The Hunt: Black Pumps

comfortable black pumpsSure, we all know professional women are supposed to have a pair of comfortable black pumps 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.

Wow – I don’t think we’ve done a Hunt on basic black pumps in a LONG, long while.  Which are your favorite black pumps right now, ladies? Do you prefer a more modern style like the popular Vince heels or Steve Madden heels featured below — or are you classic all the way, like one of our more traditional Hall of Famers? Do you personally prefer pointier toes or more almond toes (there are a ton of both on the market right now!) If you were looking for a new pump for an interview outfit, what would you buy? It’s great to see so many options in low heels, high heels, and strappy pumps.

Update: Check out some work outfit ideas involving some of the pumps you see featured here!

(Curious for our previous roundups of black pumps? In addition to the several specific shoes mentioned in our Guide to Comfortable Heels, we also did a 2013 guide to interview pumps and to low heels, a 2012 guide to black pumps under $250, 2008 guide to basic black pumps.

Classic Black Pumps for Work

classic comfortable black pumps

From our Hall of Fame category above! Pictured: 1 / 2 / 3 // 4 / 5 / 6

Six Trendy Black Pumps

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The Hunt: Low Heels

Valentino 'Rockstud' Metal Heel Pump

2016 Update: Check out our most recent discussion and roundup of comfortable black pumps; we also did a specific roundup of low heels for work in 2015. .

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 the most frequent requests I get from readers is to feature lower heeled options, so I thought I’d do a round-up today of some of the most classically beautiful heels you can get with a height of less than 2.5 inches (trying to focus on 2″ and less because that’s really my own definition of a low heel).  Some of the ones that I’ve mentioned in various posts and not mentioned here include the gorgeous Kate Spade Simon pump, the Joan & David Gila pump, as well as bunch of mini wedges such as ones from Halogen, Madewell, and Cole Haan Readers, what is your ideal heel height?  For those of you who prefer lower heeled pumps, which brands do you swear by? [Read more…]

The Hunt: Basic Black Pumps Under $250

2016 Update: Check out our most recent discussion and roundup of comfortable black pumps!

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.

Readers, have you bought a black pump for under $250 recently? Which is your favorite?

Naturalizer - Lennox (Kirsch Red Shiny) - FootwearI thought we’d start strong: I think this is a good looking shoe from Naturalizer, available in a black kid leather, black patent leather, and a very attractive shiny red leather. The platform looks just right here — it’s big enough to make the heel height more walkable, as well as the sole more firm, but without looking stripperish at all. Oh, and the kicker: it has 133 glowing reviews at Zappos. It’s $79.Naturalizer – Lennox [Read more…]

Black Pumps Under $100

VOLATILE - Molly (Black) - Footwear2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on comfortable black pumps!

Last week, we had The Corporette Guide to Interview Suits.  We thought we’d do a round-up of black pumps today, another must-have for the interview wardrobe.  However, we thought we’d challenge ourselves by only rounding up good-looking shoes under $100…

LifeStride - Haze (Black Premier Kid/Sherillo) - FootwearLove the side detail on these pumps — it adds a bit of texture and interest without detracting from the classic shape; also love the cushioned footbed. They’re available in black (patent and kid), beige, and navy at Zappos.com for $54. LifeStride – Haze (Black Premier Kid/Sherillo) – Footwear
Selene Leather PumpFor some reason, we love the look to these shoes. They strike us as classic and beautiful. We particularly like the rounded toe, the stacked heel, and the non-slip panel on the sole. They’re available at CalvinKlein.com for $98. Selene Leather Pump (Note — there’s a great taupe pair on sale at Shoes.com for $75; take an additional 15% off with code 15OFF.)
Eddie Bauer Dress PumpsWe like the stacked 2.75″ heel on these, as well as the promise of a “plush, cushioned footbed.”  Nice!  They’re available in black, a purpley “burgandy” suede, and a gray “pewter” leather for $99 at EddieBauer.com (sizes 6-12).  Eddie Bauer Dress Pumps
Franco Sarto - Napoli (Black Kidskin Leather) - FootwearThis highly-rated shoe on Zappos has a bit of a platform to it, which can make the high heel (almost 4″) far easier to walk in — and in general we’ve had great luck with Franco Sarto shoes.  They’re available at Zappos.com in black (patent and kid), gray, taupe, gold, and magenta for $80.10 (they were $89). Franco Sarto – Napoli (Black Kidskin Leather) – Footwear
Seychelles Women's Code PumpThis is a great pump with a classic look that, for reasons we can’t put our fingers on, almost has a slight vintage vibe to it.  It’s available in red, teal, and “whiskey” brown at Endless.com for $89.95. Seychelles Women’s Code Pump,Black
BCBGeneration - Edith (Black Synthetic Kid) - FootwearToday only specials — 6pm.com has a ton of great black pumps on sale today, also, which we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you towards.  We like the BCBG Generation Edith, pictured (BCBGeneration – Edith (Black Synthetic Kid) – Footwear, was $49, now $19.60 at 6pm.com for today only), as well as the a patent leather pump from Volatile (VOLATILE – Molly (Black) – Footwear, was $49.99, now $15) (pictured at the very top of this post), and the Sofft Rivoli (Sofft – Rivoli (Black Madras Kid Skin) – Footwear, was $99.95, now $34.95).


Readers, what are your favorite inexpensive heels?

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The Hunt: Basic Black Pumps

2016 Update: Check out our most recent discussion and roundup of comfortable black pumps!

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. Psst: check out our frequently updated Guide to Comfortable Heels!

In today’s hunt, we search for reasonably-heeled black leather pumps — nothing higher than 3″…

black pumps for work 1Corso Como makes extremely comfortable shoes — their insoles are lined with gel.  Available at Endless for $154.95. Corso Como Women’s Cate Pump
black pumps for work2These black leather shoes also have a 5-star comfort rating on Zappos — and are at a slightly lower price point of $89. Calvin Klein – Dolly (Black)
black pumps for work under $100These are exactly 3″, but we’ll make an exception because they come in so many colors and get great ratings for comfort.  (Hmmn, perhaps we need a pair of peacock blue pumps.)  Available at Zappos for $83. Kenneth Cole Reaction – Inner Space (Black Leather)
black pumps for the officeWe just couldn’t do a round-up of basic black pumps without including one of our favorite brands, Cole Haan.  These Air Pumps are made with Nike Air technology — we won’t be playing basketball in our pumps any time soon, but it’s good to know someone’s making the shoes as if we were.  Available at Zappos on sale for $243.  (2″ heel; also available in 3″ heel.) Cole Haan – Fiona Low Air Pump (Black Calf)
black pumps pradaIf you’re upgrading and want something in a slightly higher price range, these Prada leather pumps (2.5″ heel) are only $360 at Saks. Prada Linea Rossa
black pumps for office louboutinWe’ve always envied the women who can rock the 4″ heels on the red carpet — and we’ve somehow developed a taste for the lipstick red of the Louboutin pumps.  Unfortunately, their towering heels make them next to impossible for us to use to navigate at the office.  Fortunately, there are more sensible pumps if you’re like us — these are far sturdier and more walkable, with a 2.75″ heel.  Available at Saks for $595. Christian Louboutin – Miss Tack Pumpstktktktk LINK6

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

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