7 Alternatives To Heels For Prom — Because You Don't Have To Be Stilettoed Or Even Hyper-Feminine To Look Cool

Heels are great. They're tiny architectural masterpieces for your feet that do wonders in complementing parts of your body other than your feet. But they can hurt — and that means you might want to consider alternatives to heels for long events.

No one's foot is designed to be stuck in that position for too long, especially when you're standing and dancing for hours on end. And not everyone is s trying to present themselves in such feminine way, despite how the media portrays prom and formalwear for women in general.

So here are some comfier (but still highly fashionable!) alternatives to spending prom night in six-inch heels.

Image: Fotolia

Ballet Flats

Lily Pad Ballet Flat, $19, A sos

You can never go wrong with a ballet flat. Simple, comfortable, and usually easy on the wallet, they’re the perfect alternative to their high-heeled cousin. Ballet flats are dainty and formal, but won’t hurt your ankles or test your balance on the dance floor. And they certainly don’t have to be boring: Dress them up with a DIY ankle strap or some ribbon so they match the wow-factor of your dress. If your prom getup is based around more neutral patterns and tones, pair it with some brightly-colored or metallic flats.

Flats: The Quirkier Side

Furry Up, We’re Dreaming Flat in Coral, $55, M od Cloth

If ribbons and straps aren’t enough for you to add some pizazz to your feet, take a walk on the wild side in some animal-inspired flats! They may seem a little out there but trust me, they look totally cool! Alexa Chung has rocked flats with cat faces on them at formal events for years. I’ve also seen Boston Terrier, panda bear, and even Mickey Mouse flats — all of which have a nice black and white (and therefore pretty neutral) aesthetic. Animal print flats like zebra, leopard, and snakeskin are also cute options if you’re going for a funkier look.

Mary Janes

T-Strap Mary Jane, $16, U rban Outfitters

Mary Janes are another classic shoe that go with anything. They are much like the ballet flat, with the exception of the strap going through the middle of the shoe. The strap and the buckle transform an ordinary flat shoe, and make it evoke a timeless charm and neatness with a hint of childish mischief.

They’re not as easy to take on and off in between songs because of the strap, but they are way more comfortable and supportive than the average ballet flat. Urban Outfitters has Mary Janes in every color and print, with a two for $20 deal. If you’re going for a more punk look, though, check out Dr. Martens’ version of the shoe.


F-Troupe Bow Brogue Oxfords, $198, U rban Outfitters

Pairing Oxfords with formal dresses has been all the rage this year according to publications famously in the know about prom culture, like Seventeen and Teen Vogue .

Patent leather and holographic oxfords offset the frillier and more hyper-feminine side of the prom outfit spectrum, while the more muted and suede options offset pantsuits and less formal dresses perfectly. Polished and with an air of formal masculinity, oxfords are the perfect shoe for any event of the fancier variety.

Platform Shoes

Silver Metallic Round Toe Creepers, $66, T uk Shoes

Platform shoes, specifically creeper shoes, have made a huge comeback the past couple of years. You may not have realized it, but your suede and leather creepers are perfect for an emo-inspired prom look.

Mix things up, and try out creepers in patterned leather, holographic and even velvet varieties. They’re not as easy to walk in as the flat shoes mentioned previously, but they give you height without a heel! Pair them with ripped or sparkly tights in case you need to throw them off when a particularly dance-worthy MCR or Panic! at the Disco songs plays.


Patent Slipper, $36, Z ara

If you’re opting for a pantsuit or are going for a more masculine look, some fancy patent leather slippers or loafers will do the trick. Super classy and refined, they’d go well with both skinny and harem pants.

Zara has an enviable selection of fancy slippers that you should totally check out. They’re super sophisticated, but they’re not prom-specific shoes at all. Wear them for any remotely fancy occasion, or just wear them to class the Monday after prom to give your outfit the touch of luxury it deserves.

Graphic High Top

Hincky Boot In Acid Pink, $110, Overstock

If you want to make a statement á la Avril Lavigne, wear high top sneakers or boots to prom. It’s a fun and bold statement, and you can make it as punk, whimsical, or as hyper-feminine as you want.

Doc Martens are great and have a huge selection in terms of color and goofy designs, like the one pictured. High top Converse would work, too (bonus points if they’re bedazzled). Pair these with a tutu skirted ensemble, and you’ll look like the ultimate pop-punk dream.