Ankle strap shoes and sandals sometimes get a bad rap because, when paired with longer skirts and dresses, they have a tendency to make one’s legs look shorter and heftier.

There is some truth in that, but the reality is, it’s not usually an issue because skirts and dresses that are long enough to cause that particular problem generally aren’t being worn to show off one’s gams anyway. And even if they were, it’s really marginal, unless the shoes are extremely hefty as well.

Aside from that, ankle straps have tons of positive attributes: they’re stylish; they can add a little something extra to an otherwise classic or pedestrian shoe style, and they actually call attention to the slimmest part of most women’s legs.

Below are a few of the season’s hottest styles in ankle strap shoes and sandals for women.

Pretty Evening Shoes from Miu Miu

high heeled pumps
Miu Miu Ankle Band Sandals Image:

If you’re looking for a pair of ankle strap heels that are more timeless than trendy, then you may want to have a look at these beautiful evening shoes from Miu Miu.

With a flattering two-piece design, soft suede uppers, and shapely 4-inch conical heels, these shoes are red-carpet worthy — and the royal blue shade is to die for.

They’re a natural match for cocktail dresses and evening gowns, but they’d also work great with dress pants — even though it would be a shame to hide the straps.

Derek Lam Casual Heels with Ankle Straps

Derek Lam Casual Heels with Ankle Straps
10 Crosby Derek Lam ‘Capri’ Image:

I’m head-over-heels for these stunning and unique ankle strap shoes. I love the pointy-toed design, the fact that the heels aren’t outrageously high, and that they would work as well in spring and summer as they would in fall and winter.

Ideal for dressing up jeans or pants, these shoes would also look great with a lot of different skirts and dress styles. I’d especially like to see them paired with a pencil or slim skirt. Something knee-length or longer. So chic. And absolutely perfect in black.

Striking and Contemporary Styling

Striking and Contemporary Styling
Michael Kors Collection ‘Phaedra’ Image:

This year’s trend towards chunky heels is great for those of us who don’t mind a bit of extra height but aren’t completely comfortable in really high stilettos. One of my favorite chunky-heeled styles of the season is these contemporary ankle strap sandals from Michael Kors.

At 3.75 inches, the heels on these sandals aren’t too high, but you’ll actually feel the full height since they’re not offset by any kind of platform soles. Now that I think about it, that’s probably part of why I like them so much. But, I have to admit, I’m also completely smitten with the black and white combination, which would be ideal for adding a fun, summery touch to dresses or pants.

Worth noting, these sandals also look fab with all-black uppers — in fact, it would be tough to choose a favorite.

Lovely Orange Heels from Jimmy Choo

Lovely Orange Heels from Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo ‘Lexi’ Image:

If you don’t mind spending as much on a pair of shoes as you might on, say, a mortgage payment, then you’ll definitely want to check out these stunners from Jimmy Choo.

The orange shade of these gorgeous ankle strap shoes is reason enough to take notice, but the 4.5″ stiletto heels are pretty noteworthy as well.

I’m crazy about the shapely, feminine style, and I’d love to work these heels with a shorter dress, but the $950 price tag definitely puts them out of my price range. Happily, it’s free to look.

Refreshingly Sweet Sandals

Refreshingly Sweet Sandals
Carolinna Espinosa ‘Allentown’ Image:

There’s something really charming about these pretty ankle strap sandals from Carolinna Espinosa. I’m not sure whether it’s the stone and pale blue color combination, or the pinstripe-covered heels. Or maybe it’s both of those things. But they definitely caught my eye.

They’d be the perfect foundation for a pretty warm-weather dress or skirt. They could even look really cute with a pair of shorts.

Though the 4″ heel will rule these sandals out for some women, it isn’t crazy high. Plus, being a block heel, it will at least be a bit more stable than thinner heels of the same height.

d’Orsay Flats with Ankle Straps

d'Orsay Flats with Ankle Straps
Dolce Vita ‘Agusta’ Image:

This list is heavy in high heels with ankle straps, but ankle straps can also add a certain flair to flats — especially when they’re as striking as these d’Orsay flats are.

In addition to the fact that side-bearing shoes are especially hot this year, they also have the advantage of seeming a bit less “frumpy” than some other flats can be. And, topped off with ankle straps, they’re perfect for everything from shorts and capri pants to skirts and dresses.

This particular style comes in three colors: the natural snake print (shown here), a gold and tan version, and an all-black edition.

Low-Heeled Dress Pumps

Low-Heeled Dress Pumps
Nine West ‘Knowledge’ Image:

We’ve seen styles on the list that show how ankle strap shoes can be funky, casual, sexy, and even glamorous, but this style is a great example of ankle strap shoes that are classic — and easy to wear.

Available with black or navy satin uppers, these two-piece pumps feature three-inch heels and a design that is as timeless as it is classy.

Perfect for dinner or a night out, these pumps look far more expensive than their $100 price tag.

Traffic-Stopping Sandals with Acrylic Wedges

Traffic-Stopping Sandals with Acrylic Wedges
L.A.M.B. ‘Fiby’ Image:

Sandals just don’t get much more dynamic than these ankle-strap wonders from Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. label.

The first thing that sets them apart from the crowd is their clear acrylic wedge heels, which have what appear to be regular high heels embedded inside of them. And, their wide vinyl vamp straps also don’t hurt their case any either.

Perfect for day or night, these sandals come in white or black, and they’re practically guaranteed to get attention any time you wear them.

Versatile Ankle Strap Booties

Versatile Ankle Strap Booties
French Connection ‘Blyss’ Image:

This next pair isn’t exactly a pair of traditional ankle straps, but they’re close enough for disco, and I wanted to include them because these booties would be such a nice addition to anyone’s fall wardrobe.

The 3.5-inch wedge heels are ultra-wearable, and the open sides are right on-trend for 2014. But, mostly, what I love about these stylish shoes is their lush suede uppers and pointed-toe design. Both of which take these casual shoes up a notch, so that you could wear them with jeans or pants, or with a short dress and tights.

Available in nightshade or black, there’s also no law that says you’d have to wait until fall to wear these lookers.

Open-Toed Shoes with Ankle Chains

Open-Toed Shoes with Ankle Chains
3.1 Phillip Lim ‘Berlin’ Image:

I’m not going to lie, these Phillip Lim shoes are here because of the kick-ass ankle chains.

Sure, the open-toed design and the wide slide strap are great, and I’m crazy about the animal print uppers. But, let’s be honest, it’s like the shoes come with built-in leg jewelry that just makes you want to wear them.

And, as striking as the cat print version is, the chain straps are equally — if not even more — dynamic set against the all-black version of these lovely shoes.

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