here to help make the hard footwear decisions a tad bit easier for you with our definitive styling guide. Wide-leg pants, for example, call for slightly different shoes than a pair of tapered pants, while practically every shoe style teams nicely with skinny jeans. Ahead, see how to pick the right shoes to go with your pants, plus shop the styles we're loving right now for each pants type.

Skinny

When it comes to skinny jeans, the shoe options are practically endless. Low- and high-top sneakers work great with the cut; heels offer a bit of height and create the illusion of longer legs (just avoid styles with an ankle strap); tall boots work best with skinny jeans and are great for tucking; and ankle boots that hit a few inches above the ankle go great with fitted skinnies.

Cropped

Much like skinnies, cropped pants present endless footwear offerings. Heels, sandals, streamlined, minimalist sneakers, and fitted ankle boots pair nicely with the shorter cut, but you should avoid chunkier styles like hiker boots (or any other "heavy" style that can weigh you down, really).

Flare or Wide-Leg

With louche, floor-grazing pants, height in the shoe is key. Wide-leg pants need adequate inches to balance the volume and give them some movement. Plus, the styling combo will give you legs for days.

Tapered

Tapered pants are much like skinnies, in that they're great for showing off practically any type of shoe. The fitted bottom works great with sandals of all kind, flats, slides, sneakers, and sock booties. Just avoid shoes that have too much space at the ankle.

Gauchos/Culottes

There are actually a lot of shoes that can be worn with this more fashion-forward style. Shoes with a chunky platform balance the wide leg while adding height and, in turn, more movement. Sneakers will always look cool, and sleek heels balance the wider proportions.