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What Shoes Go with Flare Jeans (Bell Bottoms)?

Let's take a look at the different types of shoes that go with flare jeans. These pairings are a trending throwback showcasing chic and trendy styles with a touch of classic.

Woman in flare jeans and brown leather boots sitting on the street.

What shoes go with flare jeans, also known as bell-bottoms? I’ve lived through four decades of fashion, and I have seen them matched with everything from sneakers to work boots, to Dr. Martin’s to chunky-heeled sandals and cowboy boots.

For balance, I say pair the bells with work boots that don’t have too tall of a heel or maybe some platform sneakers. Otherwise, pick tall heels to make sure your pants don’t drag to the floor and collect dirt when you walk. I’m also partial to chunky combat boots and shoes, which I love wearing with jeans more so than heels.

Stiletto Pumps

Women's Stiletto High Heel Pumps Classic Party Wedding Pointed Toe Pump Shoes with Jewel Buckle Black

Real Simple writer Kristin Granero says, “With longer jeans—and especially flares—you’re often covering more of the foot, so a pointed pump offers a great way to ensure your shoes don’t get lost in the shuffle.”

I’ve seen Sarah Jessica Parker struggle with stilettos in Sex and the City, so no, thanks on those for me. I only would wear them for a photo shoot if I didn’t take a single step in them. For me, it’d be the straps of stiletto sandal with the heel of a chunky shoe.

Cowboy-style Ankle Boots

Roper womens Short Stuff Fashion Boot, Brown, 8.5 US

Some types come only up to the ball of the foot. Others may rise to about mid-calf. Alternatively, a full-length riding boot would also fit under some types of boot-cut, flare and bell-bottom pants. Find them made in smooth or rough textures or pick from glossy or matte versions. They come in leather, suede, vinyl, and you’ll find them in alternative fabrics that look like animal skin.

Some have the prints and carvings resembling the “old west.” However, others may have a more urban feel and feature only a single solid color.

Chunky Heeled Sandals

Vince Camuto Avangila Nocciola 7.5 M

Both chunky heeled sandals and closed-toed pumps with thicker heels can provide more depth and balance when wearing flare pants. They look exquisite for a night out dancing or even a dinner date no matter the pant fabric, color or texture. With all the variations of chunky heeled open- and close-toed sandals and pumps, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right ones for you.

By the way, when I don’t know what to get, I usually buy black shoes. I know it’s safe, but I never have gone wrong with this shade. However, it’s fun sometimes to try out brown print or a neo shoe color.

Work Boots or Shoes

Dr. Martens Women's 1460 Pascal Mono 8 Eye Boots, Black, 9 Medium US

In the case of work boots or shoes, I would usually say the “thicker the heel the better.” I made an exception here because I noticed that Dr. Martens makes some decent ones. I almost always choose black, but I’ve seen white, brown, navy – you name it, either made by this brand or one of the countless others.

Chunky Combat Boots

Steve Madden womens Bettyy Combat Boot, Black, 8 US

Right here, you’re looking at one of my all-time favorite boots or shoe style. I’ve had similar before, and they had even a taller heel. This shoe type marks the few times I ever wear heels, but I must warn you. Some of them arch quite a bit and don’t all provide the balance that platform sneakers might. Still, they’re my favorite shoe besides sandals.

Platform Sneakers

Vans Unisex Classic Slip-On Platform True White Sneaker - 5

I’ve seen some with an even taller heel than these. In any case, they help you balance when walking and provide height if your pants are too long. That’d be my case. Thus, I’d prefer the platform sneakers. They’re not quite as easy to walk in than regular sneakers though.

White Sneakers

adidas Originals Women's Superstar Sneaker, White/White/White, 5

Tall people don’t have the problem I do – too long of legs, usually. Therefore, they probably don’t need the platform shoes. Regular sneakers probably would work well. You don’t have to go with white all the time, however. In fact, I picture in my head brown sneakers with a tan shirt and maybe a black or brown leather jacket. Whatever you think fits your style and personality, that’s what you should choose.

Suede Clogs

Steve Madden Hilde Mule Brown Suede 8 M

I like these specific ones. They come in a multitude of colors, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the perfect pair for your outfit. I’d wear these because I can tell the makers cut the heel level with the foot sole. I’d for sure venture out in these at least a few times, and it’d be a nice change from black all the time, which I normally wear. These pair excite me because I haven’t seen any quite like it, and they might become the first pair I’d own next time I decide something other than a black shoe for once.


Birkenstock Arizona - Birkibuc™ (Unisex) Mocha Birkibuc™ EU 38 (US Women's 7-7.5) Regular

“So, how do you style this throwback trend without looking like a hippie?” says E! News writer Diana Nguyen in more of a statement tone than a question in 2017.

Since then, many of us probably had time to think about it and know that wearing Birkenstocks would not be the way. That’s for sure – at least not according to me. They do provide some versatility in style though, and they’re perfect for you if you do want to look like a hippie.

You can find Birkenstocks, which also is a brand, in leather or suede. Non-animal materials of different colors also appear from time to time, which I might prefer. No one will probably notice or care if you don’t have the original brand. I’m not as excited about them as I used to be, but I do remember.

They offer comfort for running errands and spending hours in stores shopping — if people still do that sort of thing. I might get a pair. I miss them, and I hadn’t worn them since the 1990s.