The Worst Shoes to Wear With Jeans

Shoes not to wear with jeans



Calling all denim and shoe enthusiasts: Your summer-style tips have arrived. Jeans and shoes are a few of the most-loved, and most-worn, items in many closets, but which ones pair well together comes down to a bit of trial and error. With the plethora of styles out there, there are lots of possible combinations, but not all of them work.

Curious to find out what Who What Wear’s editors have learned, I asked them to weigh in on which shoes they would never wear with jeans. It turns out they all have great perspectives on the subject. Most of the advice comes down to which silhouettes and lengths don’t work with certain shoe styles. Ahead, they break down the specific pairings to avoid. Read on to find out which shoes you shouldn't wear with jeans and then shop our edit of the best combos to wear for the season ahead.


Kat Collings

“Jeans on the baggier side (looser and long—i.e., not cropped) with mules that cover a lot of the foot are a combination I always try but end up not wearing. Maybe if I were model height it would be a different story, but I find it's not my favorite look on my 5’4” frame. Those types of jeans work better for me when you can see some foot, as with a pair of barely-there sandals.”


Kristen Nichols

I'm tall, so I always avoid cropped jeans with ankle boots since I find the proportions always look off. Instead, I opt for cool mules.


Nicole Akhtarzad

“I’m not a big fan of long, flared jeans with sneakers. In my opinion, they look exponentially better with heeled boots, pumps, or sandals. My favorite jeans-and-shoe combo would definitely be cropped jeans and ankle boots, as it’s the one I wear most often.”


Lauren Eggertsen

“I would personally never wear over-the-knee boots with jeans. Not because of the way it looks, but because I am only 5’3” and I always feel like it’s just too much material going on for my short, little legs. Instead, I love wearing mid-calf boots with cropped jeans.”

Erin Fitzpatrick fashion editor at Who What Wear


Erin Fitzpatrick

“I would never wear wide-leg jeans with flats. I think they’re the perfect jeans to wear with low-block heels (or something even higher) to take full advantage of their leg-lengthening effects.”


Allyson Payer

“It looks cool on some people, but athletic sneakers and jeans don’t work for me. A look that I do wear all the time is kitten-heel mules with jeans.”


Anna LaPlaca 

“I’ve tried (and failed) on many occasions to wear my favorite pair of cropped jeans with ankle boots, and I’ve concluded it’s due to the awkward amount of leg that emerges between the jeans’ hem and the boots. Instead, I’ve had a major success story with mules (flat or heeled—it doesn’t matter) and my cropped jeans.”

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Now, the only five pairs of jeans you need in your closet.