2019 Update: We still think this is a great discussion on the best height for interview heels — but you may want to check out our more recent discussion about the rules for interview shoes.
Are 4″ heels too high for job interviews? Is a red sole inappropriate for interviewing and networking? Reader A wonders about the best height for interview heels…
Hi I was wondering if I could get some advice on shoes. I will be starting law school in the fall and I’m wondering what heels would be appropriate. I currently own a black leather pair of Louboutins that are 4 inches. Do you feel it’s appropriate to wear them with the red bottom showing? Also is 4 inches considered too high? Thank you!
We’ve talked about Louboutins at work here, as well as which heels are too high, but we haven’t talked about either issue in a while. (Pictured: Christian Louboutin Simple 100 Leather Pumps, available in store only at Saks.) Here are some general tips:
- If you can’t walk at least 6 blocks in your shoes, you need lower heels. I’ve heard the term “limo shoes” used in regard to very high heels — as in, the limo picks you up at your front door and then takes you to the event, where you can spend the evening half-supported by your date. This is not, obviously, the situation one normally encounters at job interviews. You may be hustled from office to office, taken to lunch at a “nearby” restaurant (hence my 6 block rule), or even have to stand for 45 minutes if it’s a networking event. On me, 4″ would be way too high.
- In general, the bigger the platform, the less appropriate the shoe is for the office. I’d reconsider any platform heels higher than .5″-1″.
- Know your environment. I see no problem with red soles, provided you’re going into a conservative, generally “white shoe” environment — I think most people there will recognize them as status symbols and appreciate that you’re willing to make the investment in your appearance. That said, if you’re going to a nonprofit interview, an in-house interview with a wide range of salaries among company employees (of which the lawyer may be near the top), or a jury trial, be aware that you may be seen as materialistic/princess — and reconsider wearing them until your work, ideas, and personality have had a chance to make an impression on people.
Readers, what do you say? How high is too high — and what is the best height for interview heels? And, are Loubies appropriate in general for work?
2019 updated photo credit: Shutterstock / Elnur.