Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome. Today we're going to talk about the mule, a fashionista shoe that was a hit in the 1990s and has come back with everything in the last few seasons, invading the catwalks and streets.

The shoe is very comfortable (both the Flat Mule, as well as the version with heel), versatile, as it suits women of different ages and styles, and practical, you just need to fit it on your feet and you're ready.

The mule also helps to lengthen the silhouette, as it leaves the heels showing. Do you want to know more about the fashionistas' favourite shoe, learn how to wear it and some tips on how to choose the ideal model? Keep reading this article.




First, the most important thing

  • The mule in its classic version has heel, but there are variations, you'll find models with thin heel (in Scarpin or Kitten Heels style), thick (in block style) or half-heel.
  • The low-cut version is called Flat Mule and has this name because of the style of the heel: square, wide and low (between 1 and 3 cm high).
  • The mule may have a rounded, square or thin (Oxford style) beak. Most of the models are closed, but you'll find some options that leave the toes exposed.

Mule: Our Selection

The mule is a democratic shoe, which matches women of different styles. And with such a variety of models, you are sure to find one that is just right for you. Get to know some of the best options on sale in the list below.

Buying Guide

The mule is a very versatile shoe, as it suits women of different styles and on different occasions, whether it is a work meeting, lunch with friends, happy hour or romantic dinner.

If you don't know how to combine it with the pieces in your wardrobe, read on and be surprised. Maybe, by the end of this Buying Guide, you will also fall in love and want a pair of mule to call your own.

 imagem de uma mulher provando sapatos.

The Mule is a versatile shoe that can be worn on different occasions, it is worth investing in. (Source: gstockstudio/123RF)

What is mule?

If you are interested in fashion, you must have seen old editorials in which the models (women or men) put on their pairs of mules and combined the shoe with productions in different styles.

The mule, which was a fever in 1990, came back in a big way when the fashion brands Prada and Gucci bet on the shoe in their fashion shows. The footwear has become the darling of fashionistas and it-girls, as it is versatile, stylish and authentic.

Although the heels are still out, the shoes have been reformulated: the beak can be rounded, square or pointed and you can find models with or without heel (also called Flat Mule).

If you're wondering what these versions have in common, know that the answer is simple: comfort. For being stylish and comfortable, the mule is the perfect choice for different occasions, whether it's to go to college, to work or to go out.

The coolest thing is that, unlike other footwear, the mule can be made in several fabrics: leather, suede, velvet and even plastic/rubber. These models may be plain, printed, embroidered, with buckles, etc.

What are the advantages of using mule?

Versatility is the defining characteristic of the mule. The shoes can be worn by women of all ages, from teenagers to ladies, of different styles and on several occasions.

The mule can be worn in the summer, because it is open and matches with lighter and fluid pieces worn on hot days, or in winter, after all, the leather, velvet and suede models warm the feet a lot.

Advantages
  • It is a very comfortable and stylish shoe
  • Helps to lengthen the silhouette
  • Can be worn in casual, social, sporty and festive looks
  • Can be worn with trousers, skirts, shorts, dresses and overalls
  • Models with or without heels
  • Can be worn in all seasons of the year
Disadvantages
  • Some models are more difficult to combine
  • You cannot wear the shoes with long length pieces
  • It is not indicated for cold days, because the heels are exposed

How to use mule?

Mule is the perfect shoe to make your looks tidier, without losing comfort and casualness. As the shoe causes enough impact by itself, the tip is to combine it with more basic pieces.

With tailored pieces

For those who want to wear the mule to work, the tip is to combine it with social pieces, with trousers (with a straight cut), skirt or tailored shorts and blazer. Give preference to closed models, plain and in sober tones.

If you want to put together a less formal look, go for an embroidered mule, with a pattern or in a vibrant shade. Another option is to combine the colour of the shoes with one of the other pieces.

With jeans

Jeans are a key piece in the wardrobes of women of different ages and styles, and the piece goes well with the mule, whether in a casual or formal outfit.

The secret is to choose a pair of jeans with a tight fit and a short bar, to show off the shoe.

If you choose a pair of trousers with traditional length, straight modeling, mommy style or destroyed, the tip is to fold the bar to leave the "little bone" of the shin to show.}

With flowing trousers

If you want to bet on a more mature and professional production, you can combine a pantacourt trousers plain or printed with a mule heel or Flat Mule, always in sober and monochrome tones.

With skirt

If you are looking for a perfect look, how about combining the mule with a midi skirt? For a feminine and romantic look or for a day's work, wear the mule with heels. If you want to rock the street style, combine with Flat Mule.

If you prefer a more casual look, you can combine a miniskirt (of different fabrics: leather, jeans, mesh, etc.) with the Flat Mule, you'll look comfortable and modern.

With shorts

An excellent alternative to wear mule is to combine it with shorts. Your look will be tidier, without losing the casual look. The shorts can be medium or high waisted.

For sophisticated productions, go for tailored shorts with a plain mule. If you want to create a casual look, opt for jeans shorts and combine them with a printed or embroidered mule.

With a dress

You can also vary the look and combine the high-heeled mule with a dress (in different lengths). Bet on a more fluid model for the day and a piece with a marked waist for the night.

The open versions look great with long and printed dresses, either a model with flower print, poas, stripes, plaids, geometric or animal print (oncinha or zebra).

Mule: With or without heel?

The mule with heel is the traditional model, which has existed for decades. The Flat Mule is a new version of the shoe, which received its name because of the low, block heel, known as Flat.

Bet on a model with a thick heel if you want to abuse the height of the heel, without giving up comfort, security and stability. If you want a more social model, but one that provides lightness and femininity, go with a mule with a thin heel.

If you're in doubt about which model to choose, the tip is to analyse your routine: are you going to work, study or take a walk by car or public transportation? Do you walk a little or a lot? Also analyse the pieces you have in your wardrobe.

Mule Flat Mule
Heel height Medium or high (5 to 10 cm) Low (up to 3 cm)
Heel shape Thin or thick Block
Combines with Thin heel for social productions and thick heel for casual looks Casual looks

Buying criteria: How to compare different models of Mule

Before buying a pair of mule, it is important to analyse whether the shoe matches most of the pieces you have in your wardrobe. Also evaluate if it is possible to put together different styles of looks with the model you are thinking of buying.

But as important as analyzing the appearance of the shoe, is to observe and compare the structure of the shoe. When buying, evaluate the following characteristics:

To help you choose the ideal mule model, we will explain each of these criteria throughout this section. If you have any questions, leave a comment and we will answer them.

Heel

As we have already discussed this characteristic in one of the previous sections, we will not go into depth again. The mule can be found in versions with or without heel (Flat Mule).

Among the options, you can choose whether you prefer a thicker, square/block heel or a thinner, Scaprin, Kitten Heel or half-heel.

imagem de uma mulher em uma loja de sapatos.

When buying shoes, how about leaving high heels aside and going for a mule?! (Source: Alexandra Maria/ Pexels)

Beak

You can find mule models with thin (Oxford style), rounded or square beak. The shoe can be closed in the front, moccasin style, or leave the toes exposed.

Mules with a thin beak are more elegant, so this is the best option to put together classic and formal looks. The rounded peaks are easier to combine and the square peaks are very stylish.

The models with an opening in the front are ideal for happy and casual looks. This version is perfect for warmer days, in summer or spring, as the footwear will allow your feet to breathe.

Although each model is indicated for a certain style and occasion, both can be used in formal and informal productions, all you have to do is adapt the footwear to your personal style, pieces and accessories.

Material

You will find mule models in different materials. Although the most used is leather or synthetic material, the velvet models are more formal and the suede ones are preferred for the colder days.

Check if the insole offers high absorption of impact and humidity and if the sole is flexible, rubbery and with anti-slip strips, to ensure greater safety when walking (especially if the model has heels).

Imagem de par de mule caramelo sobre mesa.

Although the most used is leather, you can find mule models in several materials. (Source: belchonock/ 123RF)

Design

When you are going to choose a mule, take into consideration the design of the footwear. You will find plain models in several colours, printed models, with matte, shiny or metallic finishes and with applications.

If it's your first pair, know that models in neutral colours like black and nude go with everything, so it will be easier to put together different looks with the pieces that you have in your wardrobe.

You can also find models in other shades such as lilac, white, light or dark pink, red, earthy tones, green, etc. For the fashionistas, the metallic models are perfect.

In addition to the plain models, you will also find printed or embroidered footwear. Another option are the models with buckles, stones or crystals applied on the upper or heel.

(Source of the highlighted image: belchonock/ 123RF)

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