Which low-heel booties are best?

Low-heel booties are trendy and comfortable, and it’s no surprise they’re one of the top-selling styles on the market. They coordinate well with most bottoms, ranging from jeans to dresses, making them some of the most versatile boots you can buy.

Low-heel booties are often considered practical footwear investments because they’re more suitable for prolonged walking and standing than styles with tall or thin heels. LifeStride Women’s Adley Ankle Bootie, for example, is a popular casual design that comes in four neutral colors.

What to know before you buy low-heel booties

What is a bootie?

Although “booties” and “ankle boots” are often interchangeable, booties are a subset of ankle boots. Whereas ankle boots are cut above the ankle with 2 or 3-inch shafts, booties are cut at the ankle or right below it. Some retailers classify bootie styles as “low-cut ankle boots,” as well. 

Why you should buy a low-heel bootie

Booties are available with several types of heels, ranging from stiletto to stacked to block styles. While these booties are trendy, their heel heights may not be practical for everyday wear. Instead, low-heel booties, whose heels measure 2.5 inches or lower, are better options for many wears. 

Many wearers agree that low-heel booties are more comfortable for walking and standing. To some extent, the low-heel booties are also considered safer alternatives to higher-heeled styles, particularly when walking on wet or uneven ground. Aesthetically speaking, low-heeled booties are a worthwhile investment in casual footwear because they usually coordinate well with most pants, jeans, dresses and skirts. 

What to look for in quality low-heel booties

Materials

Some of the most popular low-heel booties are made with leather and suede. Both these materials withstand the test of time if they’re well cared for, including regularly using special cleaning and conditioning products. Although they have a breaking-in period, most leather and suede styles offer a comfortable, flexible fit.

More affordable low-heel booties are made with synthetic materials, namely polyurethane and vinyl. These booties are usually lightweight and flexible, and several styles are water-repellent. Synthetic booties rarely require breaking in, and for the most part, they’re comfortable to wear right out of the box. 

Toe styling

The toe box refers to the front part of a shoe or boot. Many low-heel booties have rounded or square toe boxes, both of which are considered the most comfortable options. Pointed toe boxes create sleek silhouettes, but unfortunately, they tend to crowd toes. As a result, these styles are more comfortable for dressing up instead of walking. 

Closure

Low-heel booties usually have slip-on, zipper or lace-up closures. Slip-on booties have elastic detail at the shaft for easy off and on, which adds to their flexibility. Zippers are usually placed at the inside of the foot or the heel, whereas some styles have a zipper that spans the instep length. A few booties feature lace-up closures, well-received for their fine aesthetic and adjustable fit. 

Nonslip sole

It’s common to find low-heel booties with nonslip soles, in which the outsole features grippy details to promote stability. They’re a desirable feature in a bootie, including for individuals who intend to wear their booties in mixed weather conditions. However, nonslip soles degrade over time, which means you’ll need to replace the booties at some point. 

How much you can expect to spend on low-heel booties

Low-heel booties made with synthetic materials run $35-$85, whereas most leather and suede styles cost $90-$200. Designer booties may run as high as $300-$1,000. 

Low-heel booties FAQ

Should I wear socks with low-heel booties?

A. Many people wear booties without socks, but if you’d still like to wear them, opt for no-show socks. These styles are cut far below the ankle and have a snug fit, so they’re virtually undetectable with booties. 

Why is it so hard to find low-heel booties?

A. There are several low-heel bootie styles available, but it’s sometimes challenging to find them because they’re classified as ankle boots. As a result, it’s sometimes more efficient to search for ankle booties and then narrow your options to styles with ankle-height shafts or lower. 

What are the best low-heel booties to buy?

Top low-heel bootie

LifeStride Women's Adley Ankle Bootie

LifeStride Women’s Adley Ankle Bootie

What you need to know: Comfort abounds in this rustic-inspired LifeStride bootie, which features a memory foam footbed and flexible outsole.  

What you’ll love: The bootie has lightweight synthetic construction, is one of few styles available in regular and wide widths and runs true to size. The crisscross mock-strap and buckle styling add character. It has a hidden side zipper for easy off-and-on.

What you should consider: The bootie is only available in four colors, and some wearers would have liked a deeper brown available. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top low-heel bootie for money

Journee Collection Women's Livvy Ankle Bootie

Journee Collection Women’s Livvy Ankle Bootie

What you need to know: The notched styling of this low-heel bootie makes it a popular choice to wear with cropped pants and skirts. 

What you’ll love: The bootie has a rear zipper closure that is convenient and accessible. In all colors, the sole blends in well with the upper. It has a soft, rounded toe box that leaves enough room to wear thicker socks. 

What you should consider: They’re not as durable as other styles, and the bootie tends to stretch out over the instep. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

Worth checking out

Croft & Barrow Women's Inle Wedge Ankle Bootie

Croft & Barrow Women’s Inle Wedge Ankle Bootie

What you need to know: The sleek, modern styling of this low-platform bootie sets it apart from most styles on the market. 

What you’ll love: Although it’s a platform, it’s only 2 inches high and remains comfortable for walking. It has elastic gore for a flexible, slip-on fit. The foam footbed offers cushioning and support, making it suitable for longer walks.

What you should consider: It has somewhat of a fitted shaft, which some wearers felt caused friction and rubbing around the ankle. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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