November 2020

What Are Mule Shoes All About & How to Wear Them

BLOG / What Are Mule Shoes All About & How to Wear Them

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What is a mule shoe? More than comfortable footwear, mules have a fascinating and socially-conscious history you'll want to know all about.

Did you know Marilyn Monroe's favorite style of footwear was mule shoes? It's true! However, if you are not as up to date on shoe styles and trends as others, you may wonder – what is a mule shoe?

Don't worry – you aren't alone. There are all types of styles when it comes to footwear today, which means knowing the specifics of each option can be challenging. If you are interested in learning more about mules, what they look like, how to wear mule shoes, when to wear them, information about clogs vs. mules, and even a bit of history, you are in the right place. You can even find out why mules are a better summer shoe than flip-flops and a preferred fall option over booties.

Keep reading to learn more about women's mule shoes, WAN mule shoes, and more. Doing so will help you decide if this is a shoe trend you are ready to embrace.

Are you ready to dive in and learn more? If so, keep reading and find the answers to all your mule-related questions.

A Brief History of Mules

Mules are not a new trend or style in the footwear realm. While they may have had a resurgence of popularity in recent years, the mule is actually much more historic. Are you wondering what the history of the mules is and why this slip on shoe is so popular? Keep reading to find out about the history of mules.

The etymology of the word "mule" can be dated back to ancient Rome; however, it was not until the 16th century that this Latin word refers to a backless shoe. Today, mules are worn for all occasions (which is why Marylin Monroe likely found them so appealing); however, early mules were only donned in the bedroom, used as a type of slipper.

In the 17th century, wealthy ladies of the French court began to wear them under their ball gowns, and the painting by Jean-Honore Fragonard, "The Swing," shows a woman removing a pair of mules while gazing at a male admirer.

The mules' history is impressive and vast; however, they gained true popularity from Ms. Marylin Monroe began wearing this style of shoe with stylish shift dresses and high-waisted trousers.

In the 1990s, mules gained a new resurgence in popularity and became a style that defined this entire decade. After all, what woman did not want to emulate Carrie Bradshaw as she walked through the streets of New York in "Sex in the City" in her stylish clothing and mules?

Clogs vs. Mules: How to Tell the Difference

If you are trying to figure out the difference between clogs vs. mules (often called loafers, too), there are many factors to consider. While the words may be used interchangeably, these two styles of shoes are not perfect substitutes for one another. Keep reading to learn about the specific differences to ensure you make the right decision based on the look and style you desire.

Both clogs and mules have a proud history. One came to protect those who work from difficulties of the job, while others were designed to ensure wearers remained comfortable at home.

Clogs are typically made of a plastic or leather upper cover and include heavier materials from the sole to the heel. From the beginning, wood was used for the clogs' sole or heel; however, today, an array of materials is used for manufacturing clogs.

Historically, clogs were carved from wood and worn by both males and females throughout Europe. It was considered a practical and functional shoe that offered comfort and protection from harsh elements.

Mules are shoes with no back or constraint around the wearer's foot or heel. About two-thirds of a mule is covered in softer materials, and the back remains free. You can find mules with various heel heights, while some have a high heel while others look more like slippers. While mules started out as a bedroom shoe, today, they are stylish and classy type of shoe, worn with almost any type of attire.

The specific differences between clogs and mules include:

Purpose or use: As mentioned above, clogs are used for practical working situations (many nurses use these), while mules are more fashion-forward.

  • Weight: Clogs are heavier than mules (in most cases). 
  •  Design: Mules are often higher-end regarding the materials they are made of. 
  • Comfort: Both shoes are comfortable, but mules are better known for higher levels of comfort. 
  •  Modern look: Mules are more fashionable than clogs.

Relaxed Foot: Benefits of Wearing Mules

Known for being comfortable shoes thanks to the soft leather and suede used in the design, mules are worn by women as summer shoes, while many wear them well into fall, too. However, did you know this style of shoe may also offer significant health benefits?

One of the stand-out features of mules is that this is a backless shoe. If you are dealing with Achilles tendonitis or another type of pain in the back of your heel, the mules will not make it worse. This is because no back will rub or irritate the tendon while you are walking. They are also a smart option for people who have arthritis.

If you are looking for shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and good for your feet, try out mules, as you will find they are not only feet-friendly but also extremely stylish.

How to Wear Mule Shoes

Mules are a popular option for footwear this year. However, you may wonder how to put together outfit ideas to highlight these shows and all they offer when it comes to mule shoes.

Mules are backless, closed-toe or opened toe and have heel options that range from big to small, which makes them a smart shoe option for the latest and greatest fashion trends. Thanks to these shoes' versatility, you can wear them with virtually any style or outfit in your wardrobe, which is one factor that has caused them to begin trending again.

It is possible to create a more Parisian and chicer look, create a style that comes right from the 1970s, or even keep things smart and business casual. If you want to try out some looks to see what you like best, consider wearing your mules with cropped pants or trousers. This allows you to really highlight the style of this footwear.

Another option worth trying is to wear black, open-toed mules with a small heel with your cuffed jeans. Pair this with a solid color shirt, and you will find a casual look that is great for running errands, going out, or just visiting friends. Also, add some matching accessories, such as a handmade bag

Some people think that mules are strictly for warmer weather; however, this does not have to be the case. It would help if you considered keeping things simple by pairing your pointy toe mules with fall sweaters and a pair of slim or skinny pants.

If you are going for a look that can be worn on the job, consider a knee-length, A-line skirt. The simple and sleek lines combined with the soft, comfortable mules will help you get a quality look that meets your needs while ensuring your feet do not hurt during the day.

With these looks, you will likely be able to find something that works for your existing wardrobe. You can also add new pieces to your closet based on the shoes you purchase.

Different Types of Mules

Mules come in many shapes and anyone can find their shoe size thanks to the design. You can find flat mules, leather mules, leather peep-toe mules, and so many other variations. Read about some of the most popular styles and types here. Keep in mind, you can find mules offered by many well-known brand names, including Steve Madden, Clarks, Dolce Vita, Dr. Scholl, Sam Edelman, and Crocs.

Capri Mules

These mules are considered some of the most comfortable options available. They are a smart option and come in several textures and colors. You can get these with or without heels. Heel mules are popular if you are creating a more professional look.

Peep Toe Mule Shoes

These women's mules are a bit more popular when it comes to elegant attire. They offer a higher level of sophistication than capri mules and therefore are often seen at workplaces and on date nights.

Men's Mules

You can also find mules footwear for men. Men's mules are popular for casual events.


Espadrilles have an interesting history. You can learn more about the history of Espadrilles here. These are a casual, flat (sometimes high-heeled), rope-soled shoe. Espadrilles today are made of cotton or canvas uppers with a flexible sole. You can find quality shoes that sell, which goes to Project RED, which is an important political movement. 

Ubuntu Mules: What Makes Them Special?

The word "Ubuntu" means "I am because we are." This company is on a journey to unite everything beautiful with its community in Kenya and to change lives along the way.

Ubuntu is a nonprofit organization designed to support thousands of children throughout Kenya through pediatric education and health programs. Every penny of profit from the sale of handmade products, including mules, is sent to the above initiatives. Donations are also accepted by those who want to support the work being done by this company.

Suppose you are searching for gifts that give back to charity to add to holiday shopping lists or just because mule shoes and other products that have sales that go to organizations like Project Red are smart. These African Shoes are not only gifts that give back, but they are also comfortable, stylish, and high fashion, providing you with something you will love to wear and show off to others.

If you are dedicated to buying products that help people worldwide, Ubuntu is a company that does this. In the long run, this will benefit you because you have an amazing product and others. After all, your purchase helps people from around the globe live a better life, regardless of where they are, with the help of Project RED.


Now that you fully understand the answer to "what is a mule shoe," it is time to get shopping and find one you will be proud and happy to wear. Mules are comfortable, high-fashion, and offer you an opportunity to give back when you purchase from the right company.

While you may have wondered, what are mule shoes in the past, you have the answer and can spread your newfound knowledge. Be sure to let them know how versatile this shoe is, how it is different from a clog, and the many types of attire that you can wear it with. Even better, be sure to let others know about how they can give back by purchasing a quality pair of shoes they will love to wear. Understanding the specifics of mules and what they offer makes it clear that this is one type of footwear you want in your closet – in several styles and colors. 

Interested in learning more? Check out the Mules Collection page to browse mules -- and maybe even find a pair or two you want to wear!  



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