What shoe brands do you find the most comfortable for work outfits? Especially since some of the old favorite brands seem to be dead, dying, or with very limited options for workwear — let’s discuss. (Especially since workwear styles and office dress codes are changing!)
My guess is most people are going to vote for washable flats like Rothy’s or Birdies — comfortable, for sure! — but I’m particularly curious to hear from the people in more conservative offices. What are your favorite comfortable shoe brands for work outfits? If you’re literally wearing sneakers to work, what are the rules around sneakers as you’ve observed them? (For example, would you consider a sneaker with a white sole acceptable for a regular day at the office, such as these popular oxfords or these popular slipons?)
Some of the brands we’ve called out in the past for their extraordinary comfort include Clarks, Børn, Sofft, Stuart Weitzman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Naturalizer, Aerosoles, Rockport, Geox, Arche, AGL, Munro, Cole Haan, Eileen Fisher, Beautifeel, Earthies, Trotters, VANELi, Bella Vita , Vionic, and Lifestride.
Personally, my top votes would be for Clarks, Børn, Sofft, Cole Haan, and Eileen Fisher — but that’s me and my “duck feet,” as readers have called them (a wide forefoot with narrow heels).
A few of our roundups from previous posts are below…
Note that a round toe isn’t going to look the best with a lot of new work outfits — but they’re still comfortable, and in a conservative office will still be seen as “appropriate.”
Some of our favorite comfortable flats for work as of 2023: one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight (not pictured but also) (also: check out our favorite sneakers for work outfits!)
Low Heels (Under 2″)
These are some of our favorite comfortable low heels for work as of 2023! one / two / three / four (also Ferragamo, MMLF, Talbots, and Sarah Flynt!)
Some Black Heels from “Comfort Brands”
Note that this roundup of heels is from the notorious “comfort brands” — but there are obviously a ton of brands that many women find comfortable that are not included here.
Stylish comfort heels for 2022: 1) Naturalizer 2) Clarks 3) Naturalizer 4) Trotters 5) Lifestride (not pictured but see also!)
In general, check out brands like Clarks, Naturalizer, Trotters, Cole Haan, Vionic, and Lifestride if you’re seeking affordable, stylish comfort heels!
Stock photo via Deposit Photos / belchonock.
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How are you wearing Clarks or Cole Haan if you have duckfeet? I also have duckfeet and I cannot wear Clarks because they are so narrow (and they don’t make my size in wide), but their heel section is so wide. I also have this problem with Cole Haan heels. One of my favorite heels (aesthetically) are Cole Haan 4-inch black patent pumps. But, my heels are forever slipping out of them. So sad that Shoes of Prey went out of business.
Huh! Admittedly a lot of my Clarks and Cole Haan are either boots or have straps (or a really high vamp).
The Beagle Has Landed
Clarks and Cole Haans don’t work well with my duck feet, though I do have one or two pairs I stretched into submission. Mainly, I find their leathers very stiff and they poke me at the widest part of my foot. Shoes that are really comfortable on my duck feet are Walking Cradles and Rockport’s Total Motion line.
Rockport total motion are absolutely my favourite. They come in wide width and the cloth inner is great for reducing blisters. Also really well cushioned. And rubber sole so no slipping! And inexpensive!
I really like my Fluevogs and Amour des Pieds…
Has anyone tried Elf shoes? They look so cute. https://www.balielf.com/
Very business casual workplace (academia, not teaching or high level admin) – I wear birkenstocks a lot ;-) For dressier occasions, my very bad & not quite wide enough for W shoes, I like ECCO flats, some vionic, and I have one pair of heels I can still wear for short periods – a black Dansko (it’s a wedge/chunk combo). I’m fortunate – if I had to wear heels every day, I have no idea what I would do.
Soffts! Would literally run a 10k in them if they’d sponsor me :-)
Naots for casual. Cork footbed!
I’m in higher ed communication leadership at an R1 East Coast university. My office is in the administrative building that houses the president and top leadership. We are theoretically business casual, and I work with a lot of faculty who run the gamut in how they dress–but I need to be presentable for unexpected meetings, so I generally dress at the top end of business casual (typically with ankle boots or the like instead of pumps).
Cue the plantar fasciitis this past fall, when I returned to campus and dressier shoes. I am still getting PT for it, and I’m on the mend, but I will never be able to wear higher heels again, let alone anything like Rothies. I purged most of my shoes and boots and started over with only a few pairs that both felt comfortable and have my doctor’s stamp of approval.
I am currently wearing Taos, Merrell, and Vionic boots most days. I have a few Clarks that are tolerable. This summer, I hope to be able to wear a couple of pairs of Sperry loafer-type flats that I saved; they are well-padded but a bit too flat for me right now.
None of these are really how I want to look, but I guess I am leaning into clunky shoes and less variety at this point. I am also wearing pants more frequently, because they look better with these shoes and boots. So it goes!
Merrell is the best. I have some boots for slightly fancier events (Doc Marten Sheridan; yes, it’s a rather casual workplace), but for when I’m just going about my day, Merrells for life.