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.
So here’s the thing about low heels: 80% of the shoes offered with low heels can look really gross* — kind of the shoe equivalent of Mom Jeans. (2015 Update: check out our most recent roundup of office-appropriate low heels!) But there are cute ones out there (although it can be a challenge to find them), and there are actually a lot of times you might want to wear low heels, even if you’re not 90 years old:
– All you peeps preparing for interview week where you’ll be on your feet for 8 hours, running from interview to interview? Yeah, you.
– When you’re attending a conference or another networking event that will involve a lot of standing.
– If you have pants that are hemmed for flats.
– If you’re easing back into heels after a long delay because of injury (or if you never really wore heels to begin with).
– If you’re suffering from feet problems like bunions or worse — higher heels just aren’t doable all of the time!
So with that said, I tried to poke around to find the most sophisticated shoes I could for under 2 inches — and on the lower end of the price spectrum, because it’s surprisingly easy to find $600 shoes with 1.5 inch heels. Readers, what heel height do you wear 80% of the time? For those of you who prefer lower heels, which are your favorite brands?
|So: these are your basic pumps from Aerosoles, clocking in at exactly 2″. This shoe comes in 7 other colors, and looks like a great starter heel. Check out other shoes in this line such as “Black Cheery” (a slingback with a cute decorative strap) and “Cheer For Me” (a Mary Jane), both of which are also 2″ heels. The Cheerful pump is $65 at Aerosoles. Cheerful Pump|
|Here we have the Rockport Lilah, which comes in 4 colors (some of which are up to 50% off at Rockport.com). I like that this one is actually leather, at least for the upper, and that it has the adidas adiPRENE® heel and forefoot cushioning. The shoe is $110 at Zappos. Rockport – Lilah Pump (Black Smooth Calf) – Footwear|
|No roundup like this is complete without a Cole Haan pump, and I like the Air Juliana in the “2” or under” category. In addition to coming in 6 colors, I like that this leather shoe has NIKE AIR® technology. If you prefer a rounder toe, the Air Talia Mid Pump is just a bit higher at 2.5″ (note also that the Air Juliana comes in a higher 75 mm heel as well). The Air Juliana 45 is $148 at Zappos. Cole Haan – Air Juliana Pump 45 (Cove Patent) – Footwear|
|Time after time, readers swear by Stuart Weitzman pumps, and these highly rated Poco pumps look great. I like the pointed toe, the kitten heel, and the ultrasuede lining. They’re $$165-$275 at Zappos (depending on which of the 11 colors strikes your fancy — I’ve pictured the ““Jeans Snake Charmer”” color at the top of this post). (Note that the Bobo is another Weitzman shoe that’s under 2″.) Stuart Weitzman – Poco (Red Quasar) – Footwear|
|Butter actually has a bunch of cute heels under 2″. I like these Stone Pumps (available in 4 colors — including “glitter”!), but do check out the whole Butter collection on Amazon. The Stone Pumps are $290. Butter Women’s Stone Pump|
|Like I said, it’s really easy to find pricier shoes in the 2″ and under category. Today I’m liking these gorgeous blue and black slingback kitten heel pumps from Jason Wu, which clock in at exactly 2″. They’re $658 at Neiman Marcus. Jason Wu Slingback Kitten-Heel Pump|
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* UPDATE: A number of readers are taking issue with my calling low heels “gross,” so I’ve updated the text above to more accurately reflect my views. To be even more clear: I think low heels are great, and practical, and I whole heartedly, enthusiastically recommend all of the ones I’ve cited above, which is kind of the entire point of this post. BUT: If you had just spent the past 2 hours looking for cute heels under 2″ to whole heartedly, enthusiastically recommend, you’d agree with me that 80% of the ones out there are really gross.