The Hunt: Beige Pumps

The Best Beige Pumps for Work2018 Update: You may want to check out this year’s roundup of nude-for-you pumps — as well as our general guide to wardrobe essentials for work!

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.

Now is traditionally the time of year that every fashion magazine/stylist/blog (including this one) counsels you to wear nude-for-you pumps — so I had this whole feature planned where I’d show the different “nude” colors available for each shoe that I picked.  Except: ha! There are, by and large, ONLY light beige pumps in stores right now.  There are a very few pumps with a slightly darker beige (not even a huge selection of regular brown!) — so perhaps this is a seasonal thing and the other colors will be out in a few weeks.  (My picks of other darker nude-for-you heels from the current limited selection: here, here, here, here, here, and here.)  For those of you who do have pale beige skin (or prefer this kind of pale pink/beige color in general), here’s what I like in the stores right now…  Readers, have you recently bought a great nude-for-you pump?  Do you have any favorites from the below? 

Payless Janine Pointy Toe PumpReaders continue to sing the praises of the Comfort Plus line at Payless, and both the Janine Pointy Toe pump (pictured) and the Karmen rounded-toe pump come in light beige. They’re both $19.99. Payless Janine Pointy Toe Pump
Sole Society Mallory T-Strap HeelI thought these were cute when they somehow popped up in my FB feed today — and even cuter when I saw the Choo shoes that are surely their “inspiration”. They’re $69.95 (also available in black). Sole Society Mallory T-Strap Heel
Kors Flex PumpI think I saw a reader recommending these on the Weekend Open Thread a few weeks ago, and was intrigued to see the huge range of sizes and colors that this shoe comes in — just in this Dune color they’re available in sizes 4-12 in medium, narrow, and wide; it seems like the Kors flex line comes in peep-toes, pointy toes, and this lovely rounded-toe, available at places like Nordstrom, Zappos, and Neiman Marcus. Nice!  The pictured shoe is $99.  Kors Flex Pump
Cole Haan Chelsea PumpI’m really, really not a fan of the particular beige here, but I am incapable of doing a Hunt without including at least one Cole Haan or Stuart Weitzman (particularly if they’re on sale!). (Along those lines: here are two Weitzman options for you: the Plato and the HiClip pumps.)  As for the pictured pump: I love the huge variety of sizes it comes in (sizes 4-12, in three widths, in black and “sandstone”), and the 1/2″ platform does make these much more walkable. They were $298, but are now marked to $199. Cole Haan Chelsea Pump
Kate Spade Arielle PumpI always think of the Karolina as Kate Spade’s most classic pump style, but these Arielle round toe pumps are lovely.  (Another Kate Spade option: the 4″ high Leann.)  Both the Leann and Arielle come in “camel saffiano” (pictured) and “natural glitter snake;” both are $328.  Kate Spade New York Arielle Pump
Salvatore Ferragamo Carla New Bisque PatentWhile everyone knows that Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman generally have comfortable pumps, another consistent reader recommendation over the years has been Salvatore Ferragamo pumps.  I like these shoes with a pretty bow on top (although the grosgrain bow would make them “mostly office shoes” for me — i.e., they don’t leave the office).  They’re $550. Salvatore Ferragamo Carla New Bisque Patent

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!


  1. I recommend Nine West Sharina. It’s a slingback with a peeptoe so may not be for everyone, but it’s surprisingly comfortable.

  2. And for those of us who prefer flats –

  3. Stuart Weitzmann used to make a shoe called Hola in adobe aniline. It’s been my go to for the last two years, but sadly the patent on the heel has seen one too many bricked paver walks. But it was the most comfortable, universal shoe I’ve ever owned.

  4. Would you wear the low Valentino rockstud pump to work under pants? I wouldn’t wear them with a dress where the 3 ankle straps would be visible, but with pants that would cover that part would you wear them?

    They are by far my most comfortable pair of shoes, but I’m hesitant about wearing them to work. I wish more brands made pretty, non-dowdy pumps with a 2.5 inch heel.

    • I would but I’d make sure everything else was very classic/conservative.

    • Another Anon :

      I would, but I’d also wear them with a dress to work, so I think that this is a know your office thing.

    • Wildkitten :

      I think they are too strappy for work, not too studded.

    • Shopaholic :

      I would because they’re gorgeous but I would only wear them with a toned down outfit and not on a day with a big meeting or something. Under pants sounds perfect.

      PS I’m so jealous because those are amazing shoes!

    • After seeing this post in the morning thread and totally drooling over these (WAY out of my price range and insanely gorgeous) shoes, I found a similar-ish style for way cheaper… which I now may have to get :)

      Totally jealous of the Valentino’s though! I would not wear them to my NYC BigLaw office, but I agree with other posters that it’s know-your-office thing.

    • a passion for fashion :

      totally. But I’d wear them with a skirt/dress too, so long as the rest of the outfit was conservative. But also, I’m not exactly one to play by the rules.

    • I’m not sure. I work in a place where I can dress up or down, but I ordered the Ivanka Trump pumps that had the studs like these and they were way too sparkly for work. They looked very dressy. Not having seen the Rockstud in person, I can’t be sure. But I’d sure want to try!

  5. If you’re willing to spend a little more on shoes, I just bought the Jimmy Choo Abel patent pump in nude. I’m very pale (which I lovingly refer to as one-shade-up-from-albino) and it’s a perfect nude for me – darker than my skin tone, but not by too much. I have the Abel in a few colors; my only caveat is I take them to a cobbler and have a rubber sole added – makes them more comfortable and last a lot longer between shoe repairs.

  6. I’ve already started my own nude shoe search, aided and abetted by Zappos.
    Rockport Seven to 7 low pump: $140. I have a wide toe box and the 9W feels great. I’m looking for a shoe to wear for standing for a few hours and these may be a winner, based on comfort and looks. They seem to run large (I’m about to exchange for a 1/2 size down).
    Clarks Tempt Appeal: $110. I *love* the look of these. The contrast heel color is just enough to make it interesting. I usually have very good luck with Clarks, but even the wide shoe feels narrow to me.

  7. Rupert Sanderson does an amazing selection of classy work appropriate pumps that are comfortable and plain. The Elba is available in nude and also there are a lot of other classic shapes. Highly recommend. I own a lot of other brands and these are my trusted work favourites. Style and comfort.

  8. Can you wear light beige shoes with darker skin? I bought a pair before I comprehended that people were buying shoes in flesh tones that they intended to match their skin, not just buying them because beige is a light neutral that is not white. Now I feel like they are super weird and distracting to look at because it is like I am trying to do a “nude” and they are decidedly not. If it is helpful, my skin is around the color of Beyonce’s and the shoes I have are the color of the ones in the picture. I bought another pair that is closer to my skin tone, but the light beige ones were pretty expensive so I don’t want to just get rid of them.

    • I think you can wear whatever shoes you want. I don’t get the fuss over “nude for you” when it’s very clear that your skin color, no matter how close, will not be matching patent or leather. I think wanting a shoe that is a non-white light neutral is a perfectly good reason for buying a pair of shoes. I do the same thing in the summer. I’m not worried about matching my skin tone, just having a pair of neutral shoes that isn’t my usual dark brown or black.

      • +1 – I actually think it looks a little strange when the nude shoe is close to the skin tone of the wearer – I like some contrast so that it’s clear I’m wearing a shoe v. I have really odd shaped feet.

    • Anonymous :

      I am south asian, and I wear lighter beige shoes. I feel like they are are still a neutral with my clothing selections/etc. Even if they don’t matchy match my legs, I still do it, and I think that it looks good. I would wear them as you would wear another neutral. I liken it to a much lighter skin toned person wearing more of a light pink hue.

    • wolverine :

      I would and I do. I rocked light beige shoes before they began to be called nude so I think it’s perfectly fine. It wouldn’t be fair to us darker skinned gals if there was a rule that said you can only wear shoes darker than your skin tone. IMHO light beige and pink-toned shoes look great with tanned skin.

    • I don’t think this would be weird or distracting. I have never heard of a rule that you’re only supposed to wear shoes darker than your skin tone, and beige is still a neutral, no matter what color your skin is.

    • agree with everyone else, this is fine! If you feel good in them, rock ’em.

    • I never thought of them as “nude for me” so much as a neutral beige that goes with a lot–so I say yes!

    • BeenGoneForAWhile :

      I think you were right with the non-white light neutral, and think they probably look fine. If I tried to find a nude-for-me, I’d need to find a practically translucent shoe, with some age spots, some slightly blue veins shining through, with a ruddiness born out of the rudeness of winter. So, instead, I go for the non-white light neutral. :)

  9. Anybody got any suggestions for these that are:
    – under 3″ tall
    – available in wide
    – non-pointy toe (almond at the VERY pointiest, round preferred)
    – and have a wider heel than these? I just can’t with narrow heels, I wobble too much.

    I looked for the perfect beige heel all spring last year and I guess it’s time to resume the hunt, as this trend is not going away.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Try those payless comfort plus heels. The Karmen is a pretty close match for your description, and they are the most comfortable heels I own at any price.

  10. I recommend Corso Como’s nude pumps. You can get them at Nordstrom and they are SUPER comfortable – lots of padding in the toe box. They are the only shoes I can wear while walking around the city for two hours straight and they don’t hurt my feet at all. My only note is that I would buy a half size down, as the leather stretches out and will quickly become too wide otherwise.

    • (not s0) recent grad :

      +1 — I think I just bought my third (maybe fourth) pair of nude-for-me Corso Como Del pumps. They hold up well, but I am tough on my shoes and I just bought a fresh pair for interviews and client meetings. Love them!

  11. Am i the only one bored to tears by all the beige/nude for you pumps?

  12. My favorite nude pumps for wearing with pants are the Vince Camuto ‘Kira’ Pump. I have them in black and in nude. They are the perfect height for wearing with pants – not too tall, but still look like regular heels. LOVE!

  13. Look at the LK Bennett pumps in the nude patent color. They have the Sledge and the Sybila is slightly lower. And I think several other styles too. They are comfortable (though run small), last a long time, and look very pretty on your feet.

  14. I have dark skin (NC45 in MAC foundation) and have had good luck finding nude-for-me at LK Bennett. Both the “latte” and “winter rose” are close to perfect against my skin

  15. I bought a pair of Anne Klein pumps last fall (at TJ Maxx) that look a lot like the Jeanine pump pictured, but with a slightly lower heel. Wore them to the office holiday party, and realized that at the end of the night my feet did not hurt AT ALL! So if you can find a low heeled (1.5-2″?) Anne Klein pointy toed nude pump that fits you well, it’s highly recommended. (Sorry I don’t know the model name).

    • Sounds really similar to my AK Isana pump, which I also highly recommend! They are possibly my most comfortable heels and are holding up really well. If anyone seeks them out on Zappos, the pictures make them look a lot shinier than I think they are in reality.

      • Which color did you get? Not sure whether to get natural or camel color. Never had nude colored shoes, so is it better to go darker than skin tone or lighter?

        • I have the camel. I am fair and they are just slightly darker than my skin. I think they look fine, but Google seems to be saying lighter than skin tone is better. It might be worth taking advantage of the free return shipping to try both!

      • Yes! I’m pretty sure that’s my shoe, in light natural. (Now I want to buy several in other colors!!!)

        I’m not an expert on the nude shoe thing, but I like the way the light natural looks with my fair skin tone. I have a different pair of heels in camel, and love those too. They’re just not particularly nude for me.

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