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Q&A

Leg-Lengthening Shoes

Question:

Is it true that shoes with ankle straps will visually shorten a person's legs? I have short legs, so which shoes are best for elongating them?


Ankle straps do have the effect of visually cutting your legs at the ankle, so the legs appear shorter than they are. But that's no reason to swear off all footwear with ankle straps. Most shoes with ankle straps also come with heels, which should offset any 'shortening' of the leg. What's more, ankle straps highlight sexy ankles, so unless you have very thick ankles and a long torso, nothing should stop you from strutting in shoes with ankle straps. To make ankle-straps work for you, just avoid those flat mary-janes and pick a pair of ankle-straps with higher heels.

Of course, something nude-colored with medium-height to high heels are always foolproof for adding precious inches to your height. Good choices include d'Orsay pumps, open-toed mules, platform wedges and stiletto slides.

Keep in mind that the toe designs of your shoes also make a difference: Pointed toes, for example, are best because they elongate the foot, and therefore the leg. Round toes are second best, while square toes are best avoided unless you're leggy.

Shoes with a low vamp (i.e. cut lower in front) reveal more of the foot and has a graceful, leg-lengthening effect. And as for heels that flatter, think about balance and proportion: The chunkier the leg, the chunkier the heel should be.

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