Are Open-Toe Heels and Peep-Toe Sandals the Same Shoes?

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Open-toe shoes are what it says on the tin. These shoes feature an opening at the toe area, which allows toes to be seen.

You can get open-toe shoes in every style and silhouette, from sandals to wedges and block heels.

Make sure your feet and toes are ready for open-toe shoe seasonMake sure your feet and toes are ready for open-toe shoe season (Credit: Creative Lab / Shutterstock)

The inspiration for open-toe shoes came from the type of sandals that you would wear to the beach.

Like these Aquazzura crystal-embellished sandals from Shopbop, open-toe shoes display all your toes, similar to a pair of flip-flops but without the toe separator.

Made of shimmery silver mirrored leather, this open-toe sandal features glamorous gems on its PVC straps that wrap across the toe and around the ankleMade of shimmery silver mirrored leather, this open-toe sandal features glamorous gems on its PVC straps that wrap across the toe and around the ankle

The open-toe style first became popular in the 1940s and 1970s and has had several resurgences, including in the early and late 2000s.

You can now find open-toe shoes, such as ankle boots and slingbacks, in every style and color. Even when the shoe is considered ‘off-trend,’ fashion houses typically offer at least one open-toe shoe in their permanent collection.

A pair of open-toe shoes can help to elongate your legs and make you appear taller, particularly if they’re a mule style.

One of the most popular open-toe styles at Zappos, the UGG Fluff Yeah slide gets you style and comfort that’s out of this world.

What is the difference between open-toe and peep-toe shoes?

There is a subtle difference between open-toe and peep-toe shoes. Open-toe shoes take their inspiration from beach sandals, with a wide opening that shows all the toes.

Open-toe shoes show all the toes, while peep-toe shoes show only a few toesOpen-toe shoes show all the toes, while peep-toe shoes show only a few toes

Peep-toe shoes have a smaller opening, allowing the first and second toe to ‘peep’ out from the shoe. The peep-toe variant is mostly popular for stiletto shoes and less so for flat shoes.

Typically easier to wear, peep-toe shoes are slightly more formal than open-toe shoes.

Finished with a sensual peep toe, Christian Louboutin’s New Very Privé pump from Saks Fifth Avenue embodies the glamour of 1950’s pin-ups and the daring of burlesque.

Lustrous patent leather defines this peep-toe design from Christian Louboutin, subtly lifted by a hidden platform and stiletto heelLustrous patent leather defines this peep-toe design from Christian Louboutin, subtly lifted by a hidden platform and stiletto heel

Peep-toe shoes began as an evening shoe for society ladies, with the name ‘peep-toe’ having a sexual overtone as the shoes showed off the lady’s toes.

You can think of them as being like a plunging v-neck for your feet. Peep-toe shoes quickly became a style for bridal wear and semi-formal evening wear.

Considered more formal than open-toe shoes, Peep-toe wedding heels are a bridal favoriteConsidered more formal than open-toe shoes, Peep-toe wedding heels are a bridal favorite (Credit: Natalia Kirsanova / Shutterstock)

Most open-toe shoes are strappy sandal style, showing off as much of the foot as possible. Styles that remain true to the peep-toe heritage cover up the rest of the foot, allowing the toes to peek out.

You can find the open-toe silhouette on everything from kitten heels to flats and skyscraper stilettos.

Whether a woman’s running for office or she’s supporting her husband who’s running for office and she gets criticized for wearing open-toed shoes or for the color of her coat, there’s just a lot of history that you bear if you are a woman who puts herself out in the political arena. Hillary Clinton

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Filed Under: Heels, Sandals

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