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…]

Coffee Break – Misty Pump

B. Makowsky - Misty (Plum Suede) - FootwearReader E wrote in to recommend this lovely purple pump, noting “I first got this one at Nordstrom Rack in the grey which has blue tones in the croc pattern. Really bridged the gap in my shoes from the too-staid, too-parochial navy pump and plain grey ones. Loved it so much, found the purple suede on line. It is soft leather, a comfortable and supportive heel, shows enough of the foot to lengthen the leg, has a bit of a rubber sole for those building floors, and a point that is not extreme. I wish someone, anyone had the purple croc in my size. This is a sad lesson in ‘waiting.'” Well — while I can’t help Reader E, I will note that 6pm has a ton of colors and sizes still available for up to 60% off, including plum suede (pictured), black leather, black suede, brown snake, camel suede, caramel leather, grey/blue snake, purple snake, and taupe leather, in prices ranging from $39.15 to $49. Amazonalso has limited sizes and colors for around $40.  B. Makowsky – Misty (Plum Suede) – Footwear

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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. [Read more…]

Coffee Break – Rouge Peep-toe

Isola - Rouge (Mocha/Chocolate) - FootwearI don’t think I’ve featured Isolá on the blog before, but this is a brand to watch if you’re a fan of comfortable but stylish shoes — it’s the new big sister to comfort brands like Born and Sofft.  Love the look of this mocha/chocolate peep-toe heel — the black shiny buckle, the animal printed leather — and there’s even a “metallic leather interior lining” that “wicks away moisture to keep feet cool and dry.”  The shoe was $169, but is available for $91.50 at Zappos (mocha only: Isola – Rouge (Mocha/Chocolate) – Footwear), as well as in a leopard print and black “zebrino” print at 6pm for $73.15 each.  Nice!
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N.B.: Peep-toes are not appropriate for every office — know your office!