Last updated: August 19, 2021

Pumps have always been part of fashion, even if they have taken on the craziest forms over time. Ladies first used the shoes merely to complete an outfit, later the pumps themselves became the main piece of a look.

Every woman can find what she is looking for in the wide range of women's pumps. There is a shoe to suit every look. Whether you like it comfortable, elegant or rocky, the pump fulfils every wish and should therefore not be missing from your wardrobe.

The Best Women's Pumps: Our Picks

Buying criteria: What to look for when buying ladies pumps

With so many different pumps to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. We have done some research for you and found out what is important when choosing pumps.

These are the following buying criteria:

  • Heel height
  • Heel width
  • Width
  • Processing
  • Occasion

In the following, we briefly go into each criterion so that you are well informed and it is easier for you to make a purchase decision.

Heel height

For some, the heel is probably the main criterion. Here, you should only dare to go higher than 8 cm if you are an experienced pump wearer. On average, the heels of the most popular types of pumps are between 3 and 8 cm, so even beginners will find the right pair. The more confident you feel, the better your appearance will be. Therefore, you should not challenge yourself too much with extreme heights.

Heel width

The width of the heel plays a role not only in terms of experience on heels, but also in terms of the ground you plan to walk on. Care should be taken with narrow heels on slippery or porous floors. Avoid cobblestones, which are easy to get stuck on. In general, the wider the heel, the better the grip.


The width of the shoe is also very important. Pumps should be neither too narrow nor too wide. In wide pumps it is easy to slip forward and consequently out the back. If the shoe is too tight, the foot can fall asleep, which is of course very unfavourable when walking. You should therefore check your shoe width before buying. We explain how to do this in the FAQs below.


To make sure you get the most out of your pumps, make sure they are made to a high standard. Take a good look at the seams and make sure that no threads are sticking out. The sole should not come off easily. You can test this by pulling gently. The same goes for the heel. Twist and pull it a little to see if it is firmly attached.


Here we are not so much referring to whether it is a very elegant event or a birthday in the family. The decisive factor is the activities that are to be expected. For example, if there is a lot of movement, we recommend thicker, not very high heels and a closed toe. If you are sitting a lot at the upcoming occasion, you can show off the extravagant stilettos.

Pumps for ladies: The most important questions answered

To make it easier for you to choose shoes, we answer the most important questions about ladies' pumps below.

What shapes are ladies' pumps available in?

Pumps come in a wide variety of shapes and colours. We have compiled the most common ones for you and explain them below.

  • Pumps with straps: These shoes are ideal for dancing, which is why they are also called flamenco shoes. The toe and heel can be different. One or more straps are tied around the ankle, which gives these pumps a very good hold.
  • Lace-up pumps: These shoes are closed almost to the ankle with laces. This type of pump is therefore good for lower temperatures as the feet are completely covered. Lace-up pumps can have different toes and heels.
  • Stilettos: The term comes from the Italian and means stabbing weapon. It refers to the pointed pencil heel of this shoe. This is usually at least 10 cm high and extremely thin. The toe of the shoe is either pointed or round.
  • Wedge pumps: These are also called wedge pumps and are characterised by a wedge heel. The full-length sole is flat at the front and rises at the heel. Wedge pumps are generally very comfortable, offer firm support and are still elegant.
  • Peeptoes: These are pumps with a small opening in the toe of the shoe. The heel height varies. Peeptoes were very popular, especially in the 40s. After disappearing for a while, they are now back in fashion.

Of course, there are many more shapes of women's pumps. We have focused here on the classics and the most popular variants. The fact is that there is a pump to suit every taste.

How do I know which heel height is right for me?

Many aspects should be considered when choosing a heel height. If you are trying pumps for the first time, you should choose relatively low heels, for example 3 to 5 cm. Alternatively, you can try 5 to 8 cm, but then we recommend a wider heel to continue to provide firm support.

The shoe should fit the foot snugly. As long as you choose the right shoe width and have good balance, you can wear any heel height. Avoid pumps that are too tight, wide, big or small. Otherwise, you risk slipping in the shoe, which can cause you to twist your ankle. This hurts, especially with very high heels.

How do I find out my shoe size?

When it comes to shoes, the general rule is that they should neither be too tight nor too wide. However, many people are not aware of their shoe width, even though it is easy to measure. Place your unclothed feet parallel to the floor and use a tape measure to measure the circumference at the widest part of the foot. Consult a chart that shows the shoe width to your foot size and width. Such charts are easy to find online.

There are shoe widths E, F, G, H, J and K. Widths F and G are considered average, with F covering narrow feet. Note that the shoe width increases with the size of the shoe. Especially with pumps, you should check the width with your size before you decide.

How do I find the right pumps for the occasion?

Pumps come in so many shapes that there is something for every occasion. To make the decision easier, you should first decide what to wear. Depending on the style and colour, the matching shoes can then be chosen.

There is no rule of thumb that determines which pumps are best for weddings or birthdays. Here it is best to consider the circumstances of the event. On the beach, you should avoid heels. In the forest or on meadows, wide heels are recommended. Temperature, precipitation and the ground should be taken into consideration when deciding. Think carefully about what you want from your pumps so you can find the right pair for the occasion.

Can I wear pumps after knee surgery?

Knees take several weeks to months to heal after surgery. You should therefore take the best possible care of them and not put unnecessary strain on them. You should definitely consult your doctor before taking any risks. There is no general rule here.

How do I avoid slipping in ladies' pumps?

Slipping in women's pumps is a well-known problem. We came across a few tricks during our research. One suggestion was to spray hairspray into the shoes before putting them on. Double-sided tape has probably also been used. The most popular solution, however, is gel pads, as they also offer more comfort.

In fact, the aforementioned shoe width plays a role. If the shoe is too wide, it is much easier to slide forward. This leads to slipping out with the back. So make sure the pumps fit snugly to the ball of your foot (without squeezing) to avoid slipping.

Styling tips for women's pumps: How to achieve the casual look even with high heels.

For special occasions, ladies often focus on the outfit, i.e. the clothes. Here, pumps merely complete the look with the glamour dress, even if the shoes themselves are fancy or extravagant. To give the pumps the full attention, a casual look is quite suitable. We have come up with a few combinations that you can use to show off your ladies' pumps.

  • Denim elegance: Jeans are a star among garments. Everyone has them in their wardrobe. With a T-shirt and pumps you create a casual and elegant look. Here you can show off fancier pumps in particular.
  • Comfortable class: Also comfortable is the combination of leggings and a long knitted jumper. This comfort look can be made much more elegant by combining it with pumps. We recommend stilettos or peep toes, it makes your legs look longer.
  • Professional comfort: In offices these days, there is less emphasis on classic suits or fancy dresses. Business casual is often desired here. You can create this look with loose carrot trousers and a tight top (e.g. a T-shirt or jumper). Add stylish pumps and you have a professional yet casual look.

These are just a few of the countless variations of a casual look that puts pumps in the foreground. Let your creativity run wild.


In pumps, ladies can find the icing on the cake for any outfit. There is something for every occasion, every figure and every weather. Thanks to the variety of shapes, pumps can be used in everyday life, at work or special events. Both first-time heel wearers and high-heel professionals will find what they are looking for.

When making your choice, you should bear in mind that a successful appearance is only possible through a confident manner. Therefore, measure your shoe width before buying. Only a pump that fits will steal the show. Make sure that the pumps of your choice are of high quality so that they can withstand repeated wear. You can create a variety of looks with just one pair.

Sources: Unsplash & 123rf

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