These are some of our favorite heels as of 2021, but check out our entire Guide to Comfortable Heels!
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?
(Curious for our other roundups of black pumps? In addition to the several specific shoes mentioned in our Guide to Comfortable Heels, here are our roundups from 2021, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2016, 2015, 2013 (interview pumps AND our low heel roundup), 2012 (under $250) and 2008, as well as our comfort-focused roundups of 2016 and 2010 and our posts on extended sizes for professional women’s shoes.)
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|I 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|
|This Nine West pump has a 5-star rating on Zappos (from 90 reviews) — again, I like the shape of the toe as well as the platform. N.B.: it comes in a pinkey “taupe” as well as a caramel-y “natural.” The black is $79 at Zappos. Nine West – Selene (Black Leather) – Footwear|
|I’m always a fan of Franco Sarto, and this basic pump — with a bit more prominent, but covered, platform — is no different. The black is $89 (and also comes in some more adventurous colors, including “gunmetal metallic” and a leopard print, as well as a muted brown suede).|
Franco Sarto – Cicero
|Cole Haan Air: these are almost such a basic (available in both the 3.5″ style as well as the more manageable 2.25″ heel) that I almost didn’t mention them — but they’re on sale at Zappos so I had to include. The regular Talia was $198 but is now marked to $209; the “mid pump” was $198 marked to $130. Cole Haan – Air Talia Pump|
| Wow: I don’t think I’ve ever seen one shoe offered in so many shades of black. In addition to the black kid leather (pictured) there is the “black crystal snake,” “black goosebumps nappa,” “black patent,” (and then a brown goosebumps nappa and a navy). They range in price from $176 to $355; the plain black leather kid ones are now marked to $209. |
Stuart Weitzman – Blog
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