This post on comfortable work shoes is part of The Five Must-Have Pieces for Your Work Wardrobe series. Take the Five Must-Haves Challenge with Real Life Style. Join us on Zoom for suggestions on how to shop for and style these pieces every Tuesday from March 9th to April 6th, 2021. Register for all of the remaining sessions here.
The correct shoe can be the glue that pulls together a stylish outfit. Get the shoe right and the silhouette is perfect. Get the shoe wrong and the whole outfit looks off. If your flats are too flat, you’ll look like you are standing in a hole with your pants puddling around you. Not a pretty vision I know, but something we see all of the time!
I always say I am 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 lines up with the silhouette of your pants or skirt. You can look cute and be comfortable, I swear. It just takes a little patience. Hopefully we have done most of the hard work for you, finding you cute and comfortable work shoes.
AGL has a cult-following for their chic, comfortable shoes. We are not huge fans of wearing their popular rounded cap-toe ballet flat style for work. But, we do love their well-made pumps and loafers with a more pointed toe. The front of your shoe should be as pointy as you can stand!
Ally has been an amazing new resource for our clients. They make a 3-inch heel with arch support unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. Case in point: I haven’t been able to wear heels without pain since foot surgery in my early 20’s. But, I can wear my classic pump in Gutsy Garnet while standing for hours at events. Get 10% off with the code RLS10.
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. Of course, with all comfort brands, there is the front of the store with the fashionable styles and the back with the more orthopedic-looking styles. Do not wander! Unfortunately, our local store in DC has closed, but you can still find Clarks shoes at department stores and online.
Cole Haan has long been a staple for our male and female clients who are looking for fashionable and comfortable work shoes. I wish Cole Haan would hire me as a consultant. They could be doing so much more with their comfort technology. In the meantime, we’ll take what they’re offering!
The Corso Como Ryanna pump has amazing cushioning and a walkable block heel for running around your office.
Everlane makes really modern, designer-looking shoes for a good price. I love my Day Gloves for a more casual look with a slim pant or skirt. Most people start with a black pair, then accumulate many more of the 10 colors offered.
We recently had a mission during a shopping appointment to find comfortable “flats” that our client could wear with skirts and dresses of varying silhouettes. The Hispanitas Omega Pump features comfy padding, a not too pointed toe, and just a slight lift. We have a winner.
The Marc Fisher Zala pump has been one of our favorite shoes for a few years. We’ve had clients buy fun seasonal textures like boucle and snake, as well as the basics—black and navy leather. The Zala pump also comes in varying shades of beige to match different skin tones.
We discovered Ron White at the Betsy Fisher boutique. Our clients fell in love. The Dory pump is one of my favorite black heels for its comfort and style. They are also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about a sudden change of weather during your commute. Betsy’s has unfortunately closed, but you can still find a large selection of Ron White at Nordstrom Rack!
Naturalizer has really stepped up their fashion game in recent years. They now feature a diverse range of styles from sleek and minimalistic to trendy and fun. Regardless of style, Naturalizer shoes are among the most comfortable in class. Looking for fashionable but comfortable loafers? Their selection is particularly large.
Vaneli is a brand similar to Clarks. They have a mix of styles for a mix of customers. I own a pair of awesome chain link sandals c/o Vaneli that are so good I then bought them in another color. I can’t wait to wear them all summer! Vaneli also has especially great ankle boots and a terrific size range.
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.
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.
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