Why Mule Shoes Add New Fashion

Versatility, familiar materials, comfort and style explain why mule shoes add new fashion. Learn more about mule shoes and why they add fashion.

Mule, a Latin word since the shoes originated in Rome, have become a mainstay in wardrobe closets today because their style and versatility of use has expanded to accommodate the fashion conscious and practical driven shoe wearer. Gone are the days when these shoes are only a fad with no style.

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What Mules Shoes Are Not

Mules shoes are not clogs. Clogs are much like mules because they have open backs and closed toes; however the heels of clogs are constructed differently. Clogs have a thick platform base for their sole and the heel is part of the platform. In many parts of the world it is made from carved wood.

Mules are not sandals. Sandals are open at the heel and the front of the foot. In fact sandals do not cover much of the top part of the foot. Generally sandals are shoes with a sole and straps to hold the shoe on.

The review of what mule shoes are not reveals that they are really cool shoes to wear because they are not bulky like clogs nor do they expose so much of the foot as sandals to.


So What Are Mule Shoes?

Mules can be classified as a slide. A slide is a shoe that is open heeled and open toed. Some mules are open toed. A slide is easy to ‘slide’ on and off the foot.

Mule shoes are characterized by a closed or nearly closed toe and an open back with no platform, which is a thick sole.  The shoe definitely covers the mid portion of the foot with some portion extending back to the heel. Mules do not have straps to hold them on; however some may have an elastic gore at the mid-foot section.

They come with various heel styles: the kitten which is one to two inches in height, the stiletto which is very high and narrow coming to a point at the ground, the chuncky which is a thick rectangular-shaped heel, and the stacked.

By reviewing what mule shoes are we learn they are easy to slide into, cover most of the foot except the heel and they offer many heel styles and height options. This makes them very desirable.

How Versatile Are Mules?

Based on current styles available, mules can be known as shoes for any occasion. As their popularity increases even more styles will be available. Currently available styles include penny loafer, loafer, casual, sneaker, Mary Janes, pep toes, moccasin, western, high heeled dress, garden, slippers and more.

A review of the many available styles by the manufacturers and designers assures us that a style exists for every occasion except for the specialty shoes such as running, hiking, weight training and such.


What Familiar Materials Are Used?

The Uppers

The most familiar material used for the upper part of the mule shoe is man made synthetic or leather. The most common type of real leather used is kid suede or nappe, patent leather, and lux leather (luxurious leather). The most common type of man made material is synthetic material, canvas, faux leather (man-made).

A review of the material used for the uppers reveals that leather is used more commonly and thus brings longevity to the mule.

The Lining

The lining of a shoe covers the inside seams of the shoe and lengthen the shoe’s lifespan. Linings may cushion and comfort the foot and draw out moisture. They can be made out of a variety materials such as suede, textile such as Cotton and viscose, or other man made materials that aid moisture-wicking.

By comparing the lining of mules to the common casual or dress shoe, we find that the linings are comparable.

The Sole Material

Polyurethane (PU) is a very popular material because it consists of has many tiny air bubbles which provides unbeatable shock absorption and durability; the amount of air bubbles in the compound determines the sole’s shock absorption and durability capacity.

Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR) soles are also used in some brands. It is produced by compounding and molding rubber granules of solid raw material. It is renowned for its slip resistance and shock absorption, especially if old shredded tires are not used.

Latex Rubber provides a soft sole with great bounce, flexibility, good shock absorption and excellent surface grip.

Genuine leather is used on many mules with leather uppers. Leather does not wear as well as the rubber compound soles, and certainly does not have good slip resistance or shock absorption, but it is very popular and highly desired by those people who want a leather shoe.

Upon reviewing the various sole material types used, we conclude soles can be made from various materials and the materials used are no different than that used on other types of shoes.


What Makes Mules Comfortable?

The acceptance of mule shoes has increased dramatically as cushioning has become an important feature in the mules. Cushioning may be provided by memory foam which is a dense foam for heel cupping and arch support, eva (ethelene vinyl acetate) which is light weight and resists compression, orthoLite long term cushioning, breathe ability, and moisture management for all day comfort and support, and croslite which is a closed cell resin material which is not plastic nor rubber. Croslite material is closed-cell in nature and anti-microbial, which virtually eliminates odor. It is an extraordinary impact absorbing resin material developed for maximum cushioning.

Our review of the cushioning material used demonstrates cushioning material is definitely used and in fact there may be more cushion in the mule.

Why Mule Shoes Can Be Considered Dressy?

Most of these shoes have additional decoration on the uppers such as crisscross straps, woven geometric cutouts, perforated vamp, cutouts and inlays, tumbled finish, silver or gold buckles, links or rings, tassels, emblems, decorative stitching, bows, studs, floral design imprinted on the leather. When these decorative additions are used along with a high heel these shoes look very classy.

By reviewing the styles that are on the market today, it is easy to conclude that the mule upper can be very decorative and thus very dressy. Their decorative add-ons give them class and character.

Are Toe Styles Dressy too?

Toe shapes currently available for mules include pointed, square-boxy, rounded, almond toe which creates a softer, more tapered rounded point to its toe, and square toed.

By reviewing the existing mules on the market, mules have as many toe shapes as a casual or dressy shoe.


What New Dimension To Fashion Is Provided by Designers and Brands?

Among popular designers and brands we have Steve Madden from New York, Clarks a shoemaker since 1825, Franco Sarto an Italian designer who began his career at fourteen, Dolce Vita of Manhanttan who began shoe making in 2000, Sam Edelman who has been a creative footwear visionary for over thirty years, Vince Camuto  an American women’s footwear designer who co-founded Nine West and died in 2015 but his designs live on, Paul Andrew from in England in 1979 with an eye for shoe design, Jambu with headquarters located in Massachusetts,  Randy Merrell who has designed shoes for over thirty years and is known for the signature blue shoe laces, White Mountain of New Hampshire who began in 1979  and now owns Rialto, Cliffs, Summit, White Mountain and Seven Dials, Skechers located in California but known around the world,  G.H. Bass which began in Main in 1876 and is known for Weejuns the original penny loafer, Ivanka Trump who found a need among women to have accessibly priced shoes and handbags and launched her own company a few years after 2007, CROCS a shoe manufacturer founded by Scott Seamans, Lyndon “Duke” Hanson, and George Boedecker, Jr. on a mission to produce and distribute a foam clog design acquired from a Quebec company called Foam Creations, Sloggers with its beginning in California in 1948 with Drizzle Boots, and UGG with designer Brian Smith began in southern California in 1978.

The above list is not exhaustive; however it does demonstrate that designers and manufacturers are committed to increasing the popularity of mules as well as expanding their fashion style.



In conclusion, a review of mule shoes shows designers and manufacturers are committed to ensuring mule shoes add new fashion. New styles, added insole comfort and the use of quality materials entice everyone to add more than one pair of mules to their wardrobe. Based on the number of various styles already available it becomes obvious that more styles will become available in the coming years. As new materials are manufactured it seems very plausible the material used for the cushioning, upper part of the shoe, lining and soles will change. Mule shoes add a whole new dimension to fashion and we suggest you include mules in your wardrobe.