Are Louboutins Appropriate For the Office?

louboutins for workAre Louboutins appropriate for the office with those sexy red soles? Reader J wonders…

What do think about wearing Louboutins in the office? Is the red sole too sexy?? I have a pair of Simple 85s, which are not high at all. They’re conservative, black kid leather, round toe, surprisingly comfy, but they have this in-your-face scarlet sole. I’ll be working at a bank that has a reputation of being somewhat laidback, but I don’t want to make the wrong impression… Help please?

When I was a first year associate I was completely jealous of another first-year associate who had done some serious shopping during her bar trip — LV bags, Hermes scarves, and Louboutin shoes. She had a classic kitten heel Louboutin, with the trademark red sole. This was before Louboutins were quite as “big” as they are today, so the red sole really stood out, and I thought, looked fabulous. So for my $.02, yes, simple Louboutins are appropriate for the office.

Reader J has a slightly higher heel — the 85mm version, which is just over 3″. Even this I don’t have a problem with — it’s a classic, gorgeous shoe, and so what if there’s a red sole. (Pictured above: Simple 85 Pumps, available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $595.)

Update: I’m seeing a lot of chatter on Twitter and in comments about whether Louboutins are appropriate for assistants or interns.  Does it shout “I’m not here for the money” the same way a Birkin bag does?  To me, a $600 pair of shoes and a $10,000 bag are in entirely different leagues.  I suppose my rule would be that if you can buy it in one paycheck, it’s appropriate for any woman of any level.  My guess is that Reader J can swing a $600 pair of shoes in one paycheck given that she works at a bank — my answer might be different for the unpaid intern.  (But even then I see so many teenagers walking around with Louis Vuitton bags (which generally cost around $1000)…)

But this isn’t to say that ALL Louboutin shoes are appropriate for the office.  For example, I would say that any of the platform shoes pictured below are pushing it for most conservative offices — the office hallway, alas, is a far cry from the red carpet.  (Fun question: can you guess which pair below is the most expensive?)

louboutin 1 louboutin 2 louboutin 3 louboutin 4


Readers, what say you?  Is the Louboutin red sole appropriate for the office?


(Check out other comfortable, work-appropriate shoes in the Corporette Guide to Comfortable Heels!)


  1. lawtalkinggirl :

    If I wanted to spend $700+ for footwear I would get these: Don’t judge me because they’re sexy!!!

  2. OK, I’m naive, I recognize the red soles as Louboutins. But, how long does the red sole last, or does it scuff like normal shoes and then you’re wearing what looks like a worn shoe?

    I also can’t imagine calling 70mms “low heels”.

  3. Sharon TN :

    I am always surprised by some of the comments that post here. I see no correlation between liking and buying expensive shoes, handbags, clothing and any woman’s abilities or intellect. Owning certain things is a choice or preference…nothing more.

    Work is, and should be, about performance and results. And, if a woman achieves the expected outcome, why is so much time and energy expended on how much her shoes, clothing, handbags cost by *other* women?

    Sometimes, as I read the comments and opinions, I feel that women have made no “progress” at all.

    Personally, I would not wear most CL shoes to work but not because I object to the red soles or think red soles are too sexy and thus, inappropriate for work. For me, no shoe with a heel higher than 3″ is worth the aches and pains so, I will stick with the shoes I find most comfortable: Stuart Weitzman, Bally, Gucci and (only if I buy them one size larger) Ferragamos.

    Here’s an observation: women who prefer expensive shoes, clothing and handbags are often working beside and with women who proclaim to be more focused, more intelligent, more this, more that. One type loves expensive things and one type does not. So, how has such divergent types of women found themselves occupying the same work space and vying for the same positions?

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone wearing Louboutins at work or court in my city, but after reading this post and all the comments, now I really want some. I would definitely wear them to work if I had them. I’m lusting after the Simple 70 pumps (I can’t really wear the higher heels).

  5. anonymous :

    Bob Marley says you can please some people some time, but you can’t please all the people all the time (don’t know if he originally said it though). For every person who judges you negatively for an expensive bag, there is another who won’t even notice, and still another who will judge you favorably. Your colleagues losing sweat over the bag/shoe/watch you wear are not your problem. Rather, focus on producing high quality work at the office, dress professionally to the tune of your pocket book, be genuinely friendly toward others, and call it a day. We need to be a little thick skinned about some of this female pettiness.

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  8. I personally love louboutins and find that they are the only heels that are truly comfortable. Most of my shoes are over 100mm and I can wear them all day at the office and my feet still feel good at the end of the day.

    I’m 22 and only started working full time as a lawyer this year, but I wear my louboutins to the office most days. They are comfortable and they make me feel incredibly confident. And if anyone asks, I wouldn’t hide the fact that I bought them on sale. But, as I am currently childless and mortgageless, this is, in my view, the time when I can most afford to buy beautiful shoes as before too long I will have less financial freedom than I do now. Other friends of mine saved and went to Europe, I saved and bought amazing shoes. Nothing wrong with showing them off.

  9. I work in an office with many girls. I love to wear my louboutin 120’s about 3 times a week. I have them in 3 colors. They have a very high heel and no platform. I am by far not the only one with louboutins from what I see during the day. I think the red sole is not such a big deal and I get more questions about how nice the are. Most men are not up on what a red sole means and never say anything. I along with alot of the people in my office make very good incomes so maybe they just see louboutins as the norm.. My largest problem is trying to wear flats. I find heels much more comfortable.

  10. Anony Mouse :

    Do you think men sit and dwell on other men’s shoes and what it says about their lifestyle/personality/morals? For goodness sake. I don’t wear heels in my job because it isn’t practical. I’m on my feet all day, up and down stairs and am generally a bit unstable on anything over 1″. BUT if someone decided to judge me on my shoes rather than my ability, I’d be bloody disappointed in them. So what if someone is irresponsible with money? Or allows their spouse to buy them expensive gifts? It’s no-one’s business but their own. They should be judged solely and objectively on their work, their attitude and how they fit with the organisation. Obviously if it’s a smart working environment, they should be smartly dressed. Or if you’re a nurse, wearing Louboutins isn’t going to do your feet many favours. But let’s stop judging others because of what they wear on their feet. I don’t earn megabucks but I received a small bonus and I chose to buy Louboutins. Do I find them sexy? Yes. Do they make me feel confident? Yes. But would I talk down another woman because she wore them to the office? No. Would I think she was being ‘too sexy’ and it was inappropriate? Of course not. That sort of labelling is ridiculous. If a man’s shoes had red soles would he been seen in the same way? Doubt it. I plan on wearing my Louboutins to an interview because they make me feel good and they look smart. I can walk in a straight line with them which is a rarity with heels. The interview is competency based, and that’s what I plan on being judged by. Not my bloody shoes.

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