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10 Shoes That Are Making You Look Older

You might not realize that these styles are aging you, experts warn.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

Personal style is unique to you: Your wardrobe should include items that make you feel your best and most confident, whether you're keeping up with the trends or not. But if there's something most of us can agree on, it's that we don't really want to age ourselves with our fashion choices. It happens, of course, and one area you'll want to keep an eye out for is shoe styles that make you look older.

"Shoes are the most powerful tool women have in their style toolbox. They can single-handedly turn a ho-hum dress into a super stylish outfit, [and] they can also ruin a potentially cute outfit and turn it frumpy," petite style coach Angela Foster tells Best Life. "Given all of that, shoe choice is incredibly important. The great news is that stylish shoes don't have to be sky-high or uncomfortable—and comfortable shoes don't need to be ugly."

Wondering what you need to skip at the shoe store, or toss when you're spring cleaning? Read on for 10 shoes that can age you.

RELATED: I'm a Podiatrist and I'd Never Wear These 3 Pairs of Shoes.

Wedge pumps

decorative wedge shoes
triloks / iStock

Different heels are always going in and out of style, but if there's one that's particularly dated, it's wedge pumps.

"There's something matronly about wedge pumps, especially ones with a low heel and rounded toe," certified image stylist Elizabeth Kosich, founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, tells Best Life. "The silhouette tends to skew frumpy, so look for sleeker design details like a slanted or contoured wedge, almond-toe or pointed shapes, and high-vamp or low-cut styles for a more contemporary look that won't date you."

Shoes with a square toe

square-toe flat
Lightfactory / Shutterstock

According to Foster, you should also avoid shoes with that notorious square toe. These options age you—and they're just not the most flattering in general.

"Choose pointed-toe shoes over square toes to flatter your foot shape and make your legs appear longer," Foster suggests. "Reserve square toes for specific styles like biker boots. In case you're worried about toe-crunch, opt for a half-size larger to ensure both toe wiggle room and style."

RELATED: 6 Tips for Wearing Flats If You're Over 60, According to Stylists and Podiatrists.

Slip-on sneakers

white sneakers
golfbress / iStock

Just a few years ago, slip-on sneakers were all the rage, but they're best avoided these days.

"Open back, slip-on sneakers take effortless-casual to the extreme, and not in a good way. Plus, they're just not a great look altogether," Kosich says. "A little effort goes a long way when it comes to polished appearance, so if shoelaces are too much, at least commit to velcro."

She recommends Veja sneakers, which have options with velcro fasteners that create a "cool, clean look that's effortless but not lazy."

Shoes with super low soles

women's black flats
Senyuk Mykola / Shutterstock

Also on Foster's list of no-nos are shoes with a heel between one-eighth to one-quarter inch high. While kitten heels are currently in vogue, these super-low options could end up "screaming house slipper," Foster says.

"Plus, they rarely offer sufficient arch support and don't promote good posture," she notes. "Limping due to aching feet and slouchy shoulders sends a message of age to any who see us."

For an option that combines comfort and style, Foster suggests a flat platform style.

Orthopedic clogs

orthopedic clogs
Bandolinata / iStock

Clogs have made a comeback over the past few years, but some options are preferable to others.

"Orthopedic-looking mule clogs with (or without!) heel straps read 'elderly,'" Kosich says. "If function over form is essential, there are plenty of cozy, comfy, fashion-forward footwear options out there."

Birkenstock's Boston clog is a top choice, giving you a supportive footbed, a trendy platform silhouette, and "oh-so-cozy shearling touches inside and out," Kosich adds.

Anything that may make you unsteady

woman trying on heels
PeopleImages / Shutterstock

While styles can certainly age you, if you don't feel confident and comfortable, that can be an issue, too, according to Holly Chayes, personal style coach and consultant at

"From the perspective of your presence, you want to avoid shoes that make you unsteady," Chayes tells Best Life. "Look for shoes that have arch support that fits for foot shape, encourages you to distribute your balance across your whole foot, enough cushioning to support your foot but not so much that you feel disconnected from the ground beneath your feet, and a heel height that is steady for you."

She suggests boots or fashion sneakers, and when you do seek out heels, go for a pair that is high quality and well constructed.

"Great shoes should feel Goldilocks-like—not too tight, not too loose, not too high, not too low—everything feels just right," Chayes says.

RELATED: 7 Perfume Scents That Age You, Experts Say.


white tennis sneakers
Peera_Sathawirawong / iStock

While they've been a staple for decades now, you might want to rethink your Keds when you want to make a fashion statement.

"Keds Champion Originals are the quintessential grandma sneaker," Kosich says. "Despite the simple and clean design, they've never been adopted by younger generations or had a comeback, which keeps them dated and cliché."

However, Kosich says that the simple white tennis shoe is timeless—so you just need to find a different pair. She recommends trying out a classic option from the Superga brand.

Sandals with orthopedic straps

orthopedic sandals
Daiga Zilgalve / Shutterstock

Spring and summer will be here before we know it, meaning it'll be time to whip out our favorite pair of sandals. However, options with too many orthopedic straps might not be sending the message you want to send. (Although, we'll concede, they're probably pretty comfy!)

"We don't need six thick straps to keep sandals on our feet. (Hello, flip-flops.)" Foster says. "If you can picture your great aunt wearing them with sheer panty-hose, it's best to run away."

Platform slides with a crocheted or puffy strap will help curate that comfortable but also youthful vibe, she adds.

RELATED: 8 Clothing Items That Make You Look Dated, Stylists Say.

Technical sneakers

technical sneakers
Yesim Sahin / iStock

If you like to keep up with the trends, you know that literally anything can come back in style or become chic for the first time. Seriously, who thought that chunky New Balances would be so coveted?

But certain technical sneaks are not your best option if you want to keep your look fresh.

"Despite sneakers becoming acceptable footwear for mainstream fashion, the look needs careful curation and skilled execution to look good," Kosich says. "Technical, all-terrain sneakers with heavy treads and supersized, shock-absorbing soles are not chic fashion statements, so save them for a weekend hike."

Kosich recommends "stylish lifestyle sneakers" that give off a tough but fashionable vibe.

Shoes with too many embellishments

embellished pink cowboy boots
cassp / iStock

Shoes that go a bit too far with embellishments might not be right for your look, Foster says. More specifically, she says you should avoid anything you might see a funky woman at an art fair wearing.

"While we may adore her ceramic vases, copying her shoe style with the over-the-top colors and abundance of embellishments can easily age us and has the unfortunate effect of making it appear like we're desperately trying to stay young and hip," Foster explains.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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