The Hunt: Beige Pumps

beige pumps2017 Update: Check out our latest roundup of nude-for-you heels!

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

One of my must-have pieces to keep at the office is always a good beige pump.  It’s an easy neutral for all skin tones, as noted by commenters in our roundup last year, and most people find it to be a real workhorse. We’ve been doing the beige pump roundup for so long that the Hall of Fame listing (the shoes that have been around for forever) is impressively long — we’ve also rounded up a few shoes we like in wide, narrow, and other categories.  Pictured below: some of the more noteworthy beige pumps we found this year.  Ladies, have you recently bought any beige pumps that you love?   

Ivanka Trump beige pumpI’m not normally a bow girl, but man these shoes are gorgeous. Gorgeous AND on sale. For $54.99 (originally $135), the pump is hard to beat. It comes in black suede and a dark green suede as well.  Ivanka Trump Walker Another good option in this price range: the Cole Haan Air Juliana Pump 45, in a variety of beige colors,
beige Flex PumpReaders always sing the praises of this Flex pump, and Nordstrom has it on sale for $79.90.  It’s available in beige and black, sizes 4-12, in regular, wide, and narrow sizes. A pointy-toed version is also available.  MICHAEL Michael Kors Flex Pump
Jessica Simpson Chandra MuleMules are coming back in, and I’m happy about it — they can be a sleek, comfortable look for the office, and can be so much easier to throw on versus slingbacks or even regular pumps.  These Jessica Simpson ones look great — I love the texture to the “dusty rose,” as well as the fact that they comes in numerous other colors (both at Nordstrom and Zappos) for $89.  Jessica Simpson Chandra Mule
Vince Camuto 'Carlotte' Pointy Toe Pump For the expert heel-wearers among you, I present these 4.5″ heels from Vince Camuto.  (I’m really impressed that heels that high have so many glowing reviews!)  Love that texture to the beige leather, as well as that strap across the foot.  Note that they come in black, red, and blue suede as well.  They’re $128.95 at Nordstrom. Vince Camuto ‘Carlotte’ Pointy Toe Pump
These beige pumps look so mod to me — it makes me want to pair them with a bright shift dress right.this.instant.  They’re $147.95 (available in black and beige).  Nina Originals 'Play' PumpNina Originals ‘Play’ Pump
Calvin Klein Collection ZirkaOoooh: these are on an even deeper discount than when I first noticed them.  They’re Calvin Klein Collection heels, meaning the original price was $595-$695 — I love that cap-toe effect as well as the teeny tiny bit of color where the heel meets the leg.  I’ve pictured the “nude,” but they also come in a lighter beige eel (!) and a bright red.  Lucky sizes only, ladies, but the price is good: the shoe is down to $150.  Calvin Klein Collection Zirka

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!


The Hunt: Beige Pumps


  1. Tailors in Munich? :

    I am going to Munich in a few weeks, and was hoping to get a few recommendations for a good seamstress/tailor there.
    I have a couple of suits I’d like a copy of, and it is very difficult to find a tailor making womens suits in Copenhagen.

    • In-house Europe lives in Munich but she might not look at this thread. You might try paging her on a morning thread. I always see her on gmail early in the morning here.

    • LaVinia close to Münchner Freiheit is very good, but she’s also fairly pricey and usually takes a week and a half for things like taking in blazers and such.

  2. I usually hate being THAT PERSON but in this case, I think it’s absolutely necessary. It’s really tough to read about “nude” pumps – without a comprehensive list of what’s inclusive of “skin-matching” for people of all races/skin colors.

    Even if people of all colors CAN wear beige pumps.

    • You are being THAT PERSON. Can you only wear beige pumps if they match your skin tone now!?

    • I struggled with how to write it, honestly. I included a listing of darker beiges and browns, but ultimately decided that this is a beige pump roundup, not a “nude” pump roundup.

    • Im a little confused about this because I think Kat specifically called this “Beige” to avoid claiming that beige is nude for everyone. This is specifically a list about beige pumps, and I read back through and didn’t see her calling them nude anywhere. People of lots of skin tones wear beige shoes, I actually think they look better on women of a darker skin tone because they are still neutral but don’t look like the same color as the persons skin (which can create the awkward illusion of barefootedness). I thought Kat phrased that pretty thoughtfully and did not imply beige is nude for everyone..

      • Yay! I love these pump’s, but I am NOT a huge fan of beige b/c I need deep color’s to avoid lookeing to washed out. But I do NOT understand the festoosch about nude vs beige on this thread. Peeople need to understand that we are NOT all alike and that what look’s good on one person does NOT necesarily look good on another. Even within the SAME family, the same clotheing does NOT look the same. For example, Rosa can wear almost anything in any color and look good b/c she is a natural beauty with a great body. Me, on the other hand, look alot like her, but b/c of my tuchus (which come’s from Grandma Trudy’s family), I cannot wear just anything. Pencil Skirt’s, for example, are difficult for me to wear b/c I tend to look cheep with to tight a fit in the tuchus. So I wear alot of a-lines and full body dresses that do NOT highlight the fact that I have a large tuchus, or shelf, as Gonzalo called it. Guy’s like Gonzalo go for women with big tuchuses, so that is at least a plus.

        The manageing partner want’s me to meet for lunch tomorrow after court with the judge. I have 2 motion’s with the judge first, so I am awaiting instructions from the manageing partner today about what to wear tomorrow. I am assuming a red or blue suit with red or blue pump’s. The manageing partner I think consult’s with Margie, who in turn speak’s with her psychic on those thing’s. I can NOT protest b/c it work’s. Frank say’s I am up to a 97.3% sucess rate in Manhatan, where nearly all cases are held with the judge, who is the manageing partner’s law school classmate and freind. YAY!!!! I love it when all I have to do is stand up, twirl around and tell the story to the court, and I do NOT mind that the judge likes to stare at my body line and tuchus!!!! DOUBEL YAY!

    • The post is about beige pumps, not nude, and notes that they can be worn as a neutral by all skin tones. You don’t have to match your shoe color to your skin tone, which can look really weird anyway. Non-white women are allowed to wear beige. I think the Nina shoes would look better on someone with dark skin, to be honest.

    • Do you follow Capitol Hill Style? She did a post on nude shoes today and included a link that had suggestions for a variety of skin tones (including suggested search terms, which struck me as brilliant). But I think Kat was very careful in this post NOT to call any of these shoes nude. I don’t see that word one place in the post.

    • But your not reading about nude pumps? Kat specifically called this post a beige pump roundup and it just posted a second ago so I know she didn’t change it. So you are “that person” that can’t read I suppose.

    • South Asian here. I don’t wear flesh coloured shoes or ever look for them. I don’t think they look good on anyone.

    • It’s true that people shouldn’t say beige shoes are nude for everyone…but that’s totally irrelevant to this post because it included the word “nude” exactly once, and that was a quote from the manufacturer, not the author’s choice

  3. Hi Kat, you know that Cap Hill Style did a white jacket this morning and skin-tone shoes in the late morning. Weird coincidence.

    • ‘Tis the season, I guess — funny coincidence.

    • anon and on and on :

      Um, is that supposed to be accusatory? Because a lot of (or most) bloggers write posts ahead of time, not the same day they go up…

    • oh no, I didn’t mean accusatory. I was actually thinking of how humans are programmed to see coincidences where they don’t actually exist and this really is a coincidence (it was a This American Life show). I know Kat does her posts ahead of time.

  4. If you have wide feet, I’d highly recommend the Nine West Elise at DSW. I needed plain black pumps in a hurry for a funeral and I bought the Elise and I’ve worn them like crazy since then. They run big. I normally wear either an 8 or 8.5 in medium and I think I have the Elise in a 7W.,cat20006

  5. I actually just bought the Michael Kors pumps pictured last week in wide – I’ve been wearing them around inside and they seem very comfortable so far. They seem to actually fit my wide front feed and narrow heels (with a heel strip thing added) – usually I walk out of them. I would recommend them.

    • I have the pointy-toed version of the Michael Kors in two colors (black and a burgundy that doesn’t look like it’s still available) and they are amazingly comfortable and I get tons of compliments on them. I didn’t see a beige version of the pointy toed version, which was disappointing. (Though I’m not sure about that darker dune color against my very fair skin, so I guess it doesn’t matter much.)

      • The beige is a lot darker than the color in the picture and a little grayish. It’s a pretty color, but I don’t think it would match anyone’s skin tone – it’s like a darker khaki. The pointy-toe model did have a lighter beige called “nude,” though – check Neiman Marcus.

  6. Boston (or national) mortgage references? :

    anybody in the greater Boston/eastern MA area have a mortgage lender they would recommend? The mortgage broker we used last time moved out of state and the one recommended by our realtor is driving me up the wall.

    I need someone responsive/willing to work fast to get things done quickly, with good rates.

    • The Savings Bank in Wakefield. They lend state wide… they have a ridiculously good first time buyer program. My sister has refinanced a couple times with them, so I suspect their non-first time rates are excellent also. Bonus: they keep loans on book so if you make an unscheduled extra payment in any amount during loan term they adjust your monthly payment downward.

    • Diana Barry :

      Monument Mortgage – Jon Plate. They are independent and find the best rates from all different lenders.

      • Boston (or national) mortgage references? :

        thank you! they are based close to where we are buying and look very similar to our last (now luckily californian!) broker. Will call tomorrow!

  7. So random but I just wanted to thank whoever recommended the Outlander series to me. I just got back from Mexico and really enjoyed reading the first book while on vacation. I got home this weekend and am now halfway through the second book. It’s so good!

  8. Great post, Kat! I was just looking for a pair of beige shoes for spring/summer, and this list is extremely helpful!

    I noticed that a lot of the recommended shoes are patent. Do patent shoes kill anyone else’ feet? Maybe it’s just me, but I find that patent shoes are so much harder to break in than other materials, like kid leather and suede.

    Ladies, do you prefer leather or patent or suede shoes for work?

    And does anyone have any favorite beige leather or suede shoes to recommend? Thanks!

    • I only do patent as an accent, because I’ve found that patent shoes give me blisters and never get much better. And I don’t mean “patent” pleather, I mean high-quality, over $150/pair, real patent leather.

    • platinomad :

      I second patent shoes being much more likely to give me blisters, and generally try to stick with leather. I have had some luck with really soft patent, but I find thats not about quality/price point, its just sort of luck.

      Cole Haan does a lot of their beige shoes in leather, I have a few pairs I like from there.

    • I just got these and love them. They’re more taupe than beige, but not too dark.

  9. managing a "gunner" :

    I inherited a team and one of the team members is a gunner. She’s asked me twice (since January) how to get on the promotion track, which I completely respect.

    The problem is, she’s not in a role that has a clear promotion track. She was hired into a role that she was (IMHO) way too junior for, that is essentially at the top of the career path for many people. To grow beyond her existing in terms of title (eg, be a director, VP, C-suite) at my company, she would need to build other skills in other areas, then probably move out of my department into a bigger role. I’m OK with that, and told her I’d support her in her career path etc., but she has to tell me what she wants so I can find her opportunities.

    Her current role is similar to something like Senior Engineer IV. There are no levels of engineer above her, and the only person in her department higher up than her is the VP of engineering (me). Conceivably, I’d create a director-level role, but it wouldn’t just be for a Very Senior Engineer, it would be for someone with duties above and beyond…which I don’t really have a need for today. I didn’t hire her, but if I did, I’d have hired her in as like, an Engineer II. She’s not nearly senior enough for her title, which I am working through delicately with HR. She’s overcompensated as well. Those things are nto her fault, but are impacting her potential to grow elsewhere in the org (she’d have to lateral at best but may get a title bump with no salary bump).

    She isn’t really getting any of the above (I didn’t share with her that she’s overpaid… that’s an HR issue, no hers), and keeps asking me what she needs to do for a promotion. Last time, I asked her what she’d like to be promoted *to* and she just said “whatever’s next.” There IS no “next” in her current track, so I once again had the “other depts, other roles” conversation….but it just isn’t sinking in.

    am i thinking about this the wrong way?

    (FWIW she’s not an engineer and neither am I, but I tried to frame it simply as our industry doesn’t have standard titles)

    • Can you be more direct with her and tell her that she still has a lot of space to grow within her current position? Can you identify areas she should work on that in your view would help her build from where she is now to what you would expect from a Senior Engineer IV?

      • This. It sounds like you’re not being direct enough that she needs more time in her current position. If I asked my manager for “next steps” and she said she’d support what I want to do if I come up with a path, I wouldn’t think that I’m overqualified for my current position.

        Also, the salary thing is an HR issue but it does sound like it’s holding her back. Can you talk in generalities about how the market has shifted as to responsibilities and compensation so future moves may be somewhat limited? I’d want to know.

        • managing a "gunner" :

          Also, there *is* no promotion within my team. She needs to go elsewhere, or spend the next 15 years being an even more Senior Engineer IV. Our pay bands will support that growth and in fact pay well for this role with 15 years experience– but it isn’t the “next level up” in her mind adn her title will not change. That Next Level is either my job, or somewhere else in the company. That conversation is one we’ve had several times.

        • +1. She doesn’t understand that she’s not exceeding expectations in her current position. All the talk about a promotion needs to be redirected to having her perform at a high level in her current job.

      • managing a "gunner" :

        A complicating factor is that her old manager, before quitting, gave her a stellar 2014 review. For being a hard worker, not for getting Senior engineeer IV level stuff done. I’ve already gone abck and re-set expectations, had conversations about what else she needs to do, but her mindset is “if i do these things i should get a promotion” and not “if i do these things i will be doing my job.”

        I’ve had to brainstorm out the wazoo with HR because this is a tricky situation as far as comp goes– she’s the highest paid member of my team, got one of the better ratings for 2014, and isn’t, in my or other department’s opinions, donig her job well. Yuck.

    • Do you have any special projects coming in which you can give her a lead role? It’s an opportunity for her to prove herself and hopefully grow. It’s also an opportunity for both of you to see how she manages projects, people (even if they aren’t reporting to her), and time. You can use her performance as a project manager to direct her where to focus efforts and what the next steps might be.

    • I think your responses are appropriate and it might help to get her set up with a mentor. You could also nominate her for visible assignments, like being a TA.

      • managing a "gunner" :

        I suggested that she get a mentor, and even threw out some suggestions. Re: good projects…she’s not really strong enough yet for some of the key projects, and also, the one time I threw one at her, she just did OK and also told me it wasn’t the type of work she wanted…btu couldn’t tell me what she DID want.

        • So I don’t think it’s your job necessarily to give her what she wants! If she’s not ready for major projects or is turning up her nose at them, you don’t need to spend time trying to think up the perfect role for her. Just focus on re-setting expectations and on reinforcing the message of “I understand you’re interested in growing in your career – here are the things you should work on to really grow into and excel at your current title.”

    • Anonymous :

      I appreciate your enthuiasm. I think you have a lot of room to grow in your current position and don’t see a promotion in the short term. Long term, it will make sense to look for roles in other departments. We can discuss again at your annual review.

      Stop telling her you support her moving to a promotion and start telling her the truth- she has years in this role before that’s a possibility.

      • managing a "gunner" :

        To be clear, I’d support her moving into another department if she can find one that will take her at the level she is interested. That isn’t the same thing as sponsoring promotion to get her there. Maybe that’s the distinction I need to make more clearly–it’s clear to me but perhaps not to her.

  10. Baconpancakes :

    Was just contacted by a recruiter, but don’t have any interest in a new position right now. Possibly might be interested in a few years. Should I reply? What would I say?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not looking right now, but please keep in touch!

      • Baconpancakes :

        Ha, clearly I am over thinking this.

      • Anonymous :

        If you tell them to keep in touch you’ll probably start getting weekly or more frequent emails and phone calls from them. I’d simply tell them you’re not interested. You can always reach out to them should you become interested at some future date.

    • Katniss Everdeen :

      “I’m not interested in making a move right now, but it would be great if you could call me if you find something in X industry or with X compensation. In the meantime, maybe we can check in six months down the road to see what the market is looking like.”

  11. Any suggestions for working through new job/imposter syndrome type stuff? I just started my job two weeks ago and I think what’s holding me back is that I was specifically hired to be an “expert” in my field. I didn’t pad my resume, didn’t oversell myself in the interview — I know all the arguments I’d use with someone else (my employer knew what it was doing when it hired me, they knew my background and I didn’t hide anything from them, so if I’m what they wanted, I shouldn’t now be second-guessing their decision). But it’s really hard! Among other things, I’m supposed to blog for my organization on my area of “expertise” and I’m just so scared to write anything! What if it’s wrong? What if there’s a point I missed? What if 10,000 other people said the same thing but I missed it so it’s like duh, we know, why are you blogging? Or what if the point I think I’m making is so obvious that it’s not worth saying? Or what if there’s some fatal flaw in my analysis because there’s something I just don’t know? And here I am telling the world I’m an “expert” and I can’t even write a [email protected] blog post on my topic. I have a mentor from a prior employer who’s helpful in some ways, but I also worry that (1) I’m relying on her too much and (2) whenever I run an idea by her, she comes up with five points I never even considered. I know that the reason I’m asking her is that she’s more experienced (she has 30+ years in our field while I don’t even have 10) but I also feel like an idiot for missing things. Has anyone dealt with this and have any good ways to work through it? (Because qualified or not, I’m the official expert here on my thing so if I want to keep working and drawing a paycheck, I better find a way to at least act qualified.)

    • Just write something. Give it a good effort, which you can estimate by figuring out the amount of time per post that will be sustainable for you in the long run. Then publish. You might make a mistake, and that’s OK. You can fix it if necessary, just make sure you learn from it and move on. This is how you gain experience. This is how all expertise develops over time. You just have to do the work. You should have the expectation that any work that is challenging enough to be worthwhile will necessarily entail some mistakes now and then.

    • N.C. anon :

      I’m not sure what field you’re in or what the expectations are specific to your job, but in general, my understanding is that blogging is much more informal and is a medium for a person/company to engage with the consumer/public. Without knowing more, I would advise you to think of your post as a way of starting a conversation, not being the be-all, end-all authority on the topic. Generally, I think of blog posts as being on the shorter end, maybe no more than 500-1000 words. End with a question or two related to the topic to provoke conversation. Engage with posters and answer questions. As you go on, you’ll learn more about the people reading your posts and have a better idea of what to write.

      For now, just write.

  12. Anonymous Associate :

    Manolo Blanik and Jimmy Choo should have exemplars on this list…

  13. KateMiddletown :

    has anyone invested in LK Bennett’s recently? I drool but haven’t pulled the trigger…yet.

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