Fashion is nothing if not circular. After years of being consigned to the 'what not to wear' category of the fashion bible, backless sneakers are back... and not before time. The mule sneaker is comfortable, stylish, and just different enough from the garden variety of sneaker to be worth a second look. They might not necessarily be the first shoe you think of during the cold winter months (regardless of what certain fashion editors might say, chunky wool socks and backless sneakers are a no-no), but come the warmer months, they're a wardrobe essential. If you're ready to jump on board the backless sneaker bandwagon, check out our roundup of the 10 best mule sneakers for women on the market.
1. Dr. Scholl's Women's Madi Mule Fashion Sneakers
Dr. Sholl might not have a reputation for producing the prettiest shoes in the world, but it does have one for making some of the comfiest. With the Madi Mule Fashion Sneaker, it's managed to both go against type by producing a smart, stylish kick, and stay relentlessly on message by providing one that's about as comfortable as comfortable can get. Whether you wear them to the gym, to the park, or to the mall, they're going to look cute, feel cozy, and treat your feet to some next-level comfort - what more could you want?
2. Ugg Caleel Sneakers
Remember Ugg? The brand that rose to glory in the early 2000s then faded away in ignominy circa 2012 is back. And this time around, they're about a lot more than just sheepskin boots. The Ugg Caleel Sneaker has all the comfort you'd expect from a pair of Ugg's (that ultra-cushioned footbed is there for a reason) along with some very nifty little features, including a superbly silky soft nubuck upper and a very cute espadrille-inspired jute stitched sole. If you want a backless sneaker that looks the business, does the business, and feels the business, these are the ones for you.
3. Vans Classic Slip-on Mules
Vans Classic Slip-on Mules are classic in more than just name. A wardrobe staple for over 50 years, the original waffle bottom slip-on is a dreamy combination of versatility, comfort, and timeless good looks. Team them with jeans, skirts, dresses, shorts... whatever you like. Cute, stylish, and designed for everyday wear, they're the kind of sneakers you'll never want to take off. As the tagline goes... "Forever imitated, never duplicated."
4. Superga Mule Sneakers
Cosmopolitan ranks the Superga Mule as some of the best mule sneakers around. They're not the only ones. Superga sneakers have graced the feet of everyone from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton in their time. They're classically elegant, always comfortable, and about as versatile as sneakers can get. These cute 'n' comfy mule sneakers are no exception. Their easy-breezy slip-on style and low back are perfect for those days when you're in a hurry.
5. Easy Spirit Women's Traveltime Mule Sneakers
Somedays, you want a pair of sneakers that are guaranteed to make your feet feel on cloud 9. Those are the days you're going to wish you had a pair of Easy Spirit Women's Traveltime mules in your closet. With a rubber sole for outstanding traction; a silky mix of fabric and leather on the uppers for superb softness and durability; the kind of arch support that's going to hug your feet like a dream; removable sock liners for shock absorption; and an easy slip-on, slip-off style, they're the kind of sneakers your feet will thank you for wearing.
6. Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers
You don't mess with the classics. That's what they say, anyway. But sometimes, they're wrong. Earlier this year, Adidas took the crisp, clean court style that's made the Stan Smith such a favorite and gave it a complete reworking. The result is a mule sneaker that's got the same clean good looks as the original, but with enough of a difference to make you stand to attention. Described by highsnobiety.com as the 'perfect summer shoe', the new and upgraded Stan Smith is available in a zesty yellow or an all-purpose white. As refreshing as a long, cool glass of lemonade, they promise to liven up your footwear collection like nothing else.
7. Golden Goose Sabot Sneakers
If there's one brand that's everyone's talking about these days, it's Golden Goose. If the Golden Goose Sabot Sneakers are anything to go by, it's not hard to see why. Showcasing the brand's signature blend of American flavors and Italian craftsmanship, the Sabot is all things to all women. The snug shearling lining will please cozy addicts, the deliberately distressed uppers will please fashionistas, and the simple but eye-catching backless design will please just about anyone with eyes in their head. Whether you love them for those artful scuff marks, that exquisite attention to detail, or their amazing level of comfort, love them you're gonna.
8. Rocket Dog Athena Pinstripe Slip-On Sneakers
The Huffpost describes the Rocket Dog Athena Pinstripe Slip-On Sneaker as one of the best backless sneakers on the market. It's not hard to see why. They're cute, they're cheerful, and they're comfy. Better yet, they come in a very pretty pinstripe design that promises to elevate any outfit you team them with to all new heights of glory. If all that wasn't enough, their tiny price of just $16 means you can splash out on a second pair for spares.
9. FILA Disruptor 2 Mule Sneakers
Some mules have a habit of being small and almost dainty looking. Not so the FILA Disruptor 2 Mule Sneaker. This is a pair of sneakers that are big, bold, and completely uninterested in blending in with the pack. Featuring leather uppers, signature brand trimming, a cushioned midsole, and a chunky, jagged outsole, they're a little bit sporty, a little bit stylish, and 100% awesome. Priced at around $75 per pair, they won't break the bank either.
10. Keds x Kate Spade New York Double Decker Mule Glitter Sneakers
Who doesn't love a bit of glitter? The Keds x Kate Spade New York Double Decker Mule Glitter Sneaker is a sparkly, twinkly wonder. Guaranteed to bring the festive cheer to any occasion, slipping on a pair of these is the easiest, quickest way to go from drab to party-ready in no time. Combining the easy-to-wear appeal of the slip-on with the fashionable effortlessness of the mule, they're as much of a joy to wear as they are to look at.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker