A slingback is a type of woman's shoe that is backless and is characterized by a strap that crosses behind the heel or ankle. A slingback is distinguishable from an ankle-strap shoe in that the latter has a strap that completely encircles the ankle.
Slingbacks can be considered a type of sandal and come in a wide variety of styles from casual to dressy, with heel height ranging from none to high, and they may be either closed or open-toe. They have been fashionable since the 1930s and continue to be popular today.
One reason for slingbacks' wide appeal is that they allow the wearer to slip her foot into the shoe easily without needing to make major (or any) manual adjustment to the strap or buckle, while still holding the foot in the shoe relatively securely. The buckle can be made of metal, plastic, or even sometimes stone.
Nevertheless, when engaging in more vigorous activity such as ballroom dancing, women often find that they need shoes that are more secure than slingbacks. Alternatively, slides are preferable for some women who find that the sling, or back ankle strap, produces blisters.