Skinny Jeans Are Back—These 8 Shoes Are the Best to Wear With Them

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Yes, you read that right: skinny jeans have returned. The slim-fitting, tight style — a cousin of leggings and sister to slim-fitting denim — is officially back and ready to hit the streets.

Since the late 2000s and early 2010s, the skinny style has evolved through greater size inclusivity, a wider range of washes, and more variety in potential shoe pairings. With such a vast array of styles on the market today, finding the best heels, boots, or sneakers to pair with your denim — whether it's decade-old pairs hidden in your dresser or newer iterations from brands like Gap, Frame, or Veronica Beard — may feel overwhelming. However, we’ve narrowed things down to eight top styles to try as your skinny jeans face the 2020s head-on.

As with earlier iterations, thicker shoes are a go-to when paired with this denim’s figure-hugging shape. In this decade, styles like Western booties, folded boots, or studded block-heeled sandals create a smooth complement and contrast, much like their peep-toe stiletto pump or 5-inch wedge ancestors. Versatile wardrobe shoe staples (as seen on the streets or the fashion circuit) also make an ideal pairing with skinny jeans, from slouchy low boots to smooth ballet flats or a punchy, colorful sneaker.

Below, have a look at the eight best shoe styles to wear with your skinny jeans today.

Calf-High Boots

<p>305pics/GC Images</p>

305pics/GC Images

Neutral boots with mid-to-high heels are an ideal style for taking your first steps in skinny jeans again. Smooth suede with calf-high uppers creates a streamlined outfit base, with a sharp-yet-classic finish from pointed toes and neutral tones like black, rusty brown, and dark chocolate.

Colorful Sneakers

<p>Edward Berthelot/Getty Images</p>

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

For a fun, comfortable complement to skinny jeans, try lacing up a pair of colorful sneakers. Most jeans come in a selection of blue and black washes, which makes a cool-toned sneaker in blue, green, or purple a base that’s both smooth and playful. Look for styles with memory foam or molded insoles set within a classic round-toed or creeper silhouette.

Embellished Kitten Pumps

<p>Edward Berthelot/Getty Images</p>

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

For a dose of chic glamour, showcase your skinny jeans against a pair of glitzy kitten heels. Pointed-toe pumps with heels up to 2.5 inches tall will provide a subtle height boost, while details like multicolored or allover crystals, sheer fabrics, or shiny sequins will create a glitzy statement.

Foldover Boots

<p>Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images</p>

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Foldover boots pair well with skinny jeans thanks to its similarly slim shape. The flap-style shafts create a geometric silhouette, while closed toes and a range of heel heights allow for versatile, full-coverage wear. Like any boot style in your closet, neutral leather or suede colorways are the easiest to style. You can add a punky edge with accents like visible zippers or locks.

Western Booties

<p>Ricky Vigil M/Justin E Palmer/GC Images</p>

Ricky Vigil M/Justin E Palmer/GC Images

The Western boot trend has showed no signs of slowing down, and detailed, ankle-high styles are a whimsical pairing with skinny jeans. Narrow toes and neutral uppers lend themselves to a nonchalant look, while side embroidery, stitching, and angled or thick-block heels create a themed flair.

Leather Ballet Flats

<p>Raymond Hall/GC Images</p>

Raymond Hall/GC Images

Ballet flats are the top trend of the winter, and with their roots in the early 2010s “normcore” and preppy fashion, they’re a top-of-mind choice to pair with skinny denim. Nowadays, the variations range from high-shine metallics to mesh Mary Janes. A classic closed-toe flat in smooth leather — which can be found in dozens of colorways — provides a modern update to a shoe that’s both chic and elevated, especially when accented by details like delicate bows, capped panels, or gathered side ruching.

Studded Sandals

<p>MEGA/GC Images</p>

MEGA/GC Images

For a modern nod to 2010s grunge, strap on a pair of stud-accented sandals. Though spiked studs were all the rage back then, today’s metal baubles come in flat, bubbly, and pyramid shapes for a more easygoing edge. Styles in neutral or core metallics can create a sleek statement while easily matching your neutral, gold, or silver accessories for a cohesive look.

Retro Runner Sneakers

<p>Gotham/GC Images</p>

Gotham/GC Images

Runner sneakers that harken back to the ‘80s and ‘90s will bring your denim an athletic touch. The relaxed, utilitarian style is ideal for off-duty wear — and if you’ve got to race somewhere in a flash, they’re also ideal for that. The rounded shape and groovy background will also bring a slick factor to your skinniest jeans, especially when cast in modern, tonal neutrals.

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