Shoe Vamps: What are they and why do they matter?

I can't begin to count the number of times I have been asked why certain shoes don't ever work with a certain length skirt or certain kind of pants. The reason for this is simple...the shoe vamp doesn't work for that particular skirt or pants! 

You might be thinking, but what in the hell are shoe vamps Phylicia? Good question, let me explain!

The vamp of your shoe is where the shoe ends at the top or front of your foot!

Low vamp shoes end or cut across the top of your foot near the toes. High vamp shoes come further up your foot and possibly even up to the ankles. Straps and other embellishments/details are part of the shoe vamp. 


Paying attention to shoe vamps can make you appear taller and make your legs look longer. Low shoe vamps are great for elongation especially when worn with cropped pants or skirts/dresses of any length.

Because they can shorten you, high shoe vamps are best for wearing with full length pants and mini skirts/dresses.


Here are some guidelines to follow the next time you trying to decide which shoes (and their different vamps) will work best with your clothing.

  1. Skirts and dresses that are above the knee, work with both low vamp and high vamp shoes because there is enough leg showing where the few inches that might be cut off by high vamp shoes doesn't matter much. This also goes for shorts way above the knee!
  2. Skirts and dresses that are below the knee, work best with low vamp shoes because it elongates the legs, making you look taller! 
  3. Full length pants work well with both high vamp and low vamp shoes because since the garment is already long, it does the elongation on its own. The leg is also already cut off by the pants hem, making the shoe vamps irrelevant.
  4. Cropped pants, capris, and Bermuda shorts need low vamp shoes to look the absolute best because they generally already shorten your legs a bit. So teaming them with high vamp shoes are not always best. 
  5. If your legs are on the shorter side and you really want to look longer and leaner, try sticking with low vamp shoes as much as you can unless you are wearing mini skirts or shorts which can we worn with high vamps. 

As always, there are exceptions to any "fashion rules". But I hope these guideline will help know without a doubt which shoes will be on point with every look! Feel free to leave me a comment or question in the comments section!