Best Bridal Shoes

Updated May 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

33
Models
Considered
125
Consumers
Consulted
20
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for best bridal shoes

Have you said yes to the dress recently? If you have, it’s time to start looking for the perfect pair of bridal shoes. According to some brides-to-be, choosing footwear for the big day is a big decision too. After all, you could be wearing the shoes for several hours. That’s why there are quite a few considerations you need to take into account before you make your purchase.

For one, it’s important to determine whether comfort or style is the deciding factor for you. Heel height and construction should be considered as well, especially if yours will be an outdoor wedding. Some brides-to-be are practical in their choice of bridal shoes and opt for a pair that can be worn for future occasions.

Wondering which bridal shoes are right for your big day? Since you already have enough on your plate planning your wedding, we’re here to help with this decision. Our buying guide has plenty of information and some recommendations too.

bridal shoes1
It’s a good idea to walk around your home in your bridal shoes for a week. This helps break in the shoes and avoid foot pain, cramps, or calluses, which can occur when wearing new shoes.

Key considerations

Style vs. comfort

Many brides are faced with the same predicament: choosing between style and comfort in bridal shoes.

Choosing bridal shoes based on style often opens up the door to unique photo ops. Many brides save their bridal shoes as part of their wedding memento collection. However, some stylish bridal shoes are uncomfortable, which means brides often end up removing them at some point during the reception.

Some brides prefer all-day comfort over style, which is quite understandable. Bridal shoes with cushioned insoles or lower heels are more tolerable to wear over prolonged periods of time. Many of these styles are more flexible and move with the foot, which means no more straps or embellishments digging into the skin. Unfortunately, some of the more comfortable bridal shoes aren’t particularly dressy.

Size

Bridal shoes are available in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 13, and most styles are available in half sizes as well. Only a few brands offer wide widths or extended sizes.

While many women simply purchase bridal shoes in their regular shoe size, some brides recommend sizing up by a half size. This is done mostly to accommodate cushioned insoles or account for swollen feet. However, some people advise against this practice, citing safety concerns.

Heel

Height: Heel height makes a big difference when it comes to comfort level. As expected, the taller the heel, the less comfortable the shoe. For that reason, many women opt for more practical bridal shoes with lower heels, usually in the range of a few inches.

Construction: This also impacts the bride’s experience wearing the bridal shoes, especially on different types of flooring or ground. For example, stiletto heels are not ideal for outdoor weddings on soft ground or sand because they sink into the soft surface, not to mention the shoes are unstable. Chunky stacked heels are incredibly stable but tend to be somewhat noisy on hard floors.

Embellishments

It’s common for bridal shoes to be embellished with glitter, rhinestones, appliques, buckles, tassels, faux flowers, bows, or any combination of these.

Embellishments introduce a touch of glamour to bridal shoes. However, it’s important to examine the shoes to determine whether any of these details will catch in the hem of the wedding gown or train. Rhinestones, for example, are often held in place with prong settings, which can snag on tulle or chiffon.

Color

Bridal shoes that can be dyed are popular with brides as well as bridesmaids. These satin shoes can be dyed virtually any color to perfectly match a dress.

While brides can dye these shoes at home, this is often performed by experienced tailors or bridal shops. As expected, there’s an additional cost for this service, but many brides agree it’s worth the splurge to avoid any mishaps with uneven pigmentation.

There are a few risks associated with dyeable bridal shoes. For one, the color is prone to bleeding or staining if they’re exposed to moisture. Second, some shoes can shrink during the dyeing process, which means the bride will either need to size up beforehand or prepare to break in the shoes before the big day.

Versatility

Many budget-conscious brides select bridal shoes that can be worn for other events or occasions. Gold and silver shoes can be paired with some cocktail dresses, while some dyeable styles can be re-dyed a darker color to match another outfit. More casual bridal shoe styles like flip-flops or sneakers can also be worn after the big day.

To embellish a plain pair of bridal shoes on a budget, invest in a pair of inexpensive rhinestone or pearl earrings. Simply cut off the backs with a wire cutter and glue the earrings onto your shoes.

STAFF
BestReviews

Features

Styles

Classic or strappy pumps: These remain a favorite among brides with traditional tastes. They’re by far the most common bridal shoes on the market and tend to be the most comfortable as far as heeled styles go. However, some brides shy away from these shoes, saying the low heels don’t offer enough height.

Strappy dress sandals: Strappy dress sandals are popular among brides looking for a glamorous high heel. The strappy style allows for maximum airflow around the foot, which some brides say makes a big difference in keeping them cool. One of the pitfalls of these styles, however, is that feet are prone to swelling, causing the straps to dig into the feet.

Sneakers: Many brides have decided to adopt a casual and comfortable look for their bridal shoes in the form of sneakers. It’s not to say that brides are wearing their everyday athletic shoes to their wedding; rather, there are quite a few styles of all-white sneakers on the market that pair well with wedding dresses. In fact, it’s common to see brides wearing all-white Chuck Taylors or Air Jordans.

Flip-flops: These have become a popular option for brides who are getting married outdoors or on the beach. Not only are they comfortable, but they’re one of few bridal footwear options that can safely be worn on uneven outdoor terrain. Another reason flip-flops remain popular is their overall versatility: they can be worn as they are or embellished by the bride and find a use long after the wedding day.

bridal shoes2
DID YOU KNOW?
Bring your bridal shoes to your first gown fitting. This will help the tailor determine exactly how to adjust the hem.
STAFF
BestReviews

Bridal shoe prices

Bridal shoes range in price from $25 to $400. While the quality of the construction impacts price the most, the brand name also plays an important role.

Inexpensive: Budget-friendly bridal shoes cost between $25 and $60. These include a wide variety of formal styles like strappy heels and pumps, as well as casual styles like flip-flops and sneakers. However, quality is hit or miss with these, and we recommend sticking to the top of this bracket.

Mid-range: These bridal shoes cost between $75 and $150. These styles are made by well-known footwear brands, including those with dedicated collections of bridal shoes. Many styles in this range feature elaborate designs or embellishments.

Expensive: The most expensive bridal shoes cost $175 to $400. This bracket is mostly made up of high-end designer shoes. Quality is impressive in this range; however, some styles aren’t much different than mid-range options. More than anything, the price here is driven by the label.

Many brides planning a destination wedding pack their wedding gown and shoes as carry-on items. In the event their luggage is lost, they’ll still have the essential items to proceed with the wedding.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Invest in insoles. If your bridal shoes can accommodate them, invest in cushioned insoles to keep your feet as comfortable as possible on the big day.
  • Don’t make the straps too tight. It’s okay if the straps on your bridal shoes have a little slack. This will prevent them from digging into your skin while you walk or if your feet swell.
  • Opt for ballerina flats. If you’re not a fan of high heels or too-casual sneakers and flip-flops, ballerina flats are an ideal choice for comfortable bridal shoes.
bridal shoes3
If you plan to wear stockings on your wedding day, it’s a good idea to place nonslip heel grips inside your shoes to prevent your feet from slipping out. Hairspray works in a pinch too.

FAQ

Q. Is it common to have more than one pair of bridal shoes to wear on the big day?

A. Yes. Many brides opt to wear their formal, fancy bridal shoes for the ceremony, photos, and cocktail hour. Once the reception is in full swing, brides switch to more comfortable footwear, such as ballerina flats or flip-flops.

Q. Does it matter if the color of my shoes doesn’t perfectly match my wedding gown?

A. Some brides say it’s not a big deal at all, especially since there aren’t many times when guests even see the bride’s shoes. On the other hand, some brides feel a difference in color is quite prominent in wedding photos. If you can’t find bridal shoes to exactly match your white, ivory, or blush wedding gown, you can try silver or gold bridal shoes that match your jewelry.

Q. How do I keep my bridal shoes from getting stained?

A. It’s a good idea to spray them with a waterproofing or stain-repellent spray. While it won’t completely prevent stains, it’s effective at minimizing them. The spray also coats the shoe enough to help water or moisture bead up and roll off it instead of being absorbed into the shoe and making your feet wet.

 

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks