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8 Kinds of Shoes to Wear with a Maxi Dress

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With colder weather still looming, it's time to bust out your trusty maxi dress. Whether floor- or calf-length, this tried and true style provides both comfort and full coverage against the ongoing chill. But what shoes are best to wear with it?

We did a deep dive to find the top styles that pair best with a maxi-length dress. Classic boots will always be an easy go-to for their versatility and full coverage, with chic finishes and details like allover textures, metallic heels, or squared toes. On the other hand, heeled sandals and pumps will bring these sweeping dresses towards a formal flair, especially when the colors and textures visually harmonize. Longer hemlines can also earn a comfortable yet cool edge from chunky loafers, a top shoe trend of the 2020s that shows no signs of slowing down as the cold sets in.

Below, we’ve gathered the eight shoe styles to reach for when wearing maxi dresses this season.

Low-Heeled Boots

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Low-heeled boots are an effortless base for maxi dresses, given their high coverage and practical height. Neutral colors are the easiest to style, with the added bonus that they'll have a spot in your wardrobe year-round. Extra details like angled heels or squared toes will bring an added dimension to the pair, whether your dress is ankle- or floor-length.

Pointed Patent Pumps

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A classic pointed-toe pump provides a glamorous finish to any maxi dress. This style is best paired with dresses that feature knee- or thigh-high slits, a styling trick known for lengthening one’s legs. For a streamlined finish, match your style’s color to your dress, or slip on a coordinating pair of tights for a winter-proof look.

Stiletto-Heeled Boots

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Sleek boots with soaring stiletto heels can complement your maxi dress with a dynamic flair. Like their low-height counterparts, these are best in smooth textures with neutral tones for greater wear. An ankle- or calf-high maxi dress creates the best silhouette for the heels to be seen, though any hemline length works. 

Kitten-Heeled Pumps

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Much like their boot cousins, pumps or sandals with low kitten heels provide a practical height boost for maxi dresses, with the added bonus of a more formal, dressed-up appearance. A matte or knit maxi dress pairs well with styles that feature straps or embellishments, putting the shoe on full display with a sophisticated finish.

Color Block Pumps

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Like pointed-toe pumps, heels with color-blocked hues can smoothly streamline any outfit if the hues or color palettes match — even if it's a clear or high-shine finish. Two-toned styles that can be quickly slipped on are an easy route to this effect, and when paired well with ankle-strapped uppers, they can also provide a sophisticated finish.

Textured Boots

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Boots with a textured pattern complement maxi dresses with a burst of eclectic cool, no matter their heel height. For single-color or matte dresses, try a leather or suede boot with a textured print featuring faux python or alligator embossments. However, styles with slouchy shafts or smaller prints will also provide the same effect. 

Chunky Loafers

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Thick-soled loafers add a whimsical ease to the long hemline of a maxi dress. The style’s lugged base — often crafted from stacked rubber — will create a subtle height boost with a utilitarian edge while still remaining practical for longtime wear. For a unique flair that still embraces the classic slip-on, try a style adorned with metal charms or medallion accents.

Metal-Heeled Boots or Booties

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A set of boots or booties with high-shine heels — no matter their height — will bring a sleek edge to the base of your dress. Low-height or block heels are best for aligning with the piece’s hem, creating a line of interest that’s sleek but ends with a flash. Matching the shoe with your accessories, like a gleaming shoulder bag or link earrings, will smoothly tie the look together, and a pair with all-over shine will make every step a statement.

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