What Shoes to Wear with Maxi Dresses? Flats, Boots, Sneakers, And More

What Shoes to Wear with Maxi Dresses? Flats, Boots, Sneakers, And More

May 13, 2024

Maxi dresses, with their effortless elegance and versatile appeal, have long been a staple in many wardrobes, offering a one-and-done solution to chic dressing. Yet, despite their inherent charm, maxi dresses are sometimes unjustly paired with uninspired footwear choices, such as plain old flip-flops. While flip-flops are convenient to wear, they often need to catch up in terms of style, which leaves the overall look lackluster and incomplete. 

This common oversight leaves one pondering what shoes to wear with maxi dresses that give the appearance of a showstopper while being comfortable, too. Because in the end, it's important to choose shoes that don't compete for attention, allowing the dress to remain the centerpiece of your ensemble.

It's time to shake things up and inject some newfound excitement into our maxi dress ensembles. By carefully selecting the right shoes, we can elevate the allure of our maxi dresses to new heights, turning heads and making a statement with every step. From strappy sandals to ankle boots, each shoe choice presents an opportunity to enhance the beauty and personality of our maxi dresses, creating effortlessly chic outfits that exude confidence and sophistication. 

So let's bid adieu to mundane footwear options and find the perfect shoes to complement our beloved maxi dresses.


10 Shoes to Wear With Maxi Dress:


Maxi dresses, with their flowy silhouettes, call for thoughtful shoe pairings that not only complement the look but also add a distinct flair. Here’s a detailed guide on ten types of shoes to wear with a maxi dress, focusing on color, fabric, and how they can modify your outfit:



1. Strappy Sandals:

    Perfect for summer warmth and spring breeze, strappy/fisherman sandals in nude, gold, or silver can add a delicate, airy feel to your maxi dress. When you're choosing shoes for a maxi dress, consider selecting pairs made from leather or faux leather. These materials have a subtle sheen that beautifully complements the flowing fabric of the dress, enhancing its movement and grace. This pairing works exceptionally well with floral or pastel-colored maxi dresses, making it an ideal choice for casual outings or even beach weddings.  The gentle luster of leather adds just the right touch of elegance without overpowering the soft, delicate appeal of your outfit.


    2. Wedges: 

      Offering both height and comfort, espadrille-style wedges add a rustic charm when paired with maxi dresses. Choose natural tones like beige, brown, or navy to keep the look grounded and cohesive. Fabric ties that wrap around the ankle can add a bohemian touch, ideal for a maxi dress outfit with earthy tones or bold prints.


      3. Slides:

        For the ultimate in casual ease, slides are a practical choice. Leather slides in black or white, or even in softer neutral shades like tan, taupe, beige, brown, or khaki, are a stylish choice that can beautifully offset the vibrant patterns and rich textures of a boho-style maxi dress. The simplicity and sleek design of these slides create a modern contrast, highlighting the intricate details and colors of the dress without competing with them. 

        These neutral-colored slides serve as a versatile base, ensuring that your footwear complements a wide range of maxi dress styles and colors, from bold and bright to soft and subtle. This thoughtful pairing allows your dress to take center stage while the slides add a refined touch to your overall look in each step. Fabric slides with embellishments or patterns can also add a playful touch to simpler dresses, making them perfect for a quick errand or a casual meet-up.



        4. Sneakers: 


        White sneakers are a classic choice for everyday wear, offering an effortless style that pairs well with almost anything. Essentially, opting for canvas or leather sneakers can surprisingly complement a maxi dress, especially for a sporty, youthful look. They are suited for cotton or jersey maxi dresses, blending comfort with a nonchalant chic vibe. This is great for a day of touring or a casual brunch.


        5. Ankle Boots:


          A pair of suede ankle boots is an excellent choice for extending the wearability of a maxi dress into the cooler months. The soft, textured material of suede adds a cozy, stylish element that pairs beautifully with maxi dresses. Opt for a dress with a richer, deeper color palette or an autumnal floral print to harmonize with the earthy tones of the boots. The contrast between the flowing fabric of the dress and the sturdy, chic boots creates a dynamic, fashion-forward look. 


          This combination is not only practical for staying warm but also keeps you looking effortlessly stylish at seasonal transitions, from the crisp days of fall to the cooler evenings of early spring. Choose dark colors like black, deep red, or forest green to contrast against a light, floral maxi dress, providing a striking visual balance and added warmth.



          6. Gladiator Sandals: 


          To complement the aesthetic of a bohemian maxi dress, opt for knee-high gladiator sandals in tan or brown — and if you are feeling rather frisky, try an ivory shade for deeper skin tones. The intricate straps draw the eye down from the dress, making it the perfect pair for dresses with high slits or simpler patterns.


           7. Ballet Flats: 


          For those seeking comfort without sacrificing style, ballet flats made of soft leather or suede would be ideal. Opt for classic colors like black or navy that provide a subtle elegance to any maxi dress outfit, especially those with a more formal or structured fabric.



            8. Kitten Heels:


          Let's do some kit-cat walk-talk. Kitten-heeled pumps are indeed a charming companion for maxi dresses, as they are designed to be slender and understated, ensuring they don't steal the spotlight from your maxi dress. But rather subtly enhance its overall appearance. Their gentle lift improves posture and adds grace to your gait, making them ideal for both day-long wear and special evening events. 


          Opt for a nude or black kitten heel to keep things classic and versatile, or choose a bold red or metallic pump to add a pop of color and excitement to a simple maxi. These subtle heels work beautifully with floral and monochrome dresses alike, enhancing the dress’s flow while keeping your look grounded and stylish.




          9. Stilettos:


          For formal occasions, stilettos in neutral shades like black, nude, or metallic can dramatically elevate your maxi dress. Choose a pointed-toe design for an extra touch of refinement suitable for gala events or elegant dinners.


          10. Platform Sandals: 


          Bringing in the '70s flair, platform sandals can be both fun and fashionable. Opt for bold colors like red or deep blue to make a statement or earthy tones for a more subdued look. The height and the solid sole make them suitable for maxi dresses with thicker, more voluminous fabric.


          Whether it's the delicate “strappiness” of sandals or the boldness of stilettos, the right shoe can perfectly complete your look. Each type of shoe brings its texture and color into play, allowing for endless possibilities in styling your maxi dress. No matter the event, from casual outings to special occasions, integrating these diverse options will enhance your true style, providing both function and flair.


          5 Shoes to Avoid with Maxi Dresses: 


          Maxi dresses, with their long, flowy hemlines, offer a graceful look that can be enhanced with the right footwear. However, not every shoe type complements a maxi dress well. Here are five types of shoes to avoid when wearing a maxi dress, along with specific reasons and examples:





          1. Chunky Winter Boots: 


          These robust, heavy boots, such as those designed for snow or heavy rain, can clash dramatically with the light and airy nature of most maxi dresses. For example, a bulky, fur-lined winter boot might overpower a delicate chiffon maxi dress, making the outfit look disjointed. These boots typically have a rugged aesthetic that doesn't mesh well with the elegance or casual bohemian vibe of maxi dresses.


          2. Clogs: 


          While clogs have their charm with certain outfits, they tend not to be the best match for maxi dresses. The thick, wooden soles and more rustic look of clogs can detract from the flowing grace of a maxi dress. Especially if the dress features a fine print or a soft fabric like silk, the heavy look of clogs can feel visually unbalanced.


          3. Over-the-Knee Boots: 


          These boots can be stylish and on-trend, but pairing them with a maxi dress might not always work well. The main issue lies in the coverage — maxi dresses already cover most of the leg, and over-the-knee boots might cover too much, leaving no break in fabric, which can make the outfit look overwhelming and top-heavy. This is particularly true for maxi dresses with heavier fabrics or busy prints.


          4. Bright, Contrasting Athletic Sneakers: 


          Athletic sneakers designed in bright, neon colors or with heavy logos can clash with maxi dresses, which tend to call for more subtle or refined footwear. For instance, a bright orange running shoe paired with a floral maxi dress can disrupt the visual flow of the outfit, making it appear mismatched and casual in a non-cohesive way.


          5. Heavy Industrial Shoes: 


          Shoes that are designed for heavy-duty work — like steel-toe work boots — are not only impractical for pairing with maxi dresses but also aesthetically mismatched. Their bulky design and typically dark, solid colors can completely offset the delicate or elegant appearance of a maxi dress. For example, pairing a soft, pastel maxi dress with black, heavy-duty industrial boots would create a stark and jarring contrast that’s generally unappealing.


          Shoes that are too bulky, brightly colored, or heavy-duty can detract from the graceful and flowy hems that make maxi dresses so appealing. So choose wisely! 


          When choosing what shoes to wear with maxi dresses, remember strappy sandals or sleek kitten heels are the perfect choice for a refined look. And if your feet need the rest from pumps and stilettos, take a break with casual sneakers or ankle boots for a laid-back vibe. Coordinate colors thoughtfully; nude tones elongate the leg, while bold colors add a fun pop. Always prioritize footwear that complements the fabric and silhouette of your dress, ensuring that your choice enhances both style and comfort for a cohesive and eye-catching outfit.




          Can I wear boots with a maxi dress?

          Pairing boots with a maxi dress creates a chic, edgy look. Ankle boots are particularly stylish, blending seamlessly with most maxi dress styles for fall or cooler weather.


          Are there any shoe styles to avoid when wearing a maxi dress?

          Yes, heavy winter boots, clogs, and overly sporty sneakers can detract from the elegance of a maxi dress. These styles can overwhelm the delicate balance of a flowy, lightweight dress.


          Can I wear sneakers with a maxi dress for a casual look?

          Sneakers paired with a maxi dress offer a perfect blend of comfort and style for a laid-back vibe. Choose clean, simple sneakers to keep the look fresh and fashionable.

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