This post on comfortable work shoes is part of The Five Must-Have Pieces for Your Work Wardrobe series.
Kyle matching with Daisy in her Ally Suede Pumps in Blissful Blush
Comfortable work shoes are not an oxymoron. As Kyle proves in the picture above, the correct shoe can be the glue that holds a stylish outfit together. Get the shoe correct, and the silhouette is just right. But if you get the shoe wrong, the whole outfit looks off. Flats too flat? You may look like you are standing in a hole. Not a pretty vision, yet something we see all the time!
I (Lani) always say I’m the only fashion stylist who won’t make you wear high heels. However, I will make you wear a cute flat that elongates your leg line and aligns with the silhouette of your pants or skirt. You can look cute and be comfortable. We swear. It just takes a little patience. Kyle and I have done most of the hard work for you, finding the cute but comfortable work shoes. Now all you have to do is add them to your cart!
One of the best moments of my job as a personal stylist is when clients experience the simultaneous style and comfort of Ally shoes for the first time. This is arch support and padding unlike any you’ve previously experienced in a heel. Get 10% off your first order with the code RLS10.
The black suede lower block heel is our recommended starter pair. This elongating style, whether in the 2 inch or 3 inch version, is versatile enough to go from work to cocktail. Another favorite style of mine is the patent leather cap toe flat. I love the bossy beige leather and black combo worn with jeans or cropped black pants. And the new black leather bold block ankle boots are the comfortable heeled boots of my dreams!
Ally Fierce Leopard Haircalf Block Heel Pump, $325, also available in a 2 inch Lower Block Heel, $325
AGL has a cult following for their chic, comfortable shoes. We are not huge fans of their popular rounded cap-toe ballet flat style for wearing to work. However, we do love their well-made pumps, pointed-toe flats, and loafers for the office. If you are willing to spend the money, these shoes are worth it!
Kyle and I have been so enthusiastic about Birdies shoes over the last few years, you would think they are paying us to advertise for the brand! We promise they are not. It is just that we have seen clients struggle to find truly comfortable (but cute!) flats and casual sneakers for years. Birdies has nailed it. Now if only they would keep our favorite styles in stock!
Clarks has become a go-to for clients who need comfort but don’t want to sacrifice style in both the work and casual shoe categories. As with a lot of comfort brands, the styles range from fashionable to downright orthopedic. Do not get confused! Unfortunately, there are no longer any local stores in DC. However, you can still find Clarks shoes at department stores and online.
Stay tuned to Clarks’ line for Spring 2024. This is when you’ll start seeing shoes from Martine Rose, Clarks first ever guest creative director.
Cole Haan has long been a staple for our male and female clients who are looking for fashionable and comfortable work shoes. Unfortunately, this is another brand that has closed their local stores. And mostly stopped carrying wide shoes. (Grrrr!!!!)
Believe it or not, clogs are not the only comfortable work shoe that Dansko makes. I’m kind of obsessed with their Larisa Flat. This versatile, fashionable, style comes in more colors than any of the comfortable work shoes in this entire post!
Everlane makes really modern, designer-looking shoes for a decent price. The Day Gloves are popular for a more casual look with a slim pant or skirt. Collectors can’t stop at just one pair, as they come in some really fun colors. Recently, we’ve been loving their take on the Ballet Flat, which seems to have a more substantial sole than the Day Gloves . Lani is really trying not to hit “add to cart” over here!!!
The Marc Fisher Zala pump has been some of our clients’ favorite shoes for a few years. We’ve had clients buy fun seasonal colors and textures like boucle and snake, as well as the basics—black and navy leather. If the Marc Fisher Zala pump is your fit, don’t limit yourself to just one pair!
Have you braved the mule trend at work yet? If not, try the M. Gemi The Sacca Donna Mule with a skirt or pants. The M. Gemi Serafina Flat comes in multiple fun colors, but the black is our favorite because of how chic it looks!
Naturalizer has really stepped up their fashion game in recent years. Their True Colors Banks Slingback Pump comes in a full range of skin tone shades. Click through to find your match. But if you’re looking for a pop of color, check out the great seasonal colors, too!
We love Sam Edelman’s Classic Black Meadow Ballet Flat with a square toe. And if you’re like us and don’t like charms on your shoes, these are easy to remove.
Vaneli is a brand similar to Clarks. They have a mix of styles for a mix of customers. These Karida loafers really look like they could be on a shelf at Brunello Cucinelli, but for a fraction of the cost! And the Darrie pumps are great for anyone with sensitive feet or bunions.
Vionic is a true comfort brand, specializing in plantar fasciitis and over-pronation. For some clients with severe back or foot issues, Vionic is a life saver. They have every style from sneakers and flip-flops to heels, loafers, and boots. The Vionic Sellah style below also comes is stunning and expensive looking in a very soft black leather too.
What is your favorite comfortable work shoe? Have you tried any of these suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!
Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.
Once in a while, you can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Mostly, they are happily busy serving their fabulous clients, not hanging out online!