Mules are backless, slip-on sandals without straps. Sometimes they’re called slides, or simply “slip-ons”. They were a fringe trend for a while and are now completely mainstream. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that they’re the shoe of the season.
Mules are available in all sorts of vibes: Dressy or casual, heeled or flat, solid or patterned, refined or chunky, colourful or neutral, textured or smooth, embellished or plain, and closed or open toe. Here’s a collection that showcases the enormous variety.
Mules look very fresh. I particularly like the dressier styles with closed toes because they look more polished. Quite gorgeous. The silhouette represents a sense of ease and comfort, which is an ongoing theme in modern fashion. Outfits that denote Casual Chic and Relaxed Elegance are more popular and stylish than ever, and mules fit right in with that look.
I think of mules as ‘90s shoes, and wore them back then. I wore refined styles in gold and white, chunky styles in black, and casual styles in brown. Aside from strappy, sky-scraping stilettos, I can’t think of a worse footwear style for my low volume feet. Mules fall off when you have low insteps, low arches, narrow and long toes, and boney feet. I used to develop foot cramp trying to keep them on. Walking up the stairs in mules was dreadful. Add that I’m a fast walker and it’s an absolute disaster. Mules fly off my feet, and make a hectic “clucking” sound when I stride. My feet pushed forward in the open-toed variety, making my toes sweep the ground. It was awful. I didn’t listen to my footwear needs back in my twenties, and simply suffered for fashion. Two and half decades later and I know better. I will not be wearing the shoe of the season.
That said, mules can work really well for high volume feet. You need toe width, high insteps and well padded feet to fill out the silhouette and keep them on your feet. Under these conditions they can feel extremely comfortable. You can’t fit an orthotic into mules, but you can purchase styles with extra arch support, like those from Dansko, Vionic and Birkenstock.
Over to you. Will you be wearing mules? If so, I can live vicariously through you.