What Shoes to Wear With Ankle Pants?

What Shoes to Wear With Ankle Pants?

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Ankle pants are a fun and fashionable way to show off your shoes. With the hem ending right above the ankle, ankle pants create a perfect canvas to pair with shoes that make a statement. But with so many shoe options, what shoes to wear with ankle pants? Here’s a guide on picking the right shoes to complement your ankle pants for any occasion.

Dressy Occasions

Dressy Occasions

For dressier events and occasions, ankle pants call for more elegant and polished shoes. Avoid casual sneakers or flats and wear heels, loafers, or booties.


A pair of heels instantly dresses up ankle pants for events like date nights, weddings, or parties. For a versatile option, a medium heel between 2-3 inches in height in colors like black, nude, or metallic can complement ankle pants in various colors and fabrics. A chunky block heel or strappy sandal heel are both excellent choices.

Pointed toe and d’Orsay styles also lend an elegant touch. If you want to make more of a statement, go for a brightly colored heel or one with embellishments like bows, straps, or jewels. An ankle strap heel looks fantastic with cropped ankle pants. Just ensure the hem of your pants falls about 1/2 inch above the top of the heel so they don’t compete.


Loafers are a stylish and comfortable shoe option for ankle pants. Stick to leather or suede loafers in neutrals like black, brown, tan, or white. For a polished finish, look for glossy patent leather loafers. Tassels, buckles, or metallic finishes like gold or silver add eye-catching details. Pair your loafers with cropped pants in a matching or complementing neutral color. For example, a dark brown loafer looks sharp with light tan ankle pants.


Booties with a low shaft height that hits right below the ankle are versatile, paired with ankle pants. Choose tailored booties without too many embellishments for a refined finish. Chelsea boots, low-heeled booties, or ankle booties all work well. Go for leather or suede in versatile colors like black, tan, brown, and gray. To create a monochrome look, match black booties with black ankle pants or brown booties with khaki pants.

Boots with 2-3 inches high block heels are comfortable for everyday wear. Pointed toes or almond toes give booties a dressy lift. Depending on your style, booties with cut-out patterns, buckles, or zipper accents can also add a fashion-forward edge.

Casual Occasions

You can get adventurous with your ankle pant shoe pairings on more casual occasions like weekends, brunch, or running errands. Sneakers, flats, sandals, and casual boots are all great options.


Nothing complements an ankle pant like a crisp, white sneaker. Choose a low-profile design like Keds, Converse, or Vans for a classic combo. If white feels too stark, opt for “white” sneakers in ivory, blush, or light tan hues. Distressed leather sneakers in white or black also pair well with ankle pants for a laid-back vibe.

To add a pop of color, match brightly-hued sneakers to your top. For example, Burgundy shoes look sharp with dark green ankle pants and a cranberry top. Or let patterned sneakers, like polka dots or stripes, stand out against solid-colored ankle pants. If your pants are a bolder print, keep your sneakers simple in white or black.


Along with sneakers, ballet flats are a comfy go-to pairing with ankle pants on casual days. Stick to leather or suede flats in versatile neutrals like black, brown, tan, white, or blush pink. Pointed toes offer a touch of polish. Add some whimsy with flats adorned with bows, buckles, glitter, or animal prints.

Metallic flats in silver, gold, or rose gold complement both solids and patterns. Let flats with fun details like animal prints or textures stand out by pairing them with solid-colored ankle pants. Match black flats with black pants or tan flats with khaki pants for a foolproof look.


Sandals are the perfect ankle pant companion for a casual chic look in warm weather. Flat sandals like slides, thongs, or t-strap styles look sleek and modern with cropped hems. Wear leather, suede, or woven fabrics in neutral, versatile shades. A simple black or tan leather slide or thong sandal matches any color of ankle pants.

Add some flair with embellished straps, metallics, or pops of color. Leave prints and patterns to your ankle pants by keeping sandals simple. Let ankle pants cropped hems show off pretty pedicures by opting for minimalist slides or thong sandals.

Ankle Boots

For cooler temps, ankle boots are a cozy choice. Go for low-profile boots with a shaft height that hits right below the ankle. Neutral-colored leather or suede options are versatile for pairing with ankle pants in different colors and prints. Almond toe or slight block heel ankle boots offer comfortable, all-day wear.

Chelsea boots with elastic side panels complement slim-fitting ankle pants. For petite figures, zips and buckles on ankle boots help elongate the leg compared to bulkier boots. Choose low-key black, brown, or tan ankle boot colors to match solid-colored pants and subtle prints. Leave the stand-out boots for leggings and opt for classic colors with ankle pants.

Dress Codes

The shoes you choose to complement your ankle pants will also depend on the formality of the dress code. Specific shoes work well for the office, while others are better suited for semi-formal and black-tie occasions.

Office Attire

Opt for more tailored closed-toe shoes with ankle pants for the office. Loafers, oxfords, booties, and low heels are all appropriate professional options that won’t expose too much skin or show off distracting embellishments.

Stick to traditional colors like black, brown, tan, navy, and nude that match pants of different colors and patterns. Simple leather flats in colors like black, tan, or navy blue also look sharp with ankle pants in a business setting. Limit colors to neutrals and pumps no higher than 3 inches for a polished office ensemble.

Semi-Formal Events

For occasions like fundraisers, theater events, and dinners that call for semi-formal attire, ankle pants and heels are a sophisticated pairing—closed-toe pumps between 2-4 inches high in versatile colors like black, nude, or red complement ankle pants for events with a dress code on the formal side or semi-formal.

Embellished heels, like those with jewels, patterns, or bright colors, should be reserved for more casual or cocktail attire. For a semi-formal wedding, matte-finish stiletto heels give ankle pants a dressy boost. Sparkly or embellished heels move the look to cocktail or party-ready.

Black Tie/Cocktail Attire

Cue the glamour with ankle pants for cocktail parties and black-tie affairs. Ankle-length dress pants lend perfectly to a versatile yet dazzling shoe – the ankle strap heel. Opt for ankle strap sandals, d’orsay styles, or strappy tie-around heels with 3-4 inch heels and some added sparkle.

Metallic leather or suede ankle straps make ankles the focal point. Look for bejeweled buckles or embellishments that catch the light. Shimmery two-toned combinations, like gold and silver or rose gold and black, ramp up the glamour even more. Keep the ankle pants simple to let the shoe shine.

Weather Considerations

Along with the occasion, weather often guides the shoe choice with ankle pants. Follow these tips on pairing ankle pants with shoes for various types of weather:

Cold Weather

Stick to ankle boots or booties in cold weather to keep your feet warm and dry. Suede booties or leather combat boots work well for casual wear. Dress them up with block heels or Chelsea-style booties. Look for waterproof leather boots lined with shearling or faux fur to battle snow and rain.

Knee-high boots paired with ankle pants showing off just a peek of the boot at the hem also make a style statement. Opt for low-key black, brown, tan, or gray during the cold months. Save open-toed booties for warmer temps.

Warm Weather

When temps rise, open-toed shoes keep feet cool and comfortable. Strappy sandals, slides, and peep-toe booties allow ankles to breathe. Replace closed-toe flats with breezy woven ballet flats.

Look for leather or cork platform wedges that add height while offering support. The extra lift helps prevent hemmed ankle pants from grazing the ground. Protect toes from the sun with a wide-brimmed fedora, floppy hat, or a colorful pedicure peaking out.

Rainy Weather

When April showers hit, prioritize function over fashion with your ankle pant shoe pairings. Water-resistant leather boots with traction offer protection from puddles and mud. Chelsea rubbers or rain booties also repel water when paired with ankle pants.

Bring a pair of foldable ballet flats or loafers in your bag to change into to avoid wet feet at the office. Look for soles with adequate grip and toes with protective coverings or caps. And don’t forget the umbrellas and raincoats to keep the rest of your ankle pant ensemble dry!

Hot Weather

Beat the heat by exposing feet in airy, breathable shoes. Strappy leather sandals, metallic slides, and woven flats allow feet to stay calm. Look for natural fabrics like linen, cotton, and rattan that won’t trap sweat. Shoes with cut-outs or perforations also improve ventilation.

Flip flops and pool slides are comfy, but avoid wearing them in public with ankle pants. The casual vibe doesn’t mesh with tailored pants. Opt for a tan or brightly colored sandal that nods summer while keeping the look sophisticated.

Styling Tips

Properly styling your ankle pants and shoes together creates a cohesive head-to-toe look. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Play with proportions. Cropped ankle pants call for a slightly cropped top to balance the hem lengths. A billowy blouse paired with fitted slim-ankle pants makes for pleasing proportions.
  • Show some skin. Ankle pants look great with a heel or wedge and bare legs. Pedicured toes peaking out can make legs appear longer. A strappy stiletto offers another opportunity to flaunt a little skin.
  • Cuff with care. A single, small cuff improves the tailoring and shows off shoes. But oversized cuffs overwhelm the ankle and compete with shoes.
  • Accessorize thoughtfully. Ankle pants and heels pair nicely with small, delicate jewelry. Flashy bangles and giant hoops distract from shoes.
  • Pick patterns wisely. Let shoes stand out against solid ankle pants. Busy prints and stripes overwhelm ornate heels. Complement shoes with muted ankle pant colors and patterns.
  • Contrast colors. Allow vibrant shoes to pop against neutral ankle pants. Dark pants enable metallics or brights to shine. Monochromatic palettes streamline the look.
  • Mind heel height. Ultra-high stilettos throw proportions off balance. A 2-3 inch block heel or wedge complements ankle pants best.

Following these guidelines helps you pull off stylish head-to-toe looks by pairing your ankle pants with shoes that complement rather than compete.

Top 5 Shoe Recommendations

Top 5 Shoe Recommendations

If you’re still unsure of what shoes work best with your ankle pants, start with these five foolproof recommendations:

  1. Loafers – whether leather, suede, glossy, or metallic, loafers offer a tailored polish perfect for ankle pants.
  2. Ankle Booties – low-profile leather or suede booties are versatile for dressing up or down.
  3. Ankle Strap Heels – add elegance and stability with an ankle strap heel in a 2-3 inch height.
  4. Pointed Toe Flats – Elevate a casual look with pointed flats in neutral go-with-anything.
  5. White Sneakers – keep it casual with crisp white sneakers for weekend wear.

Turn to these five ankle pant shoe pairings for a fashionable look on any occasion.

Do’s and Don’ts

Now that you know how to complement your ankle pants with shoes ideally suited for the occasion, avoid these common dos and don’ts:


  • Do pick shoes in complementary colors and patterns.
  • Do opt for closed-toe shoes on formal occasions.
  • Do show off pedicured toes in peep toe or strappy shoes when appropriate.
  • Do stick to block heels and wedges for all-day comfort.
  • Pick weather-appropriate shoes to stay dry and comfortable.


  • Don’t wear casual flip-flops or pool slides with dressy ankle pants.
  • Don’t let pants puddle over open-toe shoes, causing a tripping hazard.
  • Don’t pair sneakers with formalwear; they’re too casual.
  • Don’t overwhelm delicate ankle pants with clunky platform shoes.
  • Don’t expose too much toe cleavage for conservative occasions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What heel height is best with ankle pants?

A: A 2-3 inch block heel, wedge, or chunky heel complements ankle pants best. Go for kitten heels or low-block heels for comfort. 4-inch stilettos can overwhelm ankle pants’ cropped hem.

Q: Should you show your ankle with ankle pants?

A: It’s not mandatory, but pairing cropped hems with peep-toe, ankle straps, or cut-out shoes creates a leg-lengthening appeal. Exposed ankles balance out the cropped pants.

Q: Can you wear tall boots with ankle pants?

A: Yes, knee-high and thigh-high boots pair well with ankle pants. Choose skinny pants to tuck in boots or go over wide-leg pants. Show off a peek of the boot’s shaft for a leg-elongating look.

Q: What shoes go with ankle pants to casual events?

A: Sneakers, flats, slides, and sandals are great casual shoe options. Metallics, patterns, and color pops liven up the look. Save dress heels and loafers for formal occasions.

Q: What shoes look best with loose/wide-leg ankle pants?

A: Platforms, wedges, and chunky heels balance the volume on the bottom and prevent hems from dragging. Pointed flats and boots keep wide legs looking sleek.


Ankle pants offer great potential for showcasing shoes. When deciding what shoes to pair them with, consider the occasion, dress code, weather, and style.

For formal events, elevate your style with polished black heels, sophisticated loafers, or chic booties in elegant hues like black, nude, or metallic. On casual weekends, effortlessly pair your black shoes with breezy flats, classic white sneakers, or trendy strappy sandals for a laid-back yet stylish look.

Let shoes complement ankle pants’ cropped hems rather than compete with busy details. Show some ankle and toe cleavage when appropriate. Keep heels around 2-3 inches high for comfort and balance. Stick to weather-appropriate materials to stay dry and cool. Most importantly, have fun mixing and matching your ankle pants with shoes that reflect your fashion sense!

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