Matisse textured mule shoes
A little bit cowgirl, a little bit modern


The 90’s can keep their slip dresses and grunge looks, but I’m happy to see mules (and “slides,” the sandal version) have made a prodigal appearance. I’ve always loved mules, and am looking forward to giving them another turn.

cutout mule shoe
these would be nice for spring/summer…

I find that styles with a slight heel are easier to wear, but for those who can’t do a heel, there are plenty of flat versions too.


Some of the styles shown above are from Shopbop, now offering a discount with code BIGEVENT16. Spend more, save more, up to 25% off. But don’t hesitate, some items are going fast, and the sale goes only until 11:59pm PT on March 5.

Do you wear mules?

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  1. Love them, but after falling off a similar shoe and breaking a bone in my foot, I’ve given up on shoes without backs or back straps. It took 12 weeks in a boot for me to heal. The worst, though, was repeatedly being told that healing would take longer because I was getting older. (I wasn’t even 60 yet.!)

  2. Hi Susan
    one of the few times I disagree with one of your 99% wonderful and informative posts!
    –also don’t think they are safe or supportive
    also–I am older and think they don’t look very attractive (and did not in the 90’s along with low rise pants)
    Mules and backless shoes require the person wearing them to “claw” their toes to hold the shoes on

  3. These are even more dangerous than high heels. Some people think they are attractive… until they injure themselves.

  4. I love the look of chunky mules. I remember longing for “clogs” in the seventies, but my very narrow feet make them impossible to keep on. And in “slides” I’d slide right on through with my toes dragging on the pavement.

  5. I had a pair in the 1970s/80s, and they were a pain to wear with pants. The hem ends up under your foot, which impedes your gait and makes walking dangerous. Not for me!

  6. The best answer to feet that don’t belong in sandals..nothing worse than knurled ugly bunion ugly feet..did I say ugly…used flat woven mules for years..and I have pretty feet ..but I hate toes!…even with dressy the southwest nod…

  7. In the distant past slides were my go to summer shoe, the higher the better. Over time the heel got lower but I still found them very comfortable. Now, though reasonably active and fit with good balance, but over 65, I can’t wear them! Shoes must now be flat with good arch support. C’est la vie!

  8. I live for clogs and mules. I think it is all about finding the right ones, so that they do stay in place on your feet. With an ankle injury from a car accident, some shoes rub against the old injury for me and cause a lot of discomfort. I have a lot of different pairs — I rarely wear regular shoes, — only mules, slide sandals and boots (since they don’t hit my ankle!). And I am talking about “comfort” mules of various styles, and some flats thrown in for a dressier look.

  9. I always liked this style and am glad to see them return. If you had the right fit I found them to be really comfortable. Will admit they didn’t work well with long pants but I prefer dresses anyway so this is a happy rerun for me.

  10. Incredibly, my feet are the most narrow part of my body. When my Borough Girl friends were wearing Candies, I was wearing Allure pointy-toe kitten heels and flats. My clumsiness also added to the fact that mules and other backless shoes (with the exception of flip-flops) have always been impossible for me to wear.
    These shoes just slide off my feet! I had a pair of Crocs, which had a strap in the back that kept falling down. The first time I wore them, I tripped and fell, ripping my pants and shredding my knees. No. Can. Wear!

  11. I just bought of pair of backless loafers. I do wear clogs when I paint as well, but I’m not a fan of high heeled mules although I know they’re very fashionable right now.

  12. Ha! Candies…. Junior high style moment! And I probably didn’t leave the house with those on- a sneak move for sure!

  13. My heels have shifted off the back, resulting in turned ankles–and once, a hard fall– too many times in the past–in this style. Now, with osteoporosis, I cannot be cavalier about that. I still love and feel secure in a closed shoe with heels, but absolutely no mules or slides for me. (Incidentally, my 32 year old daughter “fell off” the back of a 1 inch wedge sandal heel and broke her foot. Cast for 4 weeks, pain a lot longer. She was walking on an even, flat surface when it happened–the shoes were to blame. It’s a mule thing, not an age thing.)

  14. I adore mules. I spent my teen years in Hawaii where I learned to hate most shoes. I’ve gotta wiggle my toes! Loose shoes are my favorite.